Warned and Rewarded

We all are surrounded each day by warnings of every kind; that bothersome seat belt alarm in our cars, the smoke detectors when the toast gets stuck in the toaster, labels on food warning that it has too much fat or sugar and so on!

Radiation, sun, and air are all dangerous, we are warned. But life goes on. Some warnings are true and some we aren't sure about. Today we can all put our natural suspicions and aversions to warnings down, and let the Lord through His Word teach us about God's Warning System!

So many times people have been misinformed and actually steered the opposite direction they needed to go for safety. The Lord never does that. He is TRUTH and LOVE. His warnings are right every time.

BLACK DEATH

 The Great Plague that infected London in the seventeenth century began innocuously enough with a few isolated cases in May 1664. One year later in that same month, 590 cases were reported, but ignored. By June the number swelled to 6,137. Panic ensued as the figure rose to 17,000 in July. Like stampeding cattle, two-thirds of London's population fled their homes as the deaths totaled 31,000 in August, 1665. But that was only the beginning. By the time the Plague was brought under control, more than 70,000 Londoners had been buried or burned.

What caused this catastrophe? The infinitesimal bites of fleas carried by diseased rats. Back then, however, people thought bad smelling air was the problem, so they carried sweet-scented posy petals in their pockets to ward off the disease. Hospitals even walked patients around rose gardens hoping to cleanse their lungs with the flowers' fragrance. This cured no one, of course, and it's said that one man sang these words as he piled the victims onto his pushcart: Ring around the roses, A pocket full of posies; Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.

Ironically, this parody of calamity is now sung all over the world as an innocent nursery rhyme. Yet for those who know the horror of its history, the last line is a sobering reminder of the greatest plague of all-death. Even those fortunate enough to escape the Plague in that day still eventually died. "Death is a debt we all must pay," wrote the Greek poet Euripides. "Ashes, ashes, we all fall down" is also a constant refrain throughout the Scriptures.

Our Lord warns us how to escape death and find life. Where? In His Word! (Psalm 19)

The Word of God Tells Us How to Find Life

HIS PERFECT LAW RESTORES (v. 7a The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul ) = The Word of God is THE DIVINE TEACHER: God's truth that totally transforms, touching all of life, turning the whole person to God.

HIS SURE TESTIMONY MAKES WISE (v. 7b the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple ) = The Word of God is THE DIVINE WITNESS: 9. God's testimony is absolutely trustworthy making us skilled in the art of holy living. So the word teaches the truth of God and testifies the way of God.

HIS RIGHT STATUTES REJOICE (v. 8a The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart ) = The Word of God is THE DIVINE DIRECTIONS. God's statutes give directions to only secure place in the universe, causing great joy because we know what is absolutely right. so the Word teaches the truth of God and testifies the way of God and turns the walk to God.

HIS PURE COMMANDMENTS ENLIGHTEN (v. 8b the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes ) = The Word of God is THE DIVINE DECREES: God's commands give a clear portrait of God's non-optional absolutes, flawlessly bringing light on every area.  So the Word teaches the truth of God and testifies the way of God and turns the walk to God and ties us to the will of God.

HIS CLEAN FEAR ENDURES (v. 9a The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever ) = The Word of God is (eternal life) THE DIVINE CONDITION. This is fearing God, lovingly acknowledging by my actions God sees me.

HIS TRUE JUDGMENTS LIBERATE (v. 9b the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether ) = The Word of God is (REV.19). THE DIVINE DECISIONS. God's judgments, His final word on everything! Non-negotiable living.

Warnings:

In the garden God warned Adam and Eve Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (NKJV). There was God's warning. Did they heed and obey? Of course we are painfully aware of the deadly results of their disobedience.

Before the Flood God warned the people through a mighty prophet who preached unflinchingly against the whole world! Jude 14-15 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." (NKJV) There was God's warning. Did they heed and obey? Of course we are painfully aware of the deadly results of their disobedience.

At the Flood God warned Genesis 6:3, 5 And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he [is] indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years 5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every intent of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. (NKJV). There was God's warning. Did they heed and obey? Of course we are painfully aware of the deadly results of their disobedience.

Two thousand years later the Lord Himself came down and warned a family to get away from a city named Sodom, whose name now stands for wretchedness. (Genesis 19:14-26) There was God's warning. Did they heed and obey? Of course we are painfully aware of the deadly results of their disobedience.

Should we listen to the Word of the Lord this morning? Yes. Psalm 19:10-11 More to be desired [are they] than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, [And] in keeping them [there is] great reward. (NKJV)

As the writer of Hebrews said: Hebrews 2:1-3 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard [Him,] (NKJV)

 

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