So theLord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there theLord confused the language of the whole world. From there theLordscatteredthem over the face of the whole earth. Genesis 11:8-9
We are in Florida where apparently the news of a global pandemic has not been communicated. More likely, it seems, we are surrounded by people who are convinced that the danger of Covid19 and the precautions to minimize its spread are political and not actual. This is extremely frustrating to me because I do not want to pick it up and pass it along to my parents or my in-laws. We have passed laws about drunk driving and smoking in public spaces, as examples, because even though the individual might have the right to do those things and potentially cause harm to themselves, we as a society have decided they do not have the right to endanger the lives of others. That seems motivated by human decency, consideration of others above yourself, and in line with the call for Christians to lay down their own lives for the lives of others. Why is our response to a global pandemic any different? Why is our response to whole categories of people saying they haven't felt safe for generations in our country any different?
It seems the difference is Babel. Even Christians are no longer speaking the same language around experienced reality. We each see and hear and experience the world in such vastly different ways that we can't even begin to understand one another. Instead of seeking to understand, to learn the other person's language, to move toward those we are called to love, we decide we hate them, they are the enemy, and they need to be dominated and eliminated. We have become teams in competition with one another, but for what prize?
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:10-12
Our primary and root struggle is not against MAGA or BLM, not against DeVos or Fauci, not against the police or the protestors. As believers, our struggle is against the slippery one who entered the creation to kill and destroy, to divide and steal, to blind and paralyze. He is not more powerful than God and has been conquered by the law-completing work of Jesus and His death and resurrection. But that slimy enemy is still worming his way into hearts and minds to bruise and cripple the hope, joy, power, and freedom of the Gospel. He can't penetrate the armor, but he can wound and knock our breath out.
It will not be through a unified building of a wall or a tower to heaven that we will find peace and satisfaction and completion. It is in Christ alone, under His banner and not that of a president or new and far more appealing and eloquent leader, that our stability and wellness exist without limit. And it is from that place of safety in His presence that we are compelled to move outside of our own interests and comfort zones to care sacrificially for the interests of others. Through the Babel in Genesis and the babel of our social media and conflicting news sources, God is making it clear that it is impossible for man to achieve His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. But what is impossible with man is possible with God.