/ / / Making A Name For Myself {Genesis 11}

Making A Name For Myself {Genesis 11}

In a world of social media and selfies, am I making a name for myself? This happened once before in history, and this is how God responded. #Biblestudy #Genesis #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

Good Morning Girls!

In a world of selfies, overnight Youtube sensations, reality television and television competitions that lead to millions of dollars and singing contracts – making a name for ourselves seems almost normal. Everybody’s doing it – right?

I mean, let’s be honest, I’m a blogger.  I am not a wall flower.  My name and face are not hidden here. So what keeps me from not trying to use this platform to make a name for myself?

We are in Genesis 11 – let’s look at verses 1-9.

1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.  4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”  8 So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

First, we see the people had decided to build a city and a tower. Why?

To make a name for themselves.

How did God humble them?

He confused them by confusing their languages.

We see the pride in the people as they say – “Let us! Let us! Let us!”

And God, the Almighty – 3 in 1 – says, “Let Us go down…”

…and that was the end of their prideful endeavor.

Notice – their very tall tower was not so tall to God. God had to go way down, to deal with these people! Lol!

We live in a world of building, climbing, dreaming, reaching, pursuing, pushing, shoving, and clawing for the top.  We are a busy, tired, pressured, stressed, frazzled, scared people.

But we see a huge irony in this passage of scripture.  Notice in verse 4 the people say – “let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

Then God comes along and in verse 9 He…”dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

Do we see how counterproductive it is to build a tower if the Lord’s will is not in it?

 “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” ~Psalm 127:1

Is it wrong to build a tower (or in our case a home, a business, a blog, a career)?

No.

Is it wrong to build a very tall tower (or in our case a home, business, blog or career)?

No.

Can we tell by looking at someone else’s tower why it was built?

No.  Only the Lord knows the intentions of a man’s heart.

Is it wrong to build a tall tower to make a name for ourselves?

Yes.

As children of God, all towers (homes, businesses, blogs or careers) must be done for God’s glory otherwise the ambition behind the pursuit is pride filled and displeasing to God.

When I began blogging it was with the purest intent. My hearts desire was to follow the great commission and make disciples.  I wanted to be an authentic mom and wife and encourage other women in their walk with the King.

But somewhere along the way – I began to face serious confusion.  New friendships and new opportunities confused me.  Who should I say yes to?  Who can I trust?  Is this opportunity from God or am I causing some of this to happen and outside of God’s will?  Am I doing too much? Am I doing too little? Am I depending on my own abilities or am I depending on God?

Just as God used confusion to humble the builders of the tall tower, God has used confusion time and again in my life to keep me humble.  If he showed me the 5 year plan, I would probably become prideful. I wouldn’t need to depend on him.  Instead, He has me on the “day to day” plan. Lol! He reveals just what I need for today and I have to trust that tomorrow, He will continue to guide me.

Women of our generation have more choices than any of the past generations.  Choices are a blessing. But choices bring confusion. We do not want to be so busy building our own kingdoms, that we miss seeking God’s kingdom first.

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are in jail singing praises to God when all the locked doors of the jail fly open…and Paul and Silas do not walk through the open doors.  It was God’s will for them to stay right where they were and lead the jailer and his whole family to salvation.

Sometimes doors will open for us – this does not mean we need to walk through them.  

I have had various doors open for me through out the blogging years that were clearly not God’s will for me. They were tempting because they would have made my name – greater.  I had to stay put and not walk through those doors.  It was hard!  But it was right. Other times, God clearly made  a path for me.  Like the parting of the Red Sea, it was so obvious, I walked confidently forward on dry land and He got all the glory!

It is hard to know when God is opening the doors or when we are forcing doors open but through humility and walking with God daily in His word and prayer – God is faithful to reveal is way to us.  He removes confusion and gives peace as He directs and guides us.

As we go forward in our week, let’s be women who are known – not for exalting ourselves but for exalting the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Let’s be builders of His kingdom.

God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**Chime In** 

Genesis 11 discussion question

27 Comments

  1. This was an amazingly timely post!!! My blog is called A Productive Endeavor and you used the words “prideful endeavor” right in your post. Thank you for helping me check my motives and be sure they are genuine and pointing to God and not to myself. Although I feel God is the center, I don’t always write about Him on my blog in every single post. I have been trying to find direction for my blog and this post gives me much to pray through. I definitely must bookmark this and come back to it in the weeks to come as I refocus and seek God’s will for my blog. Thank you!!!

  2. Such a spot on post. Thank you for your transparency. I think the only way to keep pride from taking over is daily time in God’s Word and prayer. God’s Word rights us, pricks our heart when we’ve strayed and keeps us aware of who we really are in Christ. We can do it the easy way (daily in the Word) or the hard way (God’s correction and reproof). I’ll take two of the former please!

  3. Courtney, this is so rich. We live in a culture where being a Christian and a successful, big named one at that, is possible. In fact, it is seen as “success.” Many other cultures around the world have nothing but persecution for Christians. For me, remembering that the American definition of “success” is terribly flawed and going back to how Jesus defined greatness is essential. The American message can get so loud, I often need to step back and remember that true greatness is not “success” but service.

