Zeph. 3:9 At that time I will change the speech of the peoples
to a pure speech,
that all of them may call on the name of the LORD
and serve him with one accord.
10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
my suppliants, my scattered ones,
shall bring my offering.
The peoples’ speech was a problem that was revealed at Babel. They had been sent abroad and scattered as a result of their behavior. The prophecy here speaks of a new day in which everything will change. What happened at Babel will be transformed at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit is poured out and the people called to pure speech, a speech which is understandable to all people. The result will be God’s prevenient grace reaching out to all of humanity with a call to unity within the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Unified worship of God will be the sign of this action.
If our lives and worship were to be examined would they reveal the unity which is prophesied in this text? There is to be a very real transformation in our lives when we live in the daily presence of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. No longer is our speech to be divisive, but it is to be uniting. We are to be a people who seek unity and not a people who create divisions or barriers. Our uniting speech is a way in which God can work to bring the world to him. When we allow our differences to divide us and create huge rifts, even among God’s people, we establish barriers to the working of God’s Holy Spirit.
The miracle of Pentecost was in language. The confusion of Babel was cleared and people were able to hear the good news of Jesus clearly. The presence of God’s Holy Spirit in the lives of his people is to create this kind of clarity. With pure speech we are to declare the good news of salvation. This is the joy of being a Christ-follower and the gift of the Holy Spirit. All things are made new — and most especially our tongues.
Lord, may my words be a sign of your presence in my life. Amen.
Thank you to Nazarene Publishing House and Keri Mitchell for helping to create and publish Reflecting the Image. This is not a devotional book, but rather a collection of thoughts and stories which lead us in the direction of reflecting Christ. Click on the image to take you to the NPH bookstore.The book is also available in Kindle format on Amazon.com.