Introduction: Unity seems to be a word that has fallen out of popular
favor. Diversity is the popular word of today. Like many current
trends, it is a concept that has turned traditional thinking upside
down. The motto of the United States is “Out of many, one.”
Diversity is supposed to progress to unity according to this motto,
not the other way around. Is this traditional concept also a
Biblical concept? Does God desire us to be unified or diversified?
Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and find out!

  1. Created Nature

    1. Read Genesis 1:26. In what three ways are we like God? (We
      are rulers, we bear the same “image” and “likeness.”)

      1. What is the difference between an image and a
        likeness? (We have the same essential form as God,
        and we are like Him in other ways. Being a ruler must
        be one of them.)

      2. I think that arrogance drives much of the theory of
        evolution. Is there room for pride in the creation
        account? (We were created to be rulers! The
        difference is that we were given this authority by
        God, which makes Him clearly superior to us.)

    2. Read Genesis 1:27. God did what He proposed. Why would He
      give humans such great authority?

    3. Read 1 John 4:7-10. What does John suggest is the reason
      why God gave humans such authority? (Because He loved us.)

      1. If that is the reason, why didn’t God give this
        authority to all of the animals that He created? Did
        God love them less? (Read Genesis 1:28. This
        introduces the concept of authority and unity. Being
        a ruler means that you have something to rule. God
        made us rulers over the animals. But, He is the ruler
        over us.)

        1. Why is authority important to the idea of
          unity? (If everyone does exactly what they
          want, then the only “unity” we have is the
          unity of chaos. The fact that God loves humans
          and animals, but gave us authority over them,
          shows that the very nature of organization and
          authority reflects love.)

    4. Read Genesis 3:1-5. How would respect for authority answer
      the challenge faced by Eve? (The serpent Satan directly
      challenged God’s authority.)

      1. What is the nature of the challenge? (Eve will have
        more of God’s authority – knowing good and evil.)

      2. Could Eve have simply answered “God is in authority
        over me, so I will believe Him and not you?” Is this
        a logical answer since Eve didn’t know the serpent
        and it was calling God a liar? (Following authority
        would have saved Eve. It was both the proper and the
        logical answer.)

    5. Read Genesis 3:9-12. What has happened to unity between
      Adam and Eve?

      1. What has happened to Adam’s respect for God’s
        authority? (Adam’s answer blames God by saying that
        He put Eve in the garden.)

    6. Read Genesis 4:3-8. What is the first step in Cain’s sin?
      (He did not follow God’s authority when choosing his

      1. To what did this rebellion against authority lead?
        (To killing his brother. This is the most extreme act
        of disunity.)

    7. Do we see a pattern here? How are authority and unity
      linked? (In both cases we find that rejecting God’s
      authority leads to serious acts of disunity.)

      1. Is the modern concept of diversity also a rejection
        of authority? Or, is it something different?

  2. Babel

    1. Read Genesis 11:1-4. Are humans looking for unity? (Yes.
      They announce that they do not want to be scattered.)

      1. Why are they building a tower “that reaches to the
        heavens?” (Read Genesis 9:8-11. They want to have
        unity without accepting God’s authority. They do not
        believe God’s promise to never again bring a world-wide flood. So, they rely on themselves to build a
        tower that will rise above any future flood. Doing
        that will make them famous.)

    2. Read Genesis 11:5-9. Is God against unity? (God stands
      against unified opposition to His authority!)

      1. What does this say about the concept of unity in the
        abstract? (Unity is not a positive value in itself.
        It brings more power and authority, but the goal of
        the Christian is unity under the authority of God.)

      2. Does this show that God is the Father of diversity?
        (We see that diversity here is an attempt to
        interfere with human achievement. God notes that “one
        people speaking the same language” will result in
        “nothing” being “impossible for them.”)

  3. Rebuilding Unity

    1. Read Deuteronomy 7:6. Has God changed tactics? Is He no
      longer striving for unity? (It is more accurate to say
      that we rejected the unity God had in mind when we
      rejected Him. God slowed down the unified resistance to
      Him at Babel. God then selected a specific people to do
      His work.)

    2. Read Deuteronomy 7:7-8. Why did God choose the Jews to be
      His special people? (The text refers to promises made to
      “their forefathers.” This is a reference to Genesis 12
      where we learn that God chose Abram to be the father of a
      great nation. This says that God “loved” His special

    3. Read Romans 4:3. What is special about Abraham? (He
      believed God. This is as contrasted to Eve, who
      disbelieved God.)

      1. As you contemplate these verses, what seems to be
        God’s plan to return to the unity of Eden? (God still
        loves us! When the world seems unified against God,
        He chooses a man who believes God, and uses that man
        to begin to build a great nation whose purpose is to
        bring the world once again into unity under God’s

  4. Other Aspects of Unity from Eden

    1. Read Genesis 2:2-3 and Exodus 20:8-11. How would the
      Sabbath contribute to God’s original plan for unity? (A
      day of rest from work to reflect on our Creator God would
      be a big factor in promoting unity in support of God. This
      is a day for the entire household, because no one, not
      even the animals, is to work.)

    2. Read Genesis 2:22-24. How would marriage between a man and
      a woman promote unity? (The reference to “one flesh”
      points to the design of a man and a woman to allow them to
      jointly become creators of a new life that reflects both
      of them. Marriage and the family are another aid to unity
      under God’s authority.)

    3. As you consider the world today, is unity under God’s plan
      growing, or is it under attack?

    4. Friend, consider your life. Are you promoting unity under
      God’s flag, or are you a force for disunity (diversity)?
      If you are resisting God, why not repent and ask the Holy
      Spirit to help you promote unity in Jesus?

  5. Next week: Causes of Disunity.