Summary: Follow up on the first in the series, Love is the Pursuit of Relationships. This is as a result of a Hui that we had two weeks ago. What is a Hui, Maori word for discussion, in depth discussion. We continue to address the perceptions arising from the Hui.
I’m continuing on with the theme today of how we respond to the Hui that was held here a couple of weeks back. The point that I talked on last week was that ‘love was the pursuit of relationships’. There’s an interesting question that we can address attached to this point and that’s to ask ‘when did relationships become fractured to the point that they need to pursued?’
Well this goes back a fair way apparently the children have been learning a line that will remind us all of when it all came unstuck, kids line: In the beginning God created everything and it was good, then we chose to disobey God and slowly everything went bad.
So it all goes back, our understanding of how to do relationships and to engage in love proper all came unstuck well before living memory, well before our time here on earth. Since then humanity has had to work at relationships, we have had to pursue them in a way that at times can require some real effort. If a relationship is worth having it’s worth a bit of effort to keep it going. Married couples does being married at times require the effort to listen to one another? People who have friends, when you communicate do you know what one another are doing?
Let’s have a bit of a look at a passage of scripture that might give us a bit of a pointer at a time in history when relationships got muddled: Genesis 1:1-9,
At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. 2 As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.
3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”
5 But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. 6 “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! 7 Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”
8 In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.
The interesting thing with this passage is that we can look at it and say to ourselves as I did when I first read it, what was wrong with these people having a bit of ambition, about wanting a bit of fame? The answer is that this was their whole drive for doing what they did. At the Fall of Man, Adam and Eve had already distanced themselves from God, later Adam and Eve’s boy Cain had killed their boy Abel, They were moved with pride and ambition, preferring their own glory to God’s honour, to a relationship with God. They had come to a place of self-seeking; they no longer worshipped or honoured God.
Oversight of a situation is a remarkable thing; we get to look back in retrospect. Between Adam and Noah and the biblical account of the great flood there had been ten generations, it is thought 1100 years, the children’s line said things slowly went bad, it appears however that things quickly went bad. After the flood the pattern of behaviour that led to the flood appears to be becoming an issue for mankind again, that self-seeking sin indulgent culture was ripe again. With Noah’s great grandson Nimrod who it appears was responsible for the building of the Tower of Babel on his land behaving as he was, maybe that’s why being called a Nimrod is not a good thing. . Actually it appears with all of the people behaving out of pride and ambition…these people preferred their own glory to the glory of God. So we see that within four generations of the flood, mankind, our lot were up to their old tricks, putting themselves first and putting God on the back burner, dreadful people eh!
So the Lord came down to see the city. He had a discussion over the matter and decided to confuse their language. Notice the plurality of the discussion in verse seven, “Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” We have a doctrine that says; We believe that there are three persons in the God head the Father, Son and Holy Spirit undivided in essence and coequal in power and glory. So the people were scattered all over the earth and their language was confused, from there the Lord scattered them all over the earth.