Confused Lip


James Jordan points out that when the Lord confused the languages of the Babel builders, the Hebrew term is ‘lip’, and it carries the connotation of scattering their religious profession.

“The origin of many tongues and nations comes at the Tower of Babel. We read in Genesis 11:1 that the whole earth was of one lip and had one set of words. It is important to understand that “lip” does not refer to language, but to religious belief, as a concordance study of this term will reveal. (See Zephaniah 3:9; Psalm 81:4-5; Isaiah 6:5-7; etc. See James B. Jordan, The Bible and the Nations (1988), p. 9, available from Biblical Horizons.)

The people built a city and a tower; the city a cultural unit gathered by their one language, and the tower a religious artifact built in terms of their one belief-system. In Genesis 11:6-9 we read that God attacked their tower and scattered the people in terms of their “lip”, their religious beliefs.

The foundational scattering was not in terms of language and culture, but in terms of religion. Instead of one idolatrous system in the world, there came to be many. To be sure, from an objective perspective all of these idolatries are pretty much the same, but the nations do not think so. There is hardly a dime’s worth of difference between Molech and Chemosh, but the Moabites and Ammonites did not think they were the same at all. There is hardly a dime’s worth of difference between Leninism and Maoism, but the Russians and Chinese did not think so. Until the nations turn to the true faith, God keeps them at war with one another in terms of their idolatries, and thus keeps them weak.

Language, however, was also diversified. The original tongue (almost certainly Hebrew, or proto-Hebrew) was scattered into thousands. This also helped keep the nations divided and relatively powerless.”1

Firstly, there is the obvious application to what we have just covered concerning the ‘scattering’ of Herod and Rome’s Babel in AD67-70, and the consequent inability of Satan to gather the nations against the church. The only united lip is currently Christianity, which draws men from all nations, tribes, tongues and peoples.

Secondly, any time man builds his own tower to heaven, whether it be the corrupted worship of the Roman church, the pride of communism or the pragmatism of ‘infallible’ human reason, God turns up and disassembles the house of cards overnight.

“Whenever Jesus walks in the room, the old ideas stop working. Suddenly, nothing makes sense any more, and whatever it is that He does creates confusion. It is rather an update on the medicine man’s powers no longer working after the Gospel begins to be preached. All of Jesus’ miracles in the Gospels create disruption and trouble. It is no different now. The Tower of Babel stops working whenever God shows up. All the smart people get confused. It is only after they are stricken with blindness that there is a new search for sight, and that is what one hopes for.”2

Just as, according to Plutarch, the pagan oracles stopped talking after the coming of Christ, whenever the Word of God comes, the old “lip” is confused. The current financial crisis is a judgment of God upon the moral failure of western culture. The house of cards has come down. The Greed-god’s gordian knot has been cut in one stroke.

We were privileged to have John Anderson, Australia’s deputy prime minister during the Howard government, speak at this year’s Christian Men’s Convention in Katoomba. He was pessimistic about the immediate economic future, but maintained that it was an opportunity for the church. The confidence of moderns has been battered in every major arena that begins with ‘global.’ The state we have deified is being exposed and shamed as a false god by plagues from heaven.

“You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the LORD of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.” Haggai 1:9

CNN reported that with the closure of a major DHL hub in Wilmington, Ohio, an enormous percentage of the town and surrounds is now unemployed.

Larry Jones, founder and president of Feed the Children, urged communities to reach out to one another.

“If we are going to solve the problem, it’s not going to be the government; it’s going to be churches and charities and colleges, literally everyone working together,” Jones said. “We are not the total answer, but we are part of the answer, and hopefully when people see us doing what we are doing, they will join in to help.”3

The God we serve always judges with one eye on the future. He shakes the world so that only that which is eternal will remain. It is a severe mercy, but mercy nonetheless. It is the Church as the body of Christ who mediates between heaven and earth and gathers the riches of the nations. She is the only ‘global’ that the ascended, ruling Christ will tolerate until Satan is released for a short season.

So this current crisis is a visitation of Jesus for the sake of the church and Her continued ministry.


1 James B. Jordan, Concerning the Nations, OPEN BOOK, No. 29, (Emphasis added)
2 Rich Bledsoe, Jesus and Confusion, (Emphasis added)

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