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Babel Revisited

At the United Nations, tongues are still confused

By Ken Raggio

Tower of BabelFor three days, September 13-15, 2005, one hundred fifty-three presidents, prime ministers, princes and other heads of state from around the world stood, one after the other, in the podium of the United Nations General Assembly hall and made non-stop speeches pleading for world peace. It was the largest gathering of its kind in the history of the world. 

Did world peace come of it? Certainly not. Will world peace eventually come from continued efforts of this kind? Certainly not.

There is a reason why world peace and safety is elusive, and most Christians know it. Peace on earth can only come from the Lord God who created it. We should crave His blessing.

In ancient times, Moses instructed Aaron the High Priest to teach all the priests of Israel to bless the people with the following blessing: 

“The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace,” (Numbers 6:23).

God gives peace to those who honor and obey Him. The history of the nation of Israel demonstrates that. On the other hand, sin always separates mankind from its Creator, and peace flies away.

World peace will only come when society acknowledges the true and living God - and NEVER before.

Mankind has longed for peace and safety since the beginning of time. Cities and walls and armies have been formed since ancient times to defend communities and cultures.


God claims absolute supremacy and sovereignty over all the multitudes of men. 

“The earth is the LORD's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1). 

When He first created Adam and Eve, “God blessed them” (Genesis 1:28). As our creator and father, God promised to take care of us as long as we acknowledge and obey Him. 

God has never surrendered His sovereignty over the human race, and takes great offense when men turn their backs on Him. 

Throughout history, God has acted in defense of His sovereignty. He has not taken kindly to those who would attempt to rule the earth outside His sovereign dominion.

The earliest example of God’s displeasure with human government was at the Tower of Babel. Not long after Noah descended from the Ark, one of his descendants, Nimrod, proceeded to build a city. 

“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4).

The will of the people was contrary to God’s will. God’s will was to replenish the earth. Their will was to concentrate in a city, and not scatter.

God’s will was to make a name for Himself among the people. 

“And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people?” (2 Samuel 7:23). 

At Babel, they wanted to make a name for themselves.


Here is a basic premise of God’s intention for the human race. He created male and female humans and said to them, 

“be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). 

After the great flood, God repeated the same command to Noah and his family. 

“Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1). 

When God called Abraham, he promised, 

“I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee” (Genesis 17:6).

Curiously, God made similar promises to both Ishmael (Abraham’s illegitimate son) and Isaac, his proper son of Sarah.

Ishmael would “multiply” and “become a great nation” (Genesis 17:20). But God's blessing to Abraham would pass to Israel, not Ishmael. 

"And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called," (Genesis 21:12).

Isaac was the chosen seed that God would make nations of. Two nations would come from Isaac’s seed: the secular nation of Israel and the spiritual nation of Jesus Christ.

Isaac pronounced the divine blessing on Jacob (Israel). 

“And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; and give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham” (Genesis 28:3-4).

Jacob pronounced the same blessing on Joseph in Genesis 48:4. Accordingly, 

“the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied” (Exodus 1:7).

God had a reason: fill the earth. God planned for the earth to be filled with humankind under His sovereign rule.

As long as world government denies the existence of the God of the Bible, and furthermore denies the existence of His chosen, blessed people, Israel and Christianity, there will NEVER be peace in the world.

The ruins of the ancient tower of Babel can still be seen today in Babylon, Iraq. Nimrod began to build it. It was NEVER completed, and never will be.

General AssemblyI sat in the UN General Assembly session during the 2005 World Summit and as I listened to speech after speech on my headphone, I could not help but think that sitting in a plenary session is somewhat like revisiting Babel. They don't even turn the microphones up in the auditorium because everyone has to listen to translators on headphones. Their tongues are still confused.

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Ken Raggio

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