January 13, 2021
Genesis 11:4-7
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.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building.  The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

New International Version (NIV)
               On the trail in Hershey Park, owners of houses that were flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey are rebuilding on taller foundations.  If you have ever been flooded out of your home, you want to avoid it ever happening again.  It makes sense, really! 

              After their flood, the descendants of Noah decided to build a really tall tower to make a name for themselves.  God’s kindness leads us to repentance, or at least, it should.   God had rescued Noah’s family in the ark and then given them the whole earth to resettle.  What would humankind do with a second chance?  Noah’s sons and their descendants all spoke the same language.   What a perfect recipe for unity.  Maybe, not so much!  Within a few generations, they built a tall tower so they could put their name on it!    One movie dramatized the event by portraying the builders throwing a spear upward at God from the top of the Tower of Babel. 

              Was God opposed to the building of cities with the new technology of bricks?  No.  But the self-centeredness of their words reveals the hearts of the people, “Let us build ourselves . . . so that we may make a name for ourselves.”  Motives matter.  Remember when Eve and Adam’s son Seth was born, the people had called on the name of the Lord.  But now they want to make a name for themselves at all costs.  If we are not careful, our pride will make us think the whole world is about us, our names, our needs.  This never ends well. 

              God exalts the humble, but he opposes and humbles the proud.  So God confused the language of the people to keep them from building a monument to themselves and scattered them.  A brief search reveals that the goal of building a taller building is still with us.  At 2722 feet, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai stands over a half a mile high.  Some day some one will build a taller building.  But no human construction will stand forever. 

              I wonder, what monument are we building to ourselves today?  Is our conversation centered in our Savior or in ourselves?   If we find ourselves putting ourselves or others on pedestals, we should change course.  Pride goes before a fall and falling hurts.  C. T. Studd was right, “We have only one life.  ‘Twill soon be past.  Only what’s done for Christ will last.”   
Pray with me:         
Father, thank you for the good gifts of life and community.  We also thank you for our names.  Most of us did not choose our names, but we are thankful for those who did.  Father, we ask you to help us to hallow your name today.  Reveal any root of pride within us today, we pray.  Tell us the truth about ourselves, even if no one else will.  We hereby renounce the idea that life is finally about us.  We abdicate our self-made thrones of pride.  Today help us to love you first and best.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  
Scripture memorization for this week:    
Hebrews 11:6
 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Hebrews 11:8-10
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
New International Version (NIV)
Our 2021 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations Bible reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy here:
We would love for you to join us as we read through the Bible in one year, while still having the flexibility of reading 5 days per week.  In addition, I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  We will also memorize 2 scriptures each week.  As we journal together this year,  Robby Gallaty’s H.E.A.R. plan is a good resource: Highlight a verse that stands out to you, Explain what it means, Apply that truth to your life and Respond to what you’ve read with an action or prayer.

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