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530 Resolving Differences: A Help! Apr 21, 2024



KEY SCRIPTURES: Genesis Chapter 5


RELEVANCE

A few days ago, due to alleged differences of opinion, a person stabbed a priest in Sydney. A riot followed. 


What fuel lights a blaze of justification that can burn so fiercely as to drive one human to do that to another? 


Every country now has a mixture of cultures and colours, but how different are we really?   


In the beginning, Adam and Eve had children. From that conception, the world was populated. 

A slight interruption in world growth appeared at Noah's Flood, when, due to sin, God reduced it to eight people.


Then came a new beginning, and the population grew a second time. As before, everyone spoke the same language. Genesis 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.


Due to sin again and to deceive the people, a few elites tried to rule the world and built the Tower of Babel. Their intention? let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.


What that really means is that "wherever people are, we few can control them from here."

As we see in V6, God understood their objective. 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.


Whatever they were conspiring, God denied their satisfaction by confusing the languages and scattering the people. 


V9 identifies how Babel got its name. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.


This occurred about 4,200 years ago, and God divided the people by dialect and country. Humanity immediately went from one language to many. It has been nearly 6,000 years since Adam and Eve had their first child. 


What other differences occurred in that change? When you combine distance with individual languages so diverse that one cannot understand the other, you end up with many versions of culture and religion. 


Some interesting dynamics also changed. Although each group was identical in that they were flesh-and-blood human beings with thoughts and emotions, the new cultures and religions affected their tolerances—their loves, hates, likes, and dislikes, which god they worshipped and how they did things. This mixture created many more dissimilarities. Boundaries came next, and then wars. These groups established enemies where they didn't need to be.


Hence, we endure all the fighting today between countries and regions. We also encounter multitudes of culture wars within the same countries and peoples. Instead of challenging God for superiority, as in the Tower of Babel, we challenge each other for dominance over people and places. 


However, we must remember that we all came from the same mother and father, Adam and Eve. God has a beautiful plan, the same plan, for every nation and person.


Revelations 7:9 shows us that despite the dissimilarities, debates, wars, disputes and clashes, many people from every group, regardless of country and dialect, will come to Jesus Christ in blessed unity. After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;


This final glorious chapter in humankind's distorted history could not be better. To God, everyone is precious, and His call is for all to come, repent, and enjoy His presence, regardless of culture change or even sex change.


God would like us to recognise that most of our polarities come from what we have been taught within our cultures and religions. Even our character and personalities mold to the shape of our instructions. 


The one who divided us also gave us one leader in Jesus Christ. When we submit and give our lives to Him, our differences disappear. While the uniqueness of our DNA separates us, the religious and cultural wars should cease under the unity of the Spirit. With this thought in mind, we should find it easier to fulfil Romans 12:8 and get on with others. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.


Every human being on earth experiences anxieties and fears, hopes and dreams, and feelings of loss and regret, so when we overlook religion and culture we have few differences after all. This idea should break down barriers in conversation and neighbourly conduct. Getting on with people shouldn't be that difficult, and we can lead the way.  


PRAYER

Dear Lord, please help me transcend religious and cultural differences in my mind and love my neighbour as myself. It helps to recall that we all came from the same parents. And in the end, we're not so diverse. Please help me show love to all without preference.  

Photo by Hasan Almasi 

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