For with one word, oh what great a tower we build!
Genesis 1: 1- 7
v.1. Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4. And they said, “Come let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” 5. But the lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6. And the Lord said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
In as much as the opening scripture is self-explanatory, I want us to kindly take note of a key point.
A very long time ago, an activity of man invited the presence of God. That activity was unity (oneness). These men, had one language, one speech, one goal, one vision, one motive, and set their hearts to do one thing - building a tower whose top reached the heavens.
Obviously, they would have built the tower that touched the heavens, if God had not interrupted them. God knew and admitted that nothing could stop these people as long as they stayed united.
v.6. And the Lord said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now NOTHING they propose to do will be WITHHELD from them.’
In other words, God was saying, if I don’t stop them, these people will remain unstoppable. If I don’t move them they will remain immovable. For the very first time, deity had to interrupt the purpose of mortality.
When men unite…
The power of unity cannot be underestimated. It is a force that is very strong and mighty. God knows what unity is. In fact, He is unity and the totality of it. There is every need therefore, for believers to be united.
God in himself is united. The father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all in one. Before man was formed, there was an act of unity.
Then God said, “let US make man in OUR image according to OUR likeness…
Man was made in the likeness of God. We, like God, are also three in one; body, soul and spirit. We are united beings.
God teaches us the strength and importance of unity through nature. The birds of the air move together. We call them a flock of birds. Ants are normally seen moving in a train and they collectively, build their anthills and store up food. Lions do not hunt alone. You will always see the pack moving together to trap their target. Animals know the value of this virtue- unity.
You see, we all know the essence of unity and why it is needed in nation building and in the body of Christ. Yet, this virtue is sometimes very hard to practice. The typical man wants to know who is right, who is wrong, who will make the rules and who will submit to it. We prefer to drag issues and always seek to prove a point in a matter, just to glorify our ego and sense of importance. Our diversities and self, come in the way of unity.
Unity is only good however, if it is aligned with God’s purposes. God will never bless unity of ungodly purpose.
Contrast Genesis 1:28 to the passage above in Genesis 1:1-7. One is an example of God endorsed unity and the other is example of ungodly unity.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” God wanted man to increase and fill the earth.
This is in sharp contrast to the motive of the builders of the tower of babel who declared “let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Their purpose in uniting was in direct contradiction to God’s will for man to fill the earth.
Godly unity is a virtue and a nature of God and we need to exhibit it every day. As children of God, we need to achieve perfect unity with God, and with men.
Now let us consider the two.
1. Unity with God
This unity implies total oneness and submission to God’s will and ways. It is having a pure relationship with God through Christ Jesus. The bible teaches us the need to remain engrafted in Christ if we are to be fruitful disciples. We need to be united with God if we want to impact our generations. It is only through unity that we will be able to hear from the father and follow him in obedience.
John 15: 4-5
v.4. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruits of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5. I am the vine you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruits; for without Me you can do nothing.
Unity with God in Christ Jesus means developing a close relationship in which communication is a key. It involves praying, studying the word of God and having a constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
2. Unity with men
God desires that we live in Godly unity with each other -an atmosphere where there is peace and understanding. Godly unity with men is overlooking our individual differences and living harmoniously, relating with each other as with brothers and sisters.
Behold how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
In our relationship with people, we need to exhibit the virtue of unity. We need to make a conscious effort to choose people over issues and do away with ego and self-centeredness.
To foster unity, we should eliminate all kinds of backbiting, gossip, malice, jealousy and bearing false witness. These acts are seeds of discord that hamper the growth of unity among a people. At home, in school, in our communities etc., we need to respect each other’s choices and learn to stay united even if we do not totally agree about everything. Remember this. A kingdom divided among itself will not stand. The moment we begin to speak the language of disunity, a portal opens. We invite and partner with the enemy to destroy what God, through us, is building.
Therefore, in our homes, schools, workplaces, communities and relationships (marriage, friendship, family etc.), let us seek to stay united by putting God first, people second and our emotions last on the list. In situations where we encounter very difficult people, we need to ask God for grace and wisdom in dealing with them.
No man is an island. We need each other to survive. Let us allow love to lead and unite us always- It’s part of the God nature.