Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lessons from confusion

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Genesis 11:1-9

TO CHEW ON: "'Come, let us go down and confuse their language that they may not understand one another's speech.' So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city." Genesis 11:7,8

This story of Babel and the confusion of languages is only the first time in the Bible God uses confusion to achieve His purposes. Join me on a short trip through scripture to track some of the other times confusion is mentioned (I used an NASB concordance so the actual words 'confuse, confused, and confusion occur in that translation, but maybe not in others).

God often used confusion to defeat Israel's enemies
  • The Egyptians became confused by the rising Red Sea when they followed the Israelites into the desert to take them back into slavery - Exodus 14:24.
  • God promised to bring confusion on the people of Canaan and thus make them an easy prey for the Israelites when they were to conquer -  Exodus 23:27;  Deuteronomy 7:23.
  • The presence of the Ark of the Covenant often brought confusion among enemy ranks especially the Philistines - 1 Samuel 5:9,11; 14:20.
  • David prays for this type of confusion on his enemies - Psalm 55:9; 144:6.

However, God also warned the Israelites that if they forsook His laws and disobeyed, they too would be vulnerable to confusion:  "… the Lord will send upon you curses and confusion, and rebuke in all you undertake to do until you are destroyed." - Deuteronomy 28:20, also, Isaiah 22:5; 59:4.

Confusion sometimes comes as a result of bad leaders - Isaiah 3:12; 9:16, Esther 3:15.

Being under the influence of wine can cause confusion - Isaiah 28:7.

In the New Testament Paul's aggressive evangelism sometimes resulted in the confusion of his offended listeners—even riots. But in almost every case he turned the riot into an opportunity to preach - Acts 16:20; 19:29,32; 21:31, 22:1-22.

Finally, Paul reminds us that God is not the God of confusion, but the God of peace - 1 Corinthians 14:33

How can we apply this study of confusion to our lives? I can think of three ways:

1. We need to avoid things that will cause us to become confused like living in sin and disobedience, and being mastered by substances, e.g. wine, drugs etc. God's peace in our hearts can be an umpire and guard - Philippians 4:7. 

2. We should pray for clear-sightedness for our rulers as they often determine the tone of the city, region and country under them.

3. God's presence (e.g. the Ark in the Old Testament, Paul's witness in the New) brought about confusion in enemy ranks—something God used and can use  to prove He is real, and  to defeat Satan. We can ask for wisdom about how to use such confusion to spread the gospel message of peace.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for being a God of peace and order. Help me to be alert to confusion in my life as a symptom that things aren't right. May I be open to Your insights as to how to make them right. Amen.


The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.
Bible Drive-Thru

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...