It seems like more and more things come with warnings or “no duh” instructions. I am warned not to use electrical appliances in or near water, warned that my curling iron can in fact burn me, and of course there is always the “slippery when wet” sign that seems like a given. The reality is we have those warning signs because people have been shocked, burned, and fallen many, many times.
Jeremiah is sent by God to warn Judah (once again) that if they do not listen to God and follow His law then He will allow disaster to fall on them (26:4-6). The Israelites do not respond well or even heed Jeremiah’s warning even though for their whole history they have been warned about what will happen when they do not follow God. Even with all of the warnings, they turn away, but God in his mercy continues to send them reminders of how they should live.
As Paul finishes up his second letter to the Thessalonians he warns against idleness among the believers and listening to false teachers. Paul points out their error to live in idleness and even the dangers of becoming busybodies (3:11). This was so serious that Paul says, “do not associate with [the idle/busybody], in order that [they] may feel ashamed” (3:14). It is important to note that they are to be “warned as fellow believers” and not to be “regarded as enemies” (3:15). The aim of the disassociation is not punishment but to bring the person back to a right attitude and restoration to fellowship.
The Israelites and the Thessalonians are being warned to change their ways because of God’s love for them. We have Scripture and community to warn and correct us for our good and because of God’s great love for us. However, warnings are only helpful if we heed them, no duh.
Question of the day: How do you respond to warnings? Does your response acknowledge God’s love for you?
Heavenly Father, I pray for the gospel to continue to go forth and be honored in the world. Help me to be faithful to your Word and never tire of doing what is right. Amen.