The Name Above the Rest

December 11, 2021

So from there the Lord scattered them throughout the earth, and they stopped building the city. Therefore it is called Babylon, for there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the Lord scattered them throughout the earth.
Genesis 11:8-9

Written by Paul Wilkinson from the Brentwood Campus

Have you heard the objection (or struggled with the idea) that God is not praiseworthy because he’s arrogant? It goes something like: if someone wants glory for themselves, then that person is arrogant and an egomaniac; arrogant and egomaniacal people are not praiseworthy. But God is praiseworthy and wants all the glory. What gives?

Our text today shows God’s zealousness to protect his own name and glory as well as God’s zealousness for keeping us from destroying ourselves. In our text, God confuses the language of the people to keep them from becoming self-idolaters in their desire to make a name for themselves.

Consider the following argument: It is loving to give others the best for their true, proper joy; God is the best for everyone; therefore God is loving to give himself to others. God does that, in part, by zealously protecting his glory.

Imagine a parent being fully able to give their child a gift that is in their child’s best interest and for their child’s supreme joy, but the parent chooses to give the child something less. Would we conclude that such a parent is loving and praiseworthy? Clearly not. Likewise, God giving us anything less than himself would be unloving and disgraceful.

We are most joyously satisfied when in community with the Triune God where we find identity, purpose, and joy. God is so loving that he came to us, died for us, and rose from the dead to conquer death for us so that we could have such community. God’s zealousness for his own name and glory is for us precisely because it is in glorifying God that we are most satisfyingly joyful.

When the Bible  teaches that God is jealous for his own name and glory, don’t drag God down to our petty level. Instead, understand that in God seeking his own glory, God is really seeking to give us our ultimate joy. What could be more loving?

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