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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Foreign Language (12/09/10)

TITLE: Tower of Terror
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom


Read Genesis 11:1-9

Bible Verse: Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praises in the coastlands. Isaiah 42:12(NKJ)

As a self-professed word junkie, I cringe when someone mispronounces a word. I also tend to yell at the television if someone says ďIím doing this for Emily and I.Ē

ďDonít you know itís for Emily and me?Ē I scream at the people on the screen. While correcting my kidsí grammar I'm invariably answered with something like: What difference does it make? Language is for communicating. You understood me; therefore we communicated.

With a sigh of exasperation, I try to explain that if people keep using language incorrectly, we wonít be able to comprehend one another at all. Although no one has ever voiced it, I have a sneaking suspicion that at times they think that it might be a good thing if they canít understand me. I try to get them to realize that it would be like the Tower of Babel all over again.

Can you imagine how the ancient people felt when they woke up the morning after? The previous day they had no problems understanding each other, but suddenly everyone was speaking gibberish. They probably shook their heads and wiggled their fingers in their ears. When that didnít work, people likely started shouting and speaking slowly. Soon the fear must have become overwhelming.

Words had become too powerful for humans. They had gathered together to build a city and a tower to reach to the heavens; they wanted to create something for which they would always be remembered, a way to make a name for them.

However, this tower upset God; He realized that humans would do many more inappropriate things if they all spoke one language. Therefore, He created different languages which scared everyone and caused them to scatter throughout the world.

His point is clear. Language isn't meant to make humans feel powerful and in control; we are to use our words to glorify God. I cringe at the improper grammar, the texting shorthand that is quickly becoming a local vernacular, and the street words that sound like a foreign language to my generation. I wonder if God is displeased with how words are being used today.

Throughout the day my ears are filled with cussing, racial slurs, and talk of hate. Less common are words that glorify God and spread the Good News that Jesus loves us and died so that we might live with Him in Heaven forever.

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for coming to earth and dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me when I use words to build myself up. Give me the strength to avoid temptation to fit in and say hurtful things. Thank you for the wonderful words that you taught us to say: Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen

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This article has been read 714 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 12/16/10
You have blended self-deprecating humor with a strong challenge very well.
Terri Schroeder12/17/10
Great devotional. A creative approach to the foreign language topic since that really is how foreign language all started. Why didn't I think of that? Hmmm...
Amy Michelle Wiley 12/17/10
I never thought of it quite that way. Interesting article! :-)
Mona Purvis12/18/10
You bring home the idea that words are so powerful and we must choose them carefully, something using slang, texting, and vile language doesn't do. Very good lesson in this easy to read and understand entry.
Shann, your strength in writing is the simplicity that your writing reveals. No one has to dig and ponder and wonder, we just enjoy and "get it". Oh yeah, that's what is supposed to happen, isn't it?
Gregory Kane12/18/10
It were a good devotional it was. Me wonders though why you ending with the Lord's Prayer mind. It am so important to use right grammar, innit?
Sarah Elisabeth 12/18/10
Great devotion! I liked that it was simple and straightforward.
Colin Nielsen12/19/10
I really liked you devotional.The image of the tower builders speaking slowly and shouting at each other was brilliant. For me it highlights the absolute futility of human effort without God. It always ends in failure.
Today we have some pretty tall towers that would probably dwarf the one you were talking about. I wonder why These were allowed to be built these days and not that one. Curious.
Lollie Hofer12/21/10
Good choice for this week's topic. Your title was a good choice too and you did a good job of explaining why the Tower of Babel was truly a Tower of Terror. Well done. I admit, I yell at the tv too.
Henry Clemmons12/21/10
Now this I enjoyed. No heavy digging for hidden meanings, you just lay it out in a smooth organizaed manner and minister your point. Oh, I wish I could do that. I enjoyed this very much, because when I write poems I try not to waste a word, and make sure each one contributes and has a reason for being. And I always hope the people reading are pronouncing the word the same as I was when I wrote it. Great job. I always love reading your work.
Cheryl Harrison12/21/10
Words had become too powerful for humans.

Powerful words. :o)

Good job.
Edmond Ng 12/22/10
I agree we are hearing more defiled words and language these days, and they do get on us sometimes. Nevertheless, we ought to keep ourselves in control never to cross the line to respond in similar manner. Yes, "language isn't meant to make humans feel powerful and in control; we are to use our words to glorify God."
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/22/10
I like how your excellent devotional built from personal experience.
Theresa Santy 12/22/10
Very thoughtful piece.

I share your heart, thoughts, and frustrations regarding the unrestrained and thoughtless use of language we experience today. My son once said, "Mom, it's only offensive if you interpret it that way." I wonder though, how many people consider how their messages will be interpreted by others?

Tower of Terror indeed! Great entry.
AnneRene' Capp12/24/10
Once again, I am blessed with our insight! You have blended creativity with a deep truth leaving your readers with much to ponder regarding our individual accountability to use our tongues wisely.
Patsy Hallum12/26/10
Great Story! Thank you for clearing up compliment, complement for me. Different languages are scary.
Nancy Sullivan 12/29/10
Great devotional, Shann.
We can use words to speak blessings or curses over others. The tongue truly is mightier than the sword. Thanks for the straightforward reminder. God bless.