From Genesis to Revelation

Day 5: Foreign Language Requirement

Duncan Parlett

Each day of this devotional series, we will consider key moments in God’s glorious plan to redeem us. We will understand both the overarching story of God and the highlights of all He’s done for us in Christ.

“God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth.’” – Genesis 1:28, New International Version

Comfort Zone

Some people love to learn languages, but for most of us it’s an effort. We are content in our native language and culture. However, if we want to be a blessing to others, we need to get beyond our comfort zone.

Even before the Fall, God wanted His people to spread out and be a blessing to every part of the world He created (see Genesis 1:28, above). But selfish human beings of all eras want to stay in their comfort zones.

The Tower of Babel

That’s what was happening in the story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). Many generations after Noah, all the people were united in language and purpose and hanging around what’s essentially modern-day Iraq.

Sadly, they used this opportunity to serve themselves and to not do what God told them. 

“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.” – Genesis 11:4, New International Version

They clearly knew they should fill the earth, as God desired. Instead, they pursued a project to aggrandize themselves and allow themselves to remain in their comfort zone.

In response, God caused them to suddenly speak new languages. Confusion ensued. This halted the work on the tower and forced them to do what they were meant to do.

Go or Be Scattered

God has always loved the whole world. He wants us to love and serve Him by loving and serving others everywhere.

The Tower of Babel reminds me of the early disciples who stayed in Jerusalem. God allowed persecution to scatter them, and the gospel, all over the world. 

God asks us to move beyond the comfort zone of our homes, our churches, our cultures and our normal routines. He encourages us to go to a world that needs service, love and the good news of Christ. And, yes, it might involve learning a new language.

Next: God’s redemption would be accomplished through one man. We will meet him and his family in our next set of lessons.


  • Do you enjoy learning new languages and cultures? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think God has a heart for the whole world?
  • In what ways have you moved, or not moved, out of your comfort zone to love, serve and share with others?

Going Deeper:

A Legacy of Changed Lives

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Day 6: Chosen

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