Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Genesis 11:5-6 -- On Good and Bad Unity

"And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do."
Genesis 11:5-6

These verses are talking about the Tower of Babel story.  It was interesting to me today because one of the things that we are counseled about in the scriptures is to learn to be more unified... to become one.  Unfortunately in this case humanity was uniting to do evil.  It's fascinating to think of cultural diversity as essentially the result of breaking up a gang. :)  Only God could come up with something so interesting and valuable as both a punishment and an eventual great blessing in so many ways.

We know from Jaredite records that not everyone was evil (which makes it a lot better than the Noah story), and that God allowed some people at this time to choose who they wanted with them when they were scattered, so I wonder how many of the people had a similar experience, and if it was a very slow scattering (the Jaredites were instructed on how to build barges to travel rather than being teleported or something), and if the culture and language differences happened naturally after the groups were divided.

Jacob 5 represents the world as gardening, planting trees in different areas, and grafting branches onto other trees in different areas to try to preserve the good fruit.  I think that allegory along with verses like this help us to picture the incredible patience and gigantic work of God in parenting and leading and teaching all of us--giving us all every chance possible, and doing everything he can to help us without taking away our choice.

Today, let's work to be unified in good rather than in evil, so the Lord won't have to restrain us or scatter us. :)  Let's make sure that unity with God is our priority, and then our unity with others will help us all towards good rather than evil.

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