Then they said, “ Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4).
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2).
These two stories in the Bible stand in stark contrast. The first is the building of the Tower of Babel, and the second is the blessing of Abraham. Although they are only separated in the text by one chapter, they are polar opposite‘s in their approaches to living.
In the first story, the people of Babel decided to build a large tower, a work of art that would forever immortalize and symbolize their great power and knowledge. Their goal was to “make a name for themselves.” The result was the eventual distraction of not only their edifice but also their identity. The tower was destroyed, and the people were scattered throughout the earth.
Abraham took a different road. God called him to take a journey of faith, and he responded with obedience. He was eager for his name to reflect God‘s covenant purposes on the earth. The overflow of his obedience was a dramatic blessing from God. God promised to make Abraham the father have a great nation with a name that would forever be known as “great.”
The people of Babel tried to “make” their name. They were scattered.
Abraham acted with simple obedience. His name is great even today, a father of nations.
Someone once said, “We should take care of the depth, God will take care of the breadth.” Efforts focused on building ourselves will profit little, but energy focused on deepening our relationship with God will produce lasting results.
Study 2 Peter 1:4-11. Perform a random, anonymous act of kindness. This unnamed act will help reinforce the call to live a humble, obedient life.
Lord, enable me to be obedient to the calling You have placed on me. I trust Your faithfulness.