Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 17 Number 10 October 2015
Page 10

The Power of Unity

George Jensen

George JensenNot long into the history of the human family, wickedness became so pervasive (Genesis 6:5) that God cleansed the earth by the flood. Humanity continued on with only eight people (1 Peter 3:20).

God clearly told Noah’s sons to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1). Unfortunately, men began once again to disregard their Creator’s loving directives. A plan was formulated to build a city and a tower to resist any dispersal into various regions of the earth (Genesis 11:3-4). At this time, “the whole earth was of one language and of one speech” (Genesis 11:1). The Hebrew literally has “one lip” and “one words.” This suggests that pronunciation was common and their set of vocabulary words was also the same for everyone.

Their tower project has been misunderstood due to our English rendering. “Come, let us build…a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven” (Genesis 11:4). They were not trying to literally get it to reach into God’s dwelling place. The Hebrew text does not have the words “may reach.” Building toward heaven simply means they intended a tall structure (cf. Deuteronomy 1:28).

“And Jehovah said, Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do: and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do” (Genesis 11:6). God was not worried about being overpowered, but He did recognize that by their unity, they would be able to accomplish much. However, their plans were contrary to His will.

What do you suppose it took to thwart their aim? Unity is destroyed by communication breakdown. God said: “Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech” (Genesis 11:7). That’s all it took! The people dispersed.

Where good communication exists, great things can be accomplished. Consider applications of this principle. Husbands and wives should avoid the “silent treatment,” for such is devastating to unity. Parents must take time to listen as well as for speaking. Congregations ought to develop, by practice, the skills of clear communication.

Basic Drives

Royce Pendergrass

Royce PendergrassLet’s look at some of the things that function within each individual that makes us “tick.” Psychologists tell us that there are five basic drives in each of us. They list those drives in this order: (1) to live, (2) to be with others, (3) to love and be loved, (4) to excel and (5) to believe in something everlasting.

Certainly the most elemental drive man has is “to live,” to maintain life itself. When one’s life is endangered, he will go to almost any length to be able to keep breathing. Sometimes people will even do or agree to do things that are totally out of range of their normal reasoning just to survive. That’s because life is precious. God created it that way when He “formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). Man became God’s crowning creation. The apostle Paul affirmed that “God gives to all, life, breath and all things” (Acts 17:25). Since God created man by breathing into him the breath of life, it is that precious life that we always want to protect and preserve, because when one’s physical life is gone, it can’t be retrieved.

When God created Adam, the first man, and placed him in the Garden of Eden “to dress and keep it,” He said “it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a help-meet for him” (Genesis 2:18). God placed Adam in the Garden with the big job of caring for it. God realized that Adam needed some help and companionship other than His animal creations; so, He created Eve for Adam. By doing so, God created in Adam the desire to be with his wife, thereby giving man the second of the basic drives of life, “to be with others.”

After God created Adam and Eve, He “blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). Not only had God given Adam a helper and companion, but He gave him someone to love and to return his love. The Scripture further states that “they shall be one flesh” (2:24). By fulfilling God’s intent for their lives, they became as one. Thus, we see the fulfillment of the third drive of life, “to love and be loved.”

Then, come the offspring and the desire “to excel.” As this story in Genesis unwinds, we even see this basic desire develop in Eve as she took the forbidden fruit when Satan told her, “God knows that in the day you eat thereof, your eyes will be opened and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). You’ll be like your Creator and can excel! Eve fell prey to Satan’s temptation and brought sin into the world. In the home, on the playground, in school, in sports, on the job, etc., we always witness the desire humans have to be better at something than someone else. We want to be “the best.” There’s nothing wrong with that, and it is, in fact, quite admirable as long as one does not trample over and humiliate others to accomplish it.

The last of our basic desires is “to believe in something everlasting.” God’s instruction to Adam and Eve was “of the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden, you shall not eat…touch…lest you die” (vs. 3). However, Satan told her, “You will not die…God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened and…you will know good and evil” (vs. 4-5). Eve wanted to be everlasting like God. Therefore, she ate of the forbidden fruit and shared it with Adam. By disobeying God, they died spiritually at that time, and they began to die physically.

Hence, Eve’s desire to be everlasting like God brought sin into the world and caused all men to be separated from God. Just as Adam and Eve sinned, we know that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). As long as Adam and Eve obeyed God, they didn’t have to worry about eternal life, but once they brought sin into the world, it affected not only them but all mankind forever.

Now man’s hope is in Jesus Christ, our Lord, “in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14). What a person believes about something everlasting will be revealed at the Judgment when Christ says, “You which have followed Me…inherit everlasting life” (Matthew 19:28-29). There will be something everlasting for everyone! My prayer is that you will do what is necessary to be able to spend everlasting eternity in heaven.

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