In Genesis 11, we have another example of people moving away from God and His grand design. After the Fall and the Flood, it seemed like mankind was being restored. Noah and his family departed from the Ark, but it did not take much time before one brother leads the others to see a drunk, naked Noah in his tent. Canaan was cursed. Later, we read of the Tower of Babel.
As we look at this historical moment, we can note that the people were focused on themselves. The people wanted to build a city for themselves. The people also wanted to construct a tower that would reach all the way up to the heavens. The question that begs to be asked—why are the people desiring to build a city for themselves when God already has a place for His people?
Adam and Eve sinned long ago. Although they did not outright say they wanted a city for themselves, it is clear that they could not even follow God’s directions in the Garden. They risked everything they had with God—such a special, intimate relationship—for the words of the serpent. They chose something other than God at that point, at that moment they did not accept the Word of God. The cycle continues again and again, as we try to build for ourselves a life, a life apart from God. We try so desperately to make a name for ourselves, yet God has already chosen us and named us. Not only are we children of God through faith, but He will give each one of us a new name. Today, ask yourself this question: are you a tower builder?
“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; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.’” – Genesis 11:4 [NIV]
I love the name Nimrod. Although it typically means socially inadequate to most people who use it, the actual name means “skillful hunter” or “mighty hunter.” The Bible tells us that Nimrod was not only the great-grandson of Noah, but also a renowned hunter. I personally became curious about the name Nimrod when I heard the name while researching my family genealogy which is connected to the Blue Eyes Six. Every once in a while, I’ll say Nimrod Spattenhoover. This is the name of another person who was punished by hanging in my local area.
The name Nimrod isn’t the first name usually mentioned when we consider someone from the Bible. Many people likely do not even remember Nimrod. Some possibly would say the name doesn’t appear in the Bible at all, because they skimmed over it or never heard it once in a sermon or Sunday School lesson. But Nimrod was renowned to some people. He lived a life and he left a mark. Some traditions even hold that Nimrod led in the building of the Tower of Babel, although I don’t think someone would want to brag about that attempt to live without God.
Nimrod may not be remembered, but he appears in Genesis along with so many other names you and I may not remember. Even so, everyone matters. Not everyone gets their names in lights. Not everyone gets to be the leaders. Not everyone gets the attention. In life, it is not about lifting yourself up or trying to be better than anyone else. Having the second position is okay. God will use you wherever He places you. Be satisfied with where He places you, and you will enjoy a great partnership with God, building His kingdom and serving His people. He will honor you for it and you will be blessed by it.
“Cush was also the ancestor of Nimrod, who was the first heroic warrior on earth. Since he was the greatest hunter in the world, his name became proverbial. People would say, ‘This man is like Nimrod, the greatest hunter in the world.’” – Genesis 10:8-9 [NLT]