I remember attending a candlelight worship service as a child. Everyone was given a candle as they entered the sanctuary. As the service began, the lights were dimmed and the pastor stood at the front of the congregation holding a lighted candle. After reading a Scripture about Jesus being the light of the world, He walked to the first row and used his candle to light someone else’s candle. Then, he asked that person to light his neighbor’s candle. One by one, the entire congregation spread the light through the sanctuary as each candle was lit person by person, row by row.
God’s mission is to spread His glory to all nations. According to that plan, God made mankind in His own image and commanded mankind to multiply and fill the earth. I imagine this happening just like the candlelight service I attended. All throughout history, as individuals receive the light of Christ and share the light with others, God’s glory spreads.
Of course, in order for the light of God’s glory to reach every corner of the world, people must take the gospel away from their home to unreached areas.
Think about the enormity of God’s command to multiply and fill the earth when it was first spoken to Adam and Eve. They didn’t have television or the internet to spread the gospel around the world. No, world-wide glorification of God would require that generation after generation of their family move away –out from home in order to spread around the world.
That’s where the account of the tower of Babel comes in. The people of Babel had all settled together and agreed to build a city and a tower. The tower would serve to make them famous and keep them together in one place. The only problem is that God alone deserves glory and He had created mankind to spread His glory all over the world. See the problem?
At that time in early human history, all mankind spoke one common language. So, in order to force the people of Babel to abandon their plans for fame and perpetuity, God confused their language so they could no longer communicate and work together.
Here we see how the effects of sin always tempt us toward rebellion against God. Yet, man’s rebellion did not change God’s mission or the purpose for which God created man.