Perhaps you’ve never thought of it this way; but, is there the slightest chance you are trying to make a name for yourself – trying to be noticed? The expression is a common one: “Oh, she’s trying to make a statement.” It could be the clothes she wears or the car she drives. Maybe his hairstyle or the socks he wears.

Allowing for some modest variation in personal taste and expressions of one’s personality – there is a possibility of the pendulum wildly swinging on either side of the norm. The look could be outrageously extravagant or pathetically unkempt and disheveled. The statement is: notice-me and remember-me.

Many years ago, there was a group of people who wanted to make a statement about themselves; and that they did. As is usually the case when people try to be noticed and remembered, it didn’t go over very well. Oh yes, they made a name for themselves and they are talked about to this day – but not in a good sense.

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.”  Genesis 11:4

The people who were traveling east towards what we know as Iraq today decided to build a city and a tower. God had told them to disperse and inhabit the entire earth; but, in human pride and arrogance, they defied God by going no further.

These people built a city and a tower to be noticed. The tower was not to worship God or other gods, but rather – to be a rallying point and a symbol of their fame. It was all about themselves – human pride and arrogance. Humanism. Their success. Their ability and their achievements. Their self-sufficiency. “People will see our tower and say: ‘Wow, look at them. Look what they did. They are amazing!'” So, they set out to make a name for themselves. You know the end of the story.

Another Bible example is King Saul. He wanted to be remembered for his big success against the Amalekites. He built a monument or a tower as a trophy or memorial to himself. (1Samuel 15:12) Absalom was another who built a rock pillar so his name would be remembered. (2 Samuel 18:18)

Towers that make statements about our selves. Towers for people to see and to remember us. Towers that draw attention to our selves. Big towers. Semi-big towers. Small towers. Mini-towers. They all have the same purpose – notice me. Can you think of any towers in your life?

A Christian should have only one tower in life. The Lord.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. Proverbs 18:10

Our confidence should be in the Lord – not ourselves. Our lives should not be about making a name for ourselves but rather, glorifying and honouring and exalting His Name alone. All our service should draw attention to our Strong Tower – Jesus Christ the Lord – not ourselves.

When our thinking shifts to doing this or doing that so, hopefully, people will notice how hard I am working for the Lord, how exercised I am about the Gospel, how involved I am in kids’ work, how knowledgeably I pray in public, how often I write something beautiful on FB, how firmly my stand is on doctrine, how faithful I am in my attendance,  how often I participate in local church activities, how involved I am in helping those in need, how capably I can handle the Scriptures in contrast to my peers, etc. — when our minds start going down those trails, slam on the brakes and confess, confess, confess! It is nothing less than the abominable pride of building our own towers in 2019.  Just like Babel. Just like Saul. Just like Absalom. Pride is an abomination to the Lord. Proverbs 16:5 God is repulsed by pride in our hearts.

We are on dangerous ground when we wonder if people are noticing the good we are doing, the potential we have or the progress we are making. We are laying the ground-work for our own little Babel Tower.

For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Psalm 149:4 NIV

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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