Whose name are you building? In the book of Genesis we have an account of man building a tower to ascend to the heavens. And in the account it gave two reasons. (1) was so that they could make a name for themselves and (2) so they would not be scattered abroad. You might be asking “What's wrong with those two things?” And on the surface you’re probably right. But the narrative of Genesis displays something about the motives of man. (1) he is sinful desiring autonomy (or to do whatever he wants with his own power) and (2) that the name he desires to make for himself is always in reference to selfish pride. For the author of Genesis this is no different and this is displayed by God’s reaction to the tower they are erecting. This story is filled with so much irony! The action God takes on their building of the tower to the heavens is God going down to see what they are doing. The goal they want to achieve (building this tower where the tip is in heaven) is so far away God has to leave his place of dwelling and see what’s going on! (I want to remind you that this is an anthropomorphism [God taking on human characteristics] because he has no body to go down and fills the earth so is already present in the situation.) And as God inspects the situation he makes the decision to confuse the language and scatter the people. Now when you hear tower of babel what do you think? This is another irony that has occurred in the story. The great name that they desired to make for themselves is not great at all but shameful! And in a theological sense this name (which in Hebrew is בבל meaning Babylon) is always considered evil and an enemy of God’s kingdom.
Right after this account we have the story of Abraham. This story is quite the opposite. Abram is doing nothing and God calls him to himself and God says to Abram I will make your name great. And by the way this is all on God. (1) Abram was a moon worshiper and (2) the way that God accomplishes this great name (father of many nations) the text immediately lets you know that Sarai is barren so it will be impossible for Abram to be a father and attain this great name (without God interceding). But what Abram does is believe God and allow God to work in him and through him.
Now I want to ask the question again. Whose name are you building? Are you seeking to build your own name? It’s what our natural inclination is to do. We want glory for ourselves and many seek to do it by any means necessary. Or are you seeking to build the name of Yahweh? Abram’s name was changed to Abraham and almost everyone on earth knows it. It is the name of the founder of the Hebrew (Jewish) people. He is the father of the faith of the christian. It is the lineage of whom the savior has been born. It's filled with honor and glory. This is because he believed and obeyed God. And by doing so God made a name for Abraham and this name brings honor and glory to Christ.
Let me tell you if you want a name that lasts, honor the name of Christ. And if you don’t know him, get to know him. Then you’ll know why he deserves to have a name built above all others!