From Eternity Past


God's Purpose in Changing Their Language

Up to this time, all men had spoken the same language. Now those that could understand one another's speech united in companies. Some went one way and some another. “The Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth.” This dispersion was the means of peopling the earth; and thus the Lord's purpose was accomplished through the very means that men had employed to prevent its fulfillment. EP 71.2

But at what a loss! It was God's purpose that as men should go forth to different parts of the earth, they should carry with them the light of truth. Noah, the faithful preacher of righteousness, lived for three hundred and fifty years after the Flood, Shem for five hundred years; thus their descendants had opportunity to become acquainted with the requirements of God and the history of His dealings with their fathers. But they had no desire to retain God in their knowledge; and by the confusion of tongues they were in a great measure shut out from intercourse with those who might have given them light. EP 71.3

Satan was seeking to bring contempt upon the sacrificial offerings that prefigured the death of Christ. As the minds of the people were darkened by idolatry, he led them to counterfeit these offerings and sacrifice their own children upon the altars of their gods. As men turned away from God, the divine attributes—justice, purity, and love—were supplanted by oppression, violence, and brutality. EP 72.1

The men of Babel had determined to establish a government independent of God. Some among them, however, feared the Lord. For the sake of these faithful ones, the Lord delayed His judgments and gave the people time to reveal their true character. The sons of God labored to turn them from their purpose, but the people were fully united in their Heaven-daring undertaking. Had they gone on unchecked they would have demoralized the world in its infancy. Had this confederacy been permitted, a mighty power would have borne sway to banish righteousness—and with it peace, happiness, and security—from the earth. EP 72.2

Those that feared the Lord cried unto Him to interpose. “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.” In mercy to the world He defeated the purpose of the tower-builders. In mercy He confounded their speech, putting a check on their rebellion. God bears long with the perversity of men, giving opportunity for repentance. From time to time the unseen hand is stretched out to restrain iniquity. Unmistakable evidence is given that the Creator of the universe is the Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. None can with impunity defy His power! EP 72.3

There are tower builders in our time. Infidels presume to pass sentence upon God's moral government. They despise His law and boast of the sufficiency of human reason. Then, “because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Ecclesiastes 8:11. EP 72.4