For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord.Zephaniah 3:9
In Genesis 11, “the whole earth had one language and the same words” (v.1), and they plotted together to “make a name for” themselves (v.4). God disrupted this man-exalting scheme by confusing “the language of all the earth” (v.9) and dispersing them. This is the context in which the Old Covenant church operated. The earth, under the rule of the deceiver of nations, was dark and ungodly. There was a small garden in the midst of it called Canaan, where God’s people manifested the kingdom of God by keeping His law and believing His promises.
In the New Covenant, the church is not less victorious, but more (2 Corinthians 3:6). The second Adam picks-up the first Adam’s failed work of filling the earth (Matthew 28:18-20). The church will grow and conquer, by the mercies of God, until the world is “filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). As we fill the earth, we pray for success: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
In Zephaniah 3:9, we are promised that the eternal New Covenant will undo the curse of Babel. God at one time cursed our tongues, but he will bring “pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him.” How fitting it is that the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues upon the apostles (Acts 2:3) and afterward began the work of unscrambling Babel: “…they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?'” (v.6-8).
God was never displeased with the world being one and united. His wrath was kindled at Babel because it was a unity of sin, for the glory and purposes of man alone. God has always intended to bring the world into the tents of Shem (Genesis 9:26-27) and the family of Abraham (12:3). However, He will do it for His name’s sake, not man’s. He shall have us all “call upon the name of the LORD” (Zephaniah 3:9), not upon our own (Genesis 11:4).
I guess this is where I show my hand. Postmillennialism is my cup of tea. James White beat me to it last Sunday night, but coming late to the party is better than not coming at all.