Be Careful!

Be Careful!  When we tell our children that, what is the motivation for saying it?  Is it condemnation?  Judgment?  Displeasure?

It’s none of these.  When we warn, it’s because of our fear for what may happen to them if they do not heed the warning. It could be a warning to be wary of deep water, shady people, We don’t want to see them hurt.  When we are warned about anything, including texting while driving to opening suspicious files on our computer that may destroy our data, eating foods we should not, the motivation is to keep something bad from happening to us.

I have worked with para and quadriplegics.  In both cases they became paralyzed for life because they did something that they knew better they should not do.  Both were diving accidents. They dove into too shallow of water and severed their spinal cord. They both knew a second after the impact that they should not have done that.   Now, their lives are totally changed as they sit in a wheelchair and ponder their mistake.  Not heeding a warning can kill you.

Last year I almost had an accident with very serious consequences. It was about paying attention. I was on my bicycle and adjusting something on the handlebars.  I was so intent on that that I was not paying attention the road.  And, behold, I ran right into the back end of a parked van.  My helmet flew off, the items on the handlebars were immediately destroyed. This was one week before the Feast of Tabernacles.  I could have injured my eyes, lost my teeth and worse.  Fortunately, all I got what was a good knock on the head.  I’ve biked several times since and poignantly recount that crash.  Pay attention!   It could have been very serious.  We tell our children to be wary and watchful. We should all be. We should always be paying attention to what I around us and not be lulled to inattention.

If there is any one word that can be used to describe a purpose of the Bible, it would be that it’s a book of WARNING. All the way through from when God warned Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, to pronouncements to Israel not to follow empty and non-existing deities of surrounding nations, to not listening to fast talking deceitful false prophets

The motive from God through His many authors is not to condemn, but to inform us about consequences of improperly using our free will about physical, relational and moral decisions. Things that may lead to years of regret or death.

The consequences of Adam and Eve not heeding the warning from God about eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil did pass on the curse of death to all mankind, including you and me.  It has put the entirety of the human race into a wheelchair, figuratively speaking.

Here are just a few of the notable warnings that come from the Bible that have direct consequences on our well-being:

  1. When the Ten Commandments were given the injunction to the people was that they would “choose life.” Deuteronomy 30:15, 19)  “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity: and  “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,
  2. The book of Proverbs is a book of caution aimed at young people to warn them of the consequences of making wrong choices in morality, relationships, indulgences, what we say and that may bring on long-lasting irreversible consequences. Here is part of that list:
  3. Ezekiel was the Watchman of Israel. His job was to warn the nation of Israel (Ezekiel 3 and 33)
  4. In His first recorded sermon (the one on the Mount) Jesus says “Beware of False Prophets!” (Matthew 7:15). He goes on to warn that they will come deceitfully, but that you can spot them by examining their fruits….the outcomes of their teachings.  “You shall know them by their fruits.”
  5. In I John 4:1 the Apostle John warns of false prophets by advising that we “Test the spirits” because there is a lot of false teaching out there.
  6. Tower of Siloam that collapsed and killed people. Christ warned that we would perish likewise if we did not repent.
  7. Vigilance and Diligence.

Proverbs 4:23
Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

Colossians 4:2
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;

Deuteronomy 4:9
“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.

This is just the tip of the iceberg about warnings that can come on the inexperienced and gullible.  That’s usually who you warn.  Our children are just that.  God warns us who have the free moral agency to make the right choices and heed warnings about making choices that lead to death as they did for Adam and Eve.

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