6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Previously God showcased His power in a very bombastic way by sending a flood to cover the earth. In this story, however, He reveals His ability to cause a shift through far more subtle means. It might not occur to us that simply confounding the language of a people would undermine their ability to finish a tower, but evidently that was exactly what happened. The people lost the ability to communicate, they gave up their project, and they scattered into their various clans.

God is all-powerful, but He is also all-knowing. He can impact the entire populace with a single, cataclysmic blow, but He can also touch each soul in an individual, precise way. And the methods that He uses may seem strange to us, but they are perfectly effective even so.

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