Genesis 11:9 (KJV) 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.
Isaiah 6:5 (KJV) Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell amid a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
It is interesting to discover that the origin of the world’s different cultures was the result of sin. We have multiple cultures and languages in the world today as a result of humanity’s rebellion against God (Gen. 11:9). Therefore, by “confounding the language”, God is pronouncing judgment upon humanity. As we will see, this rebellion has later increased when we understand what the prophet Isaiah meant when he said that he was “a man of unclean lips, and dwell amid a people of unclean lips…” (Isa. 6:5-7).
During the earlier part of their history, the people of Israel had been engaged in idolatry because of their associations with the surrounding nations. They became influenced by the surrounding nations because they failed to completely drive out the heathen nations upon entry into the promised land (Judg. 1:19, 21, 27, 29-36). As a result, they were later driven from the promised land by the Assyrians (Israel) and the Babylonians (Judah).
With their unclean lips, they believed they were ‘honoring’ God (Ref. to Isa. 29:13). In addition to this, they believed they were able to hide their idolatrous activity so God would be unable to see their actions (Ref. to Isa. 29:15). Their lips betrayed them about their external ceremonies and actions towards God.
In the New Testament, on the Day of Pentecost, the various people heard the proclamation of the Gospel in various languages because it was God’s method for ensuring that all who were present could understand what was accomplished on behalf of the world through Calvary (Acts 2:1-13). If God only allowed the disciples to speak using their native language, then, only those from the local community would have benefited from Peter’s message. But, to ensure that His purpose and will would be fulfilled and to ensure all people had an opportunity to hear the good news, the Holy Spirit spoke through each disciple while using the unclean lips (or languages) to communicate the Gospel.
Currently, we are still allowed to ‘worship’ God using our unclean languages only because of our acceptance based on the work of Christ. When the Time of the Gentiles ends and the Day of the Lord begins, God will begin to rain judgment upon those who have not turned to Him through Christ. At the consummation of the ages, all who have turned to God will begin to worship God in a pure language and with one voice, which is in spirit and truth, because true worship of the One True God will have been restored (Zep. 3:9; Jn. 4:19-24).
Until then, we must remember to be careful about how we communicate. Neither our communication nor our conversations should mirror that of the world (1 Cor. 15:33-34; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1). We must remember that with the same lips we engage in conversation with others, we must also engage in a worship encounter with God.