Acts 2:1-12 “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues THE MIGHTY WORKS OF GOD.’”

Isn’t it interesting how God confused the language of man at Babel? The occasion was a mighty human work of building a tower up into heaven. To even think you could do something like this makes one wonder, but the fact that their work was all about them and not anything about God is evident with their words: “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4).

God’s response to their pride and sinful heart bent on going their own way was to confuse their language and restrain their ability to work together. They then divided themselves into nations according to their new languages. Ever since then, the inner conflict of the human heart has been evident not only in interpersonal conflicts among individuals, but also in the conflicts that constantly arise between nations, among nationalities, across cultures, etc. It’s all a reflection of man doing his own thing without God, viewing our ways as best – and definitely better than others and their ways.

In light of this, isn’t it interesting that when the Holy Spirit came to fill believers in Acts 2 the most evident impact was on the believers’ tongues? The fact that these Jerusalem Jews were now speaking in the tongues of every other nation that was represented at the Feast of Pentecost amazed everyone. Unfortunately, nowadays the gift of tongues has been a source of continued conflict between believers – theological arguments about the gift have ensued for hundreds of years. However, what one doesn’t hear much about is what the believers at Pentecost were actually saying with their tongues. They were talking to everyone about the “wonderful works of God.”

For a moment, God removed the barrier of languages between people by filling them with his Spirit so that all they talked about was Him and His great works, and not themselves and their own works as they did at Babel. That’s always the most evident change that God brings on people when he changes their hearts, no matter what language they speak – for “from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). 

So what’s your message today, with the language(s) you are privileged to speak? May it all be about Him, as all of life is about Him.

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