• Chris Steele

God Speaks All Languages

Be Strong, Be Well — Sunday, November 22, 2020


If you have ever tried to learn and master another language, you know how difficult it can be. Just imagine learning 25 different languages.

In William Smith’s book, Short Tales and Anecdotes from Ancient History, tells of a multilingual man who, as Smith said, had an “Extraordinary Knowledge of Languages.”

The record says, “Mithridates, the renowned king of Pontus and Bithynia, who was vanquished in war by Pompey, understood the languages of the five and twenty nations which he had under his dominion; he never conversed with the men belonging to these nations through an interpreter, but spoke with each in his own tongue just as fluently as if he had been a native of the same state.”

Certainly this is remarkable. But there is one who is greater than this. The Bible calls the greatest linguist of all time, the Holy Spirit of God.

On Sunday in Acts 2, the temple area in Jerusalem was filled with people from all over the world who had come to celebrate the holy Day of Pentecost. The apostles "...were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) The crowd was amazed and responded, “And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?” (Acts 2:8).

A few weeks before this event, and just before Jesus left this earth for Heaven, He gave the command to go into the whole world and preach the gospel to everyone. This would require speaking in different languages. The event with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, was a great display of what would be necessary to accomplish this task. The Holy Spirit enabled these early inspired men to speak in various languages so they could preach to all people.

Now those days are gone (1 Corinthians 12-14).

Today, we need to study and learn new languages so we can go and preach. There are plenty of opportunities to teach folks in our own language. We should be busy doing this. But there are many others in the world that may not hear unless some people learn another language and go teach them. May God bless those who are up to the challenge. We should be praying often for our missionaries in foreign lands who learn to speak in those languages.

Ultimately how thankful we are for God’s ability to understand us regardless of the language we speak. Even if our speech is not verbal (as in sign language), God hears and He knows what we’re saying.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14, 15).—Chris

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