Genesis 11:1-9 – The Old Testament lesson is the story of the tower of Babel and the confusion of language. Too many languages were confusing and construction of the great tower was stopped. There was a loss of unity from a lack of the Holy Spirit. The people desired to build for themselves a tower, and altar unto themselves. There was a centrifugal power of an evil spirit at Babel – it scatters.
Under the theme for the week; “Unity through the Holy Spirit” the Old Testament lesson teaches completely the opposite; a loss of unity from a lack of the Holy Spirit’s direction. The opening verse refers certainly to one actual language with the same vocabulary as well as to the broader idea of common thought or speech. Clearly the people are thinking alike, planning and working together as they conceive of their building project designed to reach high to God in heaven.
From our perspective the folly seems overwhelmingly evident, but the impossibility of their task underscores the depths to which humanity has fallen. In fact, any notion always has to stem from God who comes to us. Although the building may seem sustainable, significant movement occurs only when God comes to work through the Law, having decided to make sure that the people’s attempt would fail. God confuses more than physical communication. He sets people off on different paths intellectually so that they could never try something like that again.
Despite the text’s obvious warning and lesson, people still try to build towers. Today’s attempts to rally humanity man sound noble, but when designed by people according to their own notions, they can have only sinful roots. No matter how attractively they are packaged, they can only be further self-centered attempts to “reach heaven,” however they define that goal.
The story of the tower of Babel is the story of humanity trying to play God. There would be nothing at which humanity would stop, once they had achieved the building of their famous tower. God took care of them rather quickly, but confusing their language so that they could no longer understand one another. This is an interesting ancient story about the difference of nationality and language that we accept a common place across the earth.Collect for Pentecost – O God, on this day You once taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending them the light of Your Holy Spirit. Grant us in our day by the same Spirit to have a right understanding in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy consolation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. -01 June, 2022
 Holy Spirit Dove, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
 Collect for Pentecost, Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. St. Louis