  4. Thanks so much Courtney for this post and all your others. These and the ladies who post on your site always manage to bring more out of the studies than I could ever get alone. Please know that God is using you to help us. May He bless you abundantly and may you continue to walk with Him and help us to do the same.

  5. This is my first time reading through the bible. I read that passage this morning and wasn’t getting it. After reading your blog post I get it now. It’s a new learning curve for me. But I love being able to read your blog and others. As eell as Instagram to see how everyone interprets the passages. I feel like I am getting my own little discussion in my own home.

  6. I love reading your thoughts. I read the scripture this morning and stared at my blank notebook wondering what I could get out of it or what God was showing me. Then I read your post and started scribbling notes in my journal! I love that Psalm reference and never would have thought of it. Thank you and everyone else who shares their thoughts and insights into the word. This study has been so good for my walk with God.

  7. Thank you for your words and encouragement! I was a little confused reading this…in chapter 10, it is said three times (v5, 20, 31) how they were separated based on their language. Yet, in chapter 11, it is said that everyone of the whole earth spoke one language. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    1. I believe that originally there was one language. After they got off the ark God told them to be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth (disperse). Here in chapter 11 we see them staying put (trying to make a name for themselves). So God confused their languages; forcing them to disperse. So much easier if we would just obey the first time – right? Hope this helps.

  8. Good study and explanation Courtney!

    Pride. The “hidden” sin of all sins (along with covetousness). The sin which led satan to be cast out of heaven.

    The subtilty of this sin is so often underestimated. Unlike murder, stealing, lying etc, society often refers to pride as being “respectable and confident” – even our kids are encouraged this way. But God puts pride first in the list of the seven deadly sins. (Proverbs 6 vs 16-19). Period.

    I think we have to ask daily for God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness to be poured into our lives. For His Name to have the recognition, and for Him to have the preeminence! Keeping in prayer and in His Word. Asking Him for direction and guidance.

    And let God be in complete control. Him in the drivers seat, not us.

  9. I have been struggling with this, but not consciously. Thank you for posting this, it’s helped me put some nagging doubts into focus and realize there is a solid reason for them. Everything for His glory.

  10. Thanks for this post! I have always struggled with relating to the old testament and now see this passage in a new light. I would have never made the connection to making a name for oneself. When I first started blogging a lot of blogs that started at the same time lit up and are huge now. At first I wanted to make a name for myself but God spoke to my heart on that. I learned to write for God and not myself (or viewers). I’m still a small town blogger and I love it! God takes me to places I never would have gone on my own. I prefer that than making a name for myself.

  11. I am so thankful to have found this bible study- this is exactly the kind that I need. I get so much out of everyone else’s insights and comments.

    My social media consists of Facebook, twitter, blogging, and now Instagram. Out of those 4, the only one that I haven’t turned over to God is the blogging. And I’ve only posted on my blog a couple of times since July- mainly because I’ve been so busy. Since I rededicated my life to Christ back in March, I have found that some things I used to do have fallen to the wayside so that I can spend time worshipping God and learning.

    If I decide to keep the blogging going then I will definitely pray for His will to be done regarding my posts.

    Because I no longer want to make a name for myself- I want everyone else to know what a difference it can make to be a follower of Jesus!!!

    Shannon

  12. This is so spot on for what I’m learning right now! I just finished Beth Moore’s breaking free study and I’m finally getting it. If I am to break free from an eating addiction it is soley for His glory. I loved your blog today. Such a blessing. Thank you

  13. Thank you so much for this! You actually read my mind. I was thinking about this topic the other day, and wondered how many successful people are walking with God, and how many are dancing with the devil. In America, I feel we struggle more with egoism with money and fame, and worshiping false gods (celebrities). It seems like everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame. I am so glad you put this into perspective. It can be easy to get caught up in doing what we want to do, and we must remember that God is in control. Thanks Courtney! Have a blessed day!! 🙂

  14. Thank you! How funny that this post is what I needed today as I am working out some details in my life. Thank you!! 🙂

  15. This is such a hard lesson to learn. When my dedication was not completely to glorifying God I found it was so easy to get lost in the name brands, the materialistic and the “fame”….but eventually you have to choose what you stand for and how you carve your indention.

  16. I love your studies and I wish I was in a position to study with you in person! Whatever you pick from the current reading always seems to really hit the mark for me. I’ve had various attempts at blogs and I find when I am the main topic, I fall behind very quickly. It is very easy to let yourself be influenced by what others are doing, and it is very hard not to let your pride get in the way of what you are hoping to achieve. I try to pray often to keep myself aligned with His will and humble in everything I do.

  17. So… I’m a little behind but better late than never right. I just started a bible rwadonf plan with my mom. We are walking through but it together. I love when you said “sometimes doors will open for us – this does not mean we need to walk through them”. WoW ! Thank you for that eye opening tidbit !

  18. Thank you so much. Its amazing how God speak to us through someone else in the middle of the night where a hard decision had to be taken. Not every open door is God’s will.

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