WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 27, 2022
TOPIC: HEED DIVINE WARNINGS AND INSTRUCTIONS
BY T. O. BANSO
“To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the LORD is a reproach to them; they have no delight in it” (Jeremiah 6:10 New King James Version).
The Bible records God’s warnings and instructions to those who lived in Bible times and those alive today. It is important for us to study these warnings and instructions and heed those that pertain to us today and the warnings and instructions that the Holy Spirit may give to us. Whoever ignores or disobeys them does so at his peril.
Just like the Apostle Paul says in Colossians 1:28, many preachers today are preaching Christ, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, so that they may present everyone perfect in Christ. Each person should listen and obey.
Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (New King James Version). Noah heeded the divine warning and built the ark as commanded by God. He must have preached to his generation to repent of their wickedness because the Bible calls him a preacher of righteousness. But eventually, a flood destroyed his generation, and only Noah and his family – eight people – were saved (2 Peter 2:5).
The LORD told the Prophet Ezekiel, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand” (Ezekiel 3:17-18 New King James Version). God does not is willing that anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9b).
The LORD continues in Ezekiel 3:20-21, “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul” (New King James Version).
Heed divine warnings and instructions. According to Ezekiel 33:4, whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. Verse 5 emphasizes this. Whoever takes divine warning will save his life.
The Prophet Jeremiah said about the Israelites, “To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the LORD is a reproach to them; they have no delight in it” (Jeremiah 6:10 New King James Version). Don’t close your ears to God’s warnings and instructions.
Your faith is not superior to divine warnings and instructions. It is useless to try to use your faith against divine warnings and instructions. In 2 Kings 6:8-10, the Prophet Elisha warned the king of Israel not to pass the place the Syrian army would be going down to. The king heeded his warning and was saved from death. This happened more than two times. If the king had ignored this warning, he would have died, and if it were today, mourners would have said it was the will of God.
On the other hand, Ahab died because he did not heed the divine warning of a true prophet of God, Micaiah, not to go fight at Ramoth Gilead (1 Kings 22). Ahab chose to listen to the lies of his 400 prophets who prophesied his victory and urged him to go.
However, the Prophet Micaiah told him that it was a lying spirit speaking through them (1 Kings 22:19-23). Nevertheless, Ahab didn’t heed the warning of this prophet of God to stay back at home. He took it personally and ordered that he should be put in prison and fed with the bread and water of affliction until he returned in peace (verse 27). He didn’t even change his mind after the prophet had said, “If you ever return in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me” (verse 28 New King James Version). Ahab eventually died in that battle as Micaiah had prophesied because a lying spirit entered his prophets to deceive him to go to war.
If what happened to Ahab was because he was a king who did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, what about Jehoshaphat the king of Judah who was a good king? It was at his instance that Ahab reluctantly sent for the Prophet Micaiah whom he said never prophesied anything good concerning him but evil. “And Jehoshaphat said, ‘Is there not still a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of Him?’” (1 Kings 22:7 New King James Version).
Jehoshaphat said that because he wasn’t convinced about the credibility of Ahab’s prophets. Yet after hearing from a prophet of God, Jehoshaphat still didn’t heed the warning of the prophet. He went with Ahab to fight at Ramoth Gilead and endangered his life. He nearly died in that battle because he didn’t listen to and follow the warning of a true prophet of God. In the battle, Jehoshaphat was mistaken for the king of Israel (Ahab) because he wore his royal robes while Ahab disguised himself.
The Syrian soldier went after Jehoshaphat because the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots to fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel. When they turned aside to fight Jehoshaphat, he cried out and the Syrian captains stopped pursuing him when they saw he was Jehoshaphat and not Ahab. Ahab was eventually wounded in the battle and he died in the evening.
Heed divine warnings and instructions. Matthew 2:12 says, “Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way” (New King James Version). This scripture is talking about the magi (wise men). Take note of the phrase: being divinely warned in a dream. They heeded the warning. Thus, Herod couldn’t find out from them the whereabouts of Jesus whom they had seen.
Also, Joseph was able to save the life of Jesus from death when he heeded the warning of an angel of the Lord in a dream that he should carry the young child, Jesus, to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill him. If Joseph had not obeyed, Jesus could have been killed (verses 13-15)
After Herod’s death, an angel of the Lord appeared again to Joseph to arise and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life were dead (verses 19-20). Joseph obeyed but he received another warning: “But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee” (verse 22 New King James Version). Joseph heeded this divine warning.
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, when He knew that they wanted to kill Him, the Bible says He withdrew. It wasn’t yet time for Him to die. Jesus didn’t say nobody could kill Him because He was the Son of God. “Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him. But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all” (Matthew 12:14-15 New King James Version).
God gave the Prophet Jonah, the son of Amittai, an instruction to go and prophesy against Nineveh because their wickedness had come up before Him. But Jonah didn’t obey God’s instruction. Rather, he fled to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. But what made him think that he could flee from the presence of the LORD? For disobeying the LORD’s instruction, Jonah nearly caused his death and the death of all on the ship he was. At his request, he was thrown into the sea for the great wind that wanted to break the ship to stop. In the end, he reluctantly went to carry out the instruction but only after he had spent three days and three nights in the belly of the fish that swallowed him (Jonah 1).
Proverbs 12:1a says whoever loves instruction loves knowledge. Also, Proverbs 15:32a says he who disdains instruction despises his own soul. Heed divine warnings and instructions. Emulate Noah, Joseph, and other Bible characters who heeded divine warnings and instructions.
Don’t emulate people like Ahab, Jonah, or the Israelites of Jeremiah’s day. Listen to and follow divine warnings and instructions, especially those in the Bible. All Scripture is, among other things, profitable for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge (Proverbs 23:12). Heeding divine warnings and instructions will preserve you.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to heed divine warnings and instructions. I shall not ignore or disobey divine warnings and instructions but listen to and follow them. I pray that those whose ears are uncircumcised and cannot give heed will repent, and give their lives to Jesus so that the Word of God will no more be a reproach to them but they will delight in it.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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