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February 3 – The grace of discipline

“And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” – Genesis 11:4 

Scripture reading: Genesis 11:1-9

O the pride of the human race! What wicked pride we easily discover camped out in our own hearts! Included in the Bible are many examples of God using discipline in a way of grace. Here in Genesis 11, ‘the whole earth’ decided to ‘make a name for’ themselves. Note that well – “they”, humans, were convinced that they could do what it would take to make a name for themselves. Satan’s lie (Genesis 3:5) has come to flower in plans to build a tower. God will respond with discipline.

Does the Lord God allow humans to build to heaven? By no means. Just like He will confuse the efforts and doctrines of every false, works-based religion He confuses man’s language here. God takes away the most basic, required tool of the building project – the ability to communicate. Humanity is divided and cast far and wide across the globe. God’s discipline kept humans from doing the great harm their pride would have earned.

Jump ahead with me to Acts 2. The ascended Lord Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit as He promised (John 16:7), and the work He began in Jerusalem was again gathering together the nations as one. They all heard the same ‘wonders of God’ (Acts 2:11) as if no confusion existed. What grace God worked. Today, humans everywhere can hear the good news proclaimed. Our God is perfectly wise.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask God to make you confident about His wise use of the grace of discipline.

Rev. Harold Miller graduated from Mid-America Reformed Seminary in 2001 and has served churches in Wellsburg, Iowa and Kansas City, Missouri before arriving at Oak Lawn, Illinois in 2020. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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