January 5, 2009 Ration

Genesis 11:4

“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.’”

This was a crucial error of affection. The people of Babel sought their strength and glory within themselves rather than seeking the strength and glory of God who is strong and glorious for those who fear Him.

Artists, we are tempted to desire these very same affections. “Let us make a name for ourselves,” they said. This was the severance from God that their hearts summoned. “Lest we be dispersed,” they figured. They concluded their security would be in a strong and famous name. But this is the very squall that scattered them. There is a strong and famous name by which we will find absolute security! But it is not ours.

Where we seek our own name as the glory, strength, security, and enjoyment of our artistic life, we will surely be shamed, weakened, endangered, and miserable. God will not give His glory to another! God says in Isaiah 42:8, “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images.”

There is one name that will be our strength, artists, and that is the Lord’s name. There is one name that will be our security, and that is the Lord’s name. If we exchange the glory of God, the strength of God, or the security of God for the glory, strength, and security of some artistic name that we try to forge for ourselves, we will find ourselves standing in opposition to God. And God stands ready to duel with any artistic mutineer.

It is not that glory and security are not to be enjoyed by the heart of man, they are just not found outside of, or, apart from God. Enjoy them we must! But they are found in the name of God, not ours. It is God who is our strength, our glory, our security, and our name.

Artists, we cannot improve on the name of the Lord. We cannot improve on the security of the Lord. We must put these erroneous, mutinous affections to death or we will be the scattered ones. Let us not be dispersed to hell for seeking a lousy name of our own. Where our name is to acquire any measure of notoriety, it is to the glory of the greatness of the name of the Lord, our Author and Sustainer.

The people of Babel did secure a name for themselves: the fools of Genesis 11. And they were dispersed, the very thing they sought to avoid. This simple affection error was their undoing. May it not be ours. As we find ourselves to be given a life in the arts, then in our artistry, may we enjoy the glory and security of the greatest name that is – the name of the Lord!

Jason Harms


© 2009 The Gaius Project