Summary: It is natural, when living in the flesh, for people to want to make a name for themselves. We want to “stand out” among our peers: academically, socially, behaviorally, athletically, etc. Christianity, however, teaches just the opposite.
Making a Name for Ourselves
Theme: Whose name are we trying to promote: ours, or God’s?
A. It is natural, when living in the flesh, for people to want to make a name for themselves.
1. We want to “stand out” among our peers: academically, socially, behaviorally, athletically, etc.
2. As parents, we desire this for our children as well.
3. Such is the society where each person is taught to be “#1”.
B. Christianity, however, teaches just the opposite.
1. The people of men are taught to become children of God.
2. Masters of slaves were taught to serve their master in heaven.
3. If you want to be greatest (exalted) in the kingdom, you must become the least (humbled).
C. In this lesson we shall see:
1. The downfall of men who desire to make a name for themselves.
2. When we strive to glorify the Name above all names, how our names shall be glorified forever.
I. THOSE WHO DESIRE TO MAKE A NAME FOR THEMSELVES
A. Background: the people who desired to make a name for themselves.
1. Started their worldly history through the lineage of Ham. Gen. 9:20-27
2. From came the Canaanites: a people with a history of worldliness (Sidon, Philistines, Amorites).
Gen. 10:6, 15-20; 15:16
3. Specifically, the descendents of Ham are those revealed as settling in the land/plains of Shinar.
B. What the people did that was arrogant, full of pride, and in rebellion against God.
1. The first few things are seemingly innocent: make bricks, build a city. Gen. 11:3-4a
2. Next is somewhat questionable: to build a city whose top would reach heaven. Gen. 11:4b
3. Finally, something blatantly against God’s will: “make ourselves a name…” (NASB). Gen. 11:4c
C. Why this is contrary to God’s will.
1. What they did on a humanistic level seemed good and right in their own eyes.
2. The totality of this passage reveals that there was a complete disregard for Jehovah.
cp. Gen. 1:28; 9:7
3. Such disregard reared its ugly head since the beginning of time and continues today. cp. Gen. 3:6;
5:6; (Psa. 14:1-3); Rom. 1:20-23
II. TO TRULY MAKE A NAME THAT IS GREAT
A. A person who desires to magnify the name of our God.
1. This was true of (some of) Seth’s descendants. Gen. 4:25-26
2. After the flood and Noah’s worship of God: Abraham was the first person revealed to be calling
on His name. Gen. 12:8
3. Those who follow after the example of Abraham do the same in worshiping the Name above all
names. Cp. Phil. 2:9
B. This is a person who is humble and lowly, easily walking in the footsteps of His Master.
1. He seeks not his own glory because in the great scheme of things, he has none to boast of.
2. Instead, he seeks to glory in the Creator, the Redeemer, the Savior of mankind.
3. Thus, he acknowledges that he is NOTHING without Him and have EVERYTHING because of
Him. 2 Cor. 12:7-10 (Eph. 1-2)
C. In the end, God will exalt his lowly servant as He exalted His own Son.
1. Humble yourself and God will exalt you in due time. 1 Pet. 5:6 (Jas. 4:10)
2. God opposes the proud (arrogant, like those who try to make a name for themselves), but gives
grace to the humble. Jas. 4:6
A. Think soberly on your goals and deeds in life: are they for your glory, or the glory of God?
B. Humble yourself, be a servant… and may God fulfill His promise to exalt your name in due time.