Make a Name for Ourselves

Scripture Reading — Genesis 11:1-9

“Let us . . . make a name for ourselves . . . [and not] be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” — Genesis 11:4

God created people so that they would increase in numbers and populate the earth. At the time of the tower of Babel, everyone had the same language, and the people said they wanted to make a name for themselves and not be scattered across the earth. But God ultimately scattered them.

Why did they build a tower? They said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens. . . .” From ancient civilizations we have learned that the top of a tower was seen as a holy place where gods lived. But instead of having a holy place that would honor God, the people at Babel wanted this to be a place where they made a name for themselves. They wanted to honor themselves instead of God. In doing so, they banished God from their lives and disobeyed his command to “fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). Because of this rebellion, God confused their language and scattered them.

Imagine how God felt as he confused the people’s language. They couldn’t understand each other. They couldn’t work together anymore. They stopped building, and they moved away from each other.

In the end, people who drive out God cannot do well. They cannot understand each other, and they cannot work to­gether to build a community that honors God.

Prayer

O God, be the Lord and King of our hearts. Let us be concerned about honoring your name, not ours. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.