The timer goes off signaling the meal in the oven is ready to be taken out. I’m at the tale end of completing something and I know I have at least one or two minutes before I REALLY have to take it out of the oven. So I continue with my task and before I know it that one or two minutes has turned into five or ten and now our meal is ruined.
The gaslight goes off again and I check to see how many miles I can still drive before I REALLY have to get gas. There are just a few more places I have to go before I head to the gas station I like to use because it is usually cheaper and I can use my Kroger points. So I push it to the limit and coast into the gas station on fumes one too many times.
The smoke detector goes off again in the middle of the night waking everyone in the house out of his or her deep sleep. Before I REALLY have to start searching for that odd 9-volt battery, I just take the battery out of the smoke detector and leave it empty until I am more awake to replace it.
Surely I am not the only one who has had the above instances happen to them, but if I am please don’t judge me too hard. However, I do realize that while these instances may seem trivial to our minds and we try to justify our actions, there is a reason that the alarm is sounding in each of these cases. And when the alarm is not heeded there are consequences to pay. Some consequences are more severe than others, but there are still consequences.
This applies to God’s word as well. No one is exempt from the consequences when God sounds the alarm. Often times, it is not only the one who thinks they are exempt from the consequences that pays, but also those around them. My whole family pays when I choose to ignore the oven timer as they suffer through eating burnt lasagna. My husband pays when I choose to ignore the gaslight and he has to come pick me up on the side of the road. (Thankfully I have been able to coast into the station and not have to make that call yet.) My whole family will pay if our house burns down because I forgot to replace the smoke detector batteries. You see ignoring the alarms affect other people beside myself.
As the Israelites were about to enter into the land of Canaan, God sounded the alarm for them.
“Indeed, you know how we lived in the land of Egypt and passed through the nations where you traveled. You saw their detestable images and idols made of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which were among them. Be sure there is no man, woman, clan, or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations. Be sure there is no root among you bearing poisonous and bitter fruit. When someone hears the words of this oath, he may consider himself exempt, thinking, ‘I will have peace even though I follow my own stubborn heart.’ This will lead to the destruction of the well-watered land as well as the dry land. The Lord will not be willing to forgive him. Instead, His anger and jealousy will burn against that person, and every curse written in this scroll will descend on him. The Lord will blot out his name under heaven, and single him out for harm from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this book of the law.” Deuteronomy 29:19-21
When we consider ourselves exempt and that we can have peace apart from the Spring of Life we find our well-watered land destroyed with only our stubborn heart to blame. So the question is not whether or not we are exempt from God’s commands, but rather are we to keep our hearts towards God and away from the idols and gods of all the other nations? Lord God, help us to remain in the Spring of Life today and not give in to our stubborn hearts.