Confusion isn’t fun.
Maybe I’m the only one who sometimes feels confusion in some of the things I see God doing — or, at the least, allowing. When my seminary plans fell through, my confusion was intense.
How could I feel led to a deeper study of God and His Word and be wrong? Yet, years later, I’ve married such a godly man whom I never would have met at seminary.
When I had a miscarriage… again, confusion. How could I go from hearing the doctor tell me I’d never have children to praising God for the miracle when I learned I was pregnant – only to lose the precious blessing weeks later? Yet, I have 2 wonderful adult children I was blessed to deliver after that.
I once had someone tell me that God will never USE confusion. Today’s miracle proves that wrong, and there are 3 things for us to learn from that.
Instructions after the flood
After Noah and family left the ark and gave offerings to God, He COMMANDED Noah and his 3 sons in Gen. 9:1, “Have many children, grow in number AND FILL THE EARTH.” Verse 19 says, “These 3 men (Shem, Ham, and Japheth) were Noah’s sons, and ALL THE PEOPLE ON EARTH CAME FROM THESE 3 SONS.”
Immediately (in vs. 20-21), we see that Noah planted a vineyard. And all 3 boys were still around when the crop came in and had fermented enough for Noah to get drunk from the wine. In other words, they had not spread out at all.
Chapter 11 begins, “At this time the whole world spoke one language, and everyone used the same words.” Makes sense, right? They all came from a single family, so of course they understood each other. As they started their travels to spread out, they moved into Babylonia. Verse 4: “Then they said to each other, ‘Let’s build a city and a tower for ourselves, whose top will reach high into the sky. We will become famous. Then we will not be scattered over all the earth.”
Did you catch those 2 bold statements? They wanted to be famous, and not be scattered! Is that what God commanded?
Disobedience leads to confusion
So, not only are they focused on pride (becoming famous), but their intent was to flat-out disobey what God had commanded them to do. Since they all spoke the same language, the brilliant way to thwart their plan was for God to diversity their languages. If they can’t work together, they won’t get anything done.
Because of their pride and disobedience, their confusion of languages was permanent. And in their permanent confusion, God’s command to spread out finally happened.
The Spirit of Confusion
The 3 brothers split up. Japheth’s people settled in Russia and Europe. Ham’s descendants went to Africa, and Shem became the father of the Hebrews and the Asian people.
Genesis 10 tells us that each son’s clans grew and became different nations, each nation with its own land and its own language. (10:5, 20, & 31) So, diversity. Unlike my situations mentioned above where circumstances led to a temporary confusion, here Noah’s sons were blatantly disobedient, and the confusion was permanent.
Now before you fuss at me for recounting Genesis 11 before Genesis 10, I’ll ask you to read them for yourself. Just like the creation of man is first mentioned in passing in Genesis 1:26. Then, we got more details in Genesis 2:7. It is a style of writing.
What it means for me:
- Confusion from God can be temporary or permanent. I need to keep doing the last thing God told me to do until I get clarity or a new mandate.
- Confusion can originate in my own disobedience. I need to search myself: my heart and my actions, to see if I am at fault.
- Sometimes God confuses OTHERS for my benefit. Deut. 7:23 says of the people in the Promised Land as Israel was about to enter, “But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed.” This showed up in my daily Quiet Time today, and I just had to share.
Thanks for stopping by today. Has God ever confused you? Drop me a note here or on social media and let me know.