Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Warning signs

How many people smoke cigarettes regularly? Probably a billion worldwide. And in almost every nation on earth, cigarette packages are affixed with stern warning labels. I suspect those billion or so people do believe the warnings on the package, they simply choose to ignore them.

Perhaps those folks are in denial. Maybe they believe all those bad things mentioned on the label won't happen to them. Possibly, they figure they will cut back once some symptoms of disease kick in. Or, most likely of all, they believe the warning labels and understand them, but just haven't personally grasped the weight of what is being said.
So is this about smoking cigarettes? I suppose it is, to a certain point. Really, though, this is about eternity. Let's take a look at some warning signs in the Bible.
The warning sign? "Alcohol - Danger Ahead".

Proverbs 20:1 NKJV - [1] Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

Proverbs 23:29-35 NKJV - [29] Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? [30] Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine. [31] Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; [32] At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. [33] Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things. [34] Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: [35] "They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?"

The sign says "Choose your friends wisely".

Proverbs 22:24-25 NKJV - [24] Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, [25] Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul.

The warning sign? "Dont' hang out with people who will pull you down".

Proverbs 24:1-2 NKJV - [1] Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; [2] For their heart devises violence, And their lips talk of troublemaking.

Proverbs 24:1-2, 30-34 NKJV - [1] Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; [2] For their heart devises violence, And their lips talk of troublemaking. ... [30] I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; [31] And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. [32] When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: [33] A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; [34] So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.

The warning sign? "Do not trust unreliable people".

Proverbs 25:19 NKJV - [19] Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble Is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.

The warning sign? "Don't be lazy".

Proverbs 22:13 NKJV - [13] The lazy man says, "There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!"

I guess here in Anchorage we might say there is a moose in the streets.

Here is an interesting sign:

Proverbs 25:16 NKJV - [16] Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, Lest you be filled with it and vomit.

And a warning about overstaying your welcome:

Proverbs 25:17 NKJV - [17] Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house, Lest he become weary of you and hate you.

I think most men can appreciate this warning sign:

Proverbs 25:24 NKJV - [24] It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

Here is a warning about borrowing money:
Proverbs 22:7 NKJV - [7] The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender.

And finally, never think you got it all figured out.
Proverbs 26:12 NKJV - [12] Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.