Whoever redacted the Old Testament was brilliant.
The Tower of Babel story depicted in Genesis is ancient. And yet, in spite of its age, it is impossible to avoid the great truths it seeks to tell.
Mankind was building the tower to reach to heaven, and God said that we, if we completed the tower, would be like himself – able to do anything we wish. To delay that eventuality, God confused our language so that we could no longer communicate and cooperate.
People in the distant past, apparently, saw and understood that the cancer preventing our progress was exactly this breakdown in communication. We cease to cooperate and progress with people who speak differently than we do; but not just that, we can do anything – anything! – if we all understand one another. What a marvelous insight.
First, and obviously, we cannot see eye-to-eye if we speak different languages. I don’t have to prove that this barrier is indeed broken. Today – and, in terms of the Earth’s history, this has only been true for a blink of time – anything that is known is known the world over the very same day.
If something of immense importance quietly happens on one side of the world, the other side of the world, along with the rest of the world entire, will know about it within the day. This barrier is broken.
I could go on and on and on about how we are now all speaking a common language and are, in fact, embodying the myth of Babel.
Of course, technology is what made and is making this evolutionary transition possible. Only the bleeding edge of today’s high-stakes intent could ever bring the ancient prophesies to pass. And why? There is, after all, nothing new under the sun. People behave as they behave, then and now both.
The redactor, somehow, also understood that transparency would become the norm.
After Adam and Eve fell in the garden, what was their first instinct? To hide. The story of Eden is marked by how they were naked and unashamed before their sin and the opposite following. The transparency – the exposure, which had been the norm – felt uncomfortable in the presence of their sin.
Everybody does this. Everybody has sinned … and attempted to hide. The only variable in that human equation – which Eden directly addresses – is the extent to which the sin and aftermath are exposed.
One thing I have been noticing in the past decade – and especially recently, given what we now know about Russia’s meddling – is that there are fewer and fewer places for people to hide. Almost as if the wide world were becoming more and more … naked.
God has ordained that the unashamed will rise up. Indeed, nothing can stop it. Nor can any of us avoid the naked, transparent world we now surely inhabit. Fig leaves are vain; I recommend doing good.
The Old Testament is a profoundly helpful human document. Brilliant and full of light. Time will tell it.