4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.
6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.
7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?
Here we have Pentecost. The Holy Spirit has been sent to the apostles and those who were gathered with them.
Beyond the shocking experience of having the Holy Spirit come in like a mighty rushing wind, they were “amazed and astonished” that they could hear each other in their own native language.
This reminds me of another time when God came down.
I’m thinking way back in Genesis when the people were building the Tower of Babel.
But the motivations and reactions of the people in these two situations were exactly the opposite.
The people of Babel were filled with pride and ego and wrong motivations.
They wanted to hold something for themselves.
God came down then, too, but scattered them into different nation and languages so that they were not able to understand each other or collaborate any longer in their wrong endeavor to lift themselves above God.
Here, just prior to Pentecost, the believers were not prideful, they were actually afraid.
But then God come down again.
God empowered the people here.
The Holy Spirit unified the believers from every nation … “the multitude came together”.
The people were amazed and bewildered, but not out of confusion or chaos, by their understanding and hearing of each other.
And while the people of Babel were weakened, the people at Pentecost were empowered.
They were empowered to build something, but not something that would lift themselves, but would lift God.
They were empowered to accomplish the mission of the Church … form believers “in every nation under heaven”.
I must not be shocked when the Holy Spirit “shows up”.
He is here with me. He will grant me hearing and understanding.
He will empower me to come together with Himself and other believers to build His Church.
Will I be faithful to His mission or my own?
Father thank you for your word.
Holy Spirit thank you for your presence.
Help me hear You.
And help me hear other wise believers you put in my life.
Help me to continue to me amazed at what you do!
In Jesus name