WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 06, 2023
TOPIC: PAY ATTENTION TO GOD’S WARNINGS
BY T. O. BANSO
“And the LORD said to me, ‘Tell them, ‘Do not go up nor fight, for I am not among you; lest you be defeated before your enemies’” (Deuteronomy 1:42 New King James Version).
Pay attention to God’s warnings. In the Old Testament, God’s warnings always came before His punishment or judgment. His pattern has not changed. Unfortunately, not many people pay attention to God’s warnings. As it was in the past, so it is today. But don’t be one of those who don’t pay attention to God’s warnings.
Those who will end in hellfire will not because God wants it so. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9b). He didn’t create hell or everlasting fire originally for man but for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41b). But those who don’t pay attention to His warnings to forsake their sins and accept His Son as their Lord and Saviour will spend eternity with Satan.
As Ezekiel 33:4-5 says, 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 head because he heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; but whoever takes warning will save his life.
Pay attention to God’s warnings. “Pay attention to my warning, Jerusalem, or I will turn away from you. I will make your land desolate, a land where no one will live” (Jeremiah 6:8 GOD’S WORD Translation). But did they pay attention? No. They persisted in their sin until the Babylonian army invaded Jerusalem, destroyed it, and took many of the people of Judah into exile. God’s warning always precedes God’s judgment or punishment.
The Israelites had a history of not heeding God’s warnings and they suffered the consequences. In Deuteronomy 1:42, Moses recalled, “And the LORD said to me, ‘Tell them, ‘Do not go up nor fight, for I am not among you; lest you be defeated before your enemies’” (New King James Version). That was after they had changed their mind and said they would go up to possess the Promised Land following. They initially refused based on the majority report of the ten spies. Because of this, God said these Israelites would not see the land He had sworn to give to their fathers, except Caleb and Joshua and the little Israelites.
Having heard what God said, the Israelites acknowledged that they had sinned against the LORD and said they would go up and fight as the LORD had commanded them. But when they had girded on their weapons of war and were ready to go up into the mountain the LORD warned them not to go because He was not among them and their enemies would crush them. But they didn’t pay attention to God’s warning. They presumptuously went up into the mountain.
What was the repercussion of not paying attention to God’s warning? “And the Amorites who dwelt in that mountain came out against you and chased you as bees do, and drove you back from Seir to Hormah. Then you returned and wept before the LORD, but the LORD would not listen to your voice nor give ear to you” (Deuteronomy 1:44-45 New King James Version). Numbers 14:40-45 records this same incident. How could people be so rebellious? They exposed themselves to unnecessary danger by disregarding God’s warning. It is easy to sit in judgment over them but many people still do the same today.
When God told the Prophet Samuel to solemnly forewarn the Israelites and show them the behavior of the king who would reign over them, as they had asked for a king, the people refused and paid no attention to God’s warning. They insisted they wanted a king over them (1 Samuel 8:9-20). God allowed them to have their way.
There are other examples of people in the Bible who did not pay attention to God’s warning and suffered the consequences. Look at the example of King Jeroboam of Israel: “Despite the prophet’s warning, Jeroboam did not turn away from his evil ways; instead, he made more priests than ever from the common people, to offer sacrifices to idols in the shrines on the hills. Anyone who wanted to could be a priest. This was a great sin and resulted in the destruction of Jeroboam’s kingdom and the death of all of his family” (1 Kings 13:33-34 The Living Bible). Despite God’s warning through His prophet, Jeroboam continued in his evil ways.
But Noah is an example of a Bible character who paid attention to God’s warning. Hebrews 11:7 says, “Noah was another who trusted God. When he heard God’s warning about the future, Noah believed him even though there was then no sign of a flood, and wasting no time, he built the ark and saved his family. Noah’s belief in God was in direct contrast to the sin and disbelief of the rest of the world-which refused to obey-and because of his faith he became one of those whom God has accepted” (The Living Bible). Note that when Noah heard God’s warning, he believed God even when there was no visible sign of a flood. He carried out God’s instructions.
Pay attention to God’s warnings, including the warnings in His written Word or through the Holy Spirit. The warnings could be quickened to your spirit as you study the Word of God or as you listen to the Word of God being preached. What has God been warning you about? When will you do it or stop doing it? How long will you continue to disobey Him or disregard His warnings? Heeding God’s warnings will save you from troubles here on earth and spending eternity in hellfire. “And don’t forget the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, all full of lust of every kind, including lust of men for other men. Those cities were destroyed by fire and continue to be a warning to us that there is a hell in which sinners are punished” (Jude 7 The Living Bible).
God always warns people before disaster or judgment comes so that they can do the right thing and avert it. God’s warning does not continue forever; people cannot escape the consequences of their actions. After warning Eli about his children and what He would do to his father’s house, God’s word began to take effect, beginning with the death of Eli’s children and himself (1 Samuel 2:27-36; 3:10-18; 4;10-11, 18). God will not continue to warn someone without end. Hosea 6:5 says, “I sent my prophets to warn you of your doom; I have slain you with the words of my mouth, threatening you with death. Suddenly, without warning, my judgment will strike you as surely as day follows night” (Jude 7 The Living Bible).
Pay attention to God’s warnings. Don’t harden your heart. See God’s warning to the priests in Israel, which shows that nobody should joke with God’s warning: “Listen, you priests, to this warning from the Lord Almighty: ‘If you don’t change your ways and give glory to my name, then I will send terrible punishment upon you, and instead of giving you blessings as I would like to, I will turn on you with curses. Indeed, I have cursed you already because you haven’t taken seriously the things that are most important to me. Take note that I will rebuke your children; I will spread on your faces the manure of these animals you offer me and throw you out like dung. Then at last you will know it was I who sent you this warning to return to the laws I gave your father Levi,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Malachi 2:1-4 The Living Bible).
God is no respecter of persons. Whoever jokes with God’s warning will suffer the consequences. Whoever does not pay attention to God’s warnings will pay for it! Don’t disregard His warnings. “Son, when the Lord corrects you, pay close attention and take it as a warning. The Lord corrects those he loves, as a father corrects a son of whom he is proud” (Proverbs 3:11-12 Today’s English Version). Pay close attention to God’s correction and take it as a warning. Don’t continue to do what God forbids.
Hebrews 3:15 says, “But now is the time. Never forget the warning, ‘Today if you hear God’s voice speaking to you, do not harden your hearts against him, as the people of Israel did when they rebelled against him in the desert’” (The Living Bible). Don’t harden your heart against God. Pay attention to His warnings.
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 pay attention to God’s warnings so that I will not suffer the consequences. I shall not be presumptuous or rebellious but heed God’s warnings in Jesus’ name. Father, I pray that those who have not given their lives to Jesus will do so and not perish but have everlasting life.
(For over 900 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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