Heed the warnings … “lest you die”

When you got your wisdom teeth out, the pain medication prescribed had many warnings. One of those warnings was: “Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.” Percocet makes a person drowsy and a sleepy driver is a dangerous driver. Doctors and pharmacists do not put the warning on the bottle just to be mean. It is not on there to prevent their patients from having fun or going about their normal daily activities. They put it there to protect the patient and others from serious harm or death.

When you and I read God’s Word, and read something that is “restrictive” to our current lifestyle or our desires, it would do us good to think about medical warnings. No one likes to be told what to do. We naturally do not like to be prevented from doing something we desire. But, none of us complain about or disregard the warnings and restrictions on prescription drugs. In the same way, we shouldn’t complain or disregard God’s warnings and instructions either.

Am I exaggerating by using this comparison? You tell me. Look at today’s verse in Leviticus. This verse ends a chapter regarding purification rituals about the tabernacle. God tells Moses to tell this to the Israelites so they will not die. We are talking death here. Unsure? Ask Aaron, whose 2 sons were killed instantaneously for not following the instructions given by God. God does not kill people on a whim, or because He likes to punish people. This entire section of Leviticus is explanation for the people on how to purify themselves because impurity CAN NOT stand in God’s presence. God is not just looking at people and has decided he only likes “pure” people. It is a fact, just like a fish will die out of water. It is a mere truth. Unholiness in the midst of a holy God results in immediate death.

We are no longer required to sacrifice a bird and be examined by a priest if we have an open wound on our skin, thank goodness, but there is still clear instruction from God about how we are to live. Sometimes, God’s instruction is easier to follow due to our gifting and personality. For instance, I would say I have seen the 3 of you are hard workers, obeying God’s instruction in Col. 3:23 which says “whatever you do, do heartily as unto the Lord…” This seems to come naturally to you, so I doubt you struggle to obey that instruction. But, there are other commands from God that we will have to choose to obey and obedience will be hard. They will require us to sacrifice something-our time, our money, our desires, or something else. The key and a helpful motivator to do what is right in these circumstances is to remind yourself that ALL of God’s instruction is for our good. It is to protect us, to bring us through to something better than what we think we wanted and to bring God glory through it all. God is not out to be a killjoy, though Satan will try to deceive you that He is.  God’s intention is for good, not evil, as Joseph tells us. God does not want us to die, as he reminded Moses and the Israelites in Leviticus. He gives us warnings and commands for the same reason dad and I did not let any of you drive while taking Percocet (the pain medication); “lest you die”.

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