01/06/18 A Name for Ourselves

READING: Genesis 10-11

“Let us make a name for ourselves.”

Genesis 11:4

For what will you be remembered when you die? Your wisdom? Your physical abilities? Your family? Your job? If you were Nimrod, you would have been remembered for some unique things according to today’s reading. First, his hunting prowess was obvious: “he was a powerful hunter in the sight of the Lord” (Gen. 10:9). He was apparently both aggressive and effective as a hunter. Second, he was associated with the founding of significant cities such as Babylon and Nineveh, both that played important roles in the history of Israel. Nimrod was thus a warrior-builder who established his own kingdom.

At the same time, though, today’s reading reminds us that even such personal and political power does not change the reality of death (Nimrod died, like all others), nor does it guarantee godliness. The people of Babel eventually sought to build a tower with “its top in the sky” so they might, in their own words, “make a name for ourselves” (Gen. 11:4). They thus sought to glorify themselves rather than their Creator. He would not allow that to happen, His choosing instead to “scatter them throughout the earth” (Gen. 11:9) to stop the building.

You see, it’s one thing to be remembered for human skills, ingenuity, prowess, and power. It’s another matter to be remembered as a man who just walks with God (e.g., Enoch in Gen. 5:22). The former may create good biographies, but it lacks eternal significance apart from God’s blessing. The latter brings glory to the One who is alone God—and that’s what really matters. Only His name, not ours, is worthy of praise.


  • Don’t worry about making your name great today. Magnify Him.
  • Evaluate what you’re “building” that won’t really matter in eternity. Focus on things that really matter.​

PRAYER: “Father, help me not to build towers to make a name for myself.”       

TOMORROW’S READING: Review Genesis 1-11


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