Q&A: God is not a God of confusion vs. The Tower of Babel?

God is not a God of confusion vs. The Tower of Babel?

Question

Paul states that God IS NOT the God of confusion. How come then God caused confusion at the Tower of Babel?

Answer

The answer to this question deals with the idea of context. What is the context of Paul's statement and therefore its truth; and what is the context of the Tower of Babel and therefore its truth.

Paul states, "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints" (1 Cor. 14:33). Briefly, I note that Paul is discussing some of the spiritual gifts in the Corinthian Church. In addition, Paul states that God is not the God of disorder in the "congregations of the saints." So, God desires peace and order in the Church. If there is confusion in the Church, it is not of the 'normal' workings and desire of God.

In Genesis 11, God is not dealing with the "congregation of the saints." Moreover, God is not dealing with "spiritual gifts," but rather an attempt to disobey His command to fill the earth (Gen. 9:1). Instead of obeying the covenant command to fill the earth, the babblers, outwardly defied God saying, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth" (Gen. 11:4). So, "the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth" (Gen. 11:8-9). So, this judgment from God was to reveal righteousness, punish sin, and as a secondary cause to assist his creation to fulfill his command to fill the earth.

Thus, there is no contradiction. Each set of verses has a different context.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).