Have you noticed all the markers of achievements we have set upon the face of the earth, the stones of accomplishments that those who came before us, those who by their personal or combined efforts, set there to remind us that we have done something that needs recognition. Not just the ones that ask for immediate notice, but ones that will last throughout the centuries.
Human beings have a great need for this recognition, these reminders of deeds done well, from the monoliths that dot major battle sites to the very small child who wants his parents to know that he received a passing grade on a test, we want to be recognized and remembered. They are and have always been meant, when they are in the context of the world, not only to help us recall great deeds, but to infer in us a sense of cohesiveness, “If we all pull together as a team, we can do it.” Nimrod was one of the first individuals mentioned in the Scriptures who saw the possibilities in these endeavors, to get everyone on the same page as it were, we will all have value and worth if we leave a great mark upon the land.
I have little doubt in my own mind of the reasons for the tower they began to build, the first was that Nimrod desired power over his fellows, he more than likely carried a great self-confidence within him, he was, as they say, born to lead. The second though would be the inclusion of Satanic influences, for those who came from heaven and have fallen from the grace of Almighty God, the demons, see man as little more than a two-legged animal, a creature of an infinitesimally short life span, easily swayed, easily manipulated. Satan is quite aware of the physical distance, as it were, that the earth is from heaven, but to place in the mind of man the possibility that he could build a tower to reach unto God had to be great amusement for him. Even in the great architectural achievements of our day, a simple bird can fly higher than the tallest buildings on this planet, yet we feel a need to leave a mark.
When you are driving in your vehicle down the road, how much concern do you have for the small ants that are attempting to find sustenance on that road, that is the amount of merit every single marker man has placed on this earth God has for that edifice. The intent of the heart of those who have made these either large or small edifices is noticed when they are done to glorify His name, but none will last, none will find a place of honor in the kingdom of God. Not only are these meant to give recognition, a sense in itself of pride, but they are representative of a great need for personal recognition. Here is an extremely touchy subject in this area, if you will allow that word, and that topic is gravestones.
Why do we feel this need not only to place markers, but leave words on stone, steel, and other earthly materials above where our mortal temple has found its final earthly resting place. I could use many pages in my notebook and go through several cartridges for my writing utensil to go into this in great detail, but it is the root of any subject that we should seek out. It is the root and the ground that it grows in that shows us the cause of anything, and as it is with much in the lives of men, the answer here is obvious, pride. We want to be remembered. We build the markers that declare our deeds, we seek recognition from others for our accomplishments, and the gravestone is our last feeble effort to tell the world that once we existed, that we had value, one last great gasp to let the world know that we were worthy.
“For in thy sight shall no man living be justified.” (Psalm 143:2) Every man knows within his very soul that his time here is short, even when they will not admit it to themselves. “Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.” (Psalm 144:4) The one thing they fear with almost the same intensity as their own death is that they will no longer be remembered, and so we dot the planet with markers, the last one being our final attempt at this need. “The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.” (Prov. 12:7) The wicked, those who will die in their sins and inherit eternal punishment, will never be remembered, even their thoughts are an abomination to the Lord, (Prov. 15:26) but the question must be brought to bear, why do those whose names are written in the Lambs Book of Life for all eternity feel a need to leave that final marker, that gravestone that reminds others that they once lived among us. As I stated earlier, a very touchy subject indeed.
Vanity is one of the reasons I believe, the sister of pride coerces us into believing it is the proper thing to do, “How will others know where my mortal body rests until the rapture.” Some people need a physical location to be able to grieve properly, “If I have a Scripture verse placed on my tombstone, it will be a final opportunity for me to glorify God.” That’s a good one that I have actually heard, but that individual could not give me a reason that did not include self-recognition for also including his name and other information on his upcoming tombstone. Face it my friends, whether it be a marker of recognition for deeds accomplished or one on your gravestone, we want recognition, we want to be noticed, both alive and dead, and in this endeavor we fail in one of the main tasks that we are to strive for in this Christ-driven life, to die to self.
“The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.” (Prov. 21:12) Why? So that he will be able to understand more fully what he is not to be, to be Christ-like means in part the ability to understand and compare not only what they are like, but what once we ourselves were like, wicked, individuals upon whom the wrath of God rested. (John 3:36) Pride will kill every single part of your walk with Christ, before honor comes humility, (Prov. 18:12) and the sworn enemy of humility is pride, in even the smallest acceptance of pride it will hinder your fellowship with Christ. It seems such a small matter to some, this ridiculous notion about a tombstone with a simple name on it, but my friends, it seeks recognition in no matter what form the topic comes up, let those who cannot see the wisdom of these words pick it out for you, show no concern whatsoever towards it, your responsibility is to serve Christ in all He asks of you.
It makes no difference the condition of the remains of your mortal temple to the Lord, intact or dust scattered across the globe, He will raise it up on that day, you concern yourself with Jesus.