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MAKING A NAME FOR OURSELVES

Daily Devotional Genesis 11:1–26


Biographer William Manchester describes Winston Churchill as one of two or three greatest men of his generation. Apparently, Churchill thought so as well. Manchester noted that Churchill’s idea of a good evening was to dine well and then discuss a good topic, with himself as the chief conversationalist. He enjoyed his speeches so much that he would go to bed listening to them.


The LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

GENESIS 11:9


Is it wrong to love ourselves? How much is too much? Two primary sins are described in the Tower of Babel narrative found in Genesis 11. The first sin is pride. The people desired to “make a name for ourselves” (v. 4). They wanted to build a tower that was impressive for their own glory and reputation. According to this and other biblical accounts, the sin of pride occurs when you put yourself in the place of God or give yourself credit without acknowledging that everything you have comes from God. This kind of pride can lead us to do things that look great and impressive to us and others, when in God’s eyes it is sinful.


The second sin at Babel was fear. One reason the people wanted to build the city was not to be “scattered over the face of the whole earth” (v. 4), in direct conflict with God’s command (Gen. 9:1). Staying together would provide safety and security. God had given them a command, yet they were afraid to obey, so they united in opposition to him. They loved security more than God.


God’s response to the people was both an act of judgment and grace. By confusing the languages of the people, He prevented them from continuing in their rebellion and also enabled them to obey His command to spread out and fill the earth. Ultimately, God’s judgment on Babel will be redeemed when Christ returns. At that time, people “from every tribe and language” will join together in worship of God (Rev. 5:9).


Go Deeper


What is the danger of pride? How do the lessons in Genesis 11 contradict our modern culture’s view of success?


Pray with Us


Even when humanity is in open rebellion against You, You still accomplish Your purposes. Lord, give us humble hearts, joyfully submitted to You; may You accomplish Your purposes through our willing obedience!

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