“Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.”Exodus 9:18-21
God is merciful and gracious to give us needed warnings and danger signs throughout our life. He is clear when He says we will reap what we sow, but yet we are surprised when we do not listen to His warning and the day of reckoning finally arrives. The consequences of sin come when we least expect it, but we can think back to God’s previous warnings we simply ignored.
I grew up in a home in which expectations were given, and they were never suggestions or recommendations but rather “line drawn in the sand” commands: “If you do ___, you will get ___, and if you don’t do ___, then you will get ___. While my parents were not 100 percent consistent with carrying out these consequences, it seemed to me that they were 99.99 percent consistent. I constantly tested their consistency, and I more often than not paid the price of ignoring the commands they had given me. I knew better, but I felt for some reason that each new opportunity would be different, even though that thinking often betrayed me. I was not the sharpest tool in the shed, so you have to consider that as you judge my faulty logic.
I would often try to hide my sins, but my parents seemed to always be a step ahead of me, thanks to my sister who was the mole in my house. I was told that if I got a D or an F, then it was an automatic spanking. In my scholastic career, this was always a touch-and-go situation as I was closer to the D and F line than I was to the A and B honor roll. I was on the principal’s “list” that was written on the paddle and not the one published with pride on the notes that went home to the parents. I would start every new quarter determined to do better, only to predictably not study for the tests and quizzes and would vow to myself again that I would do better the next time. There was always something more exciting I had to do than study, and I would put that on the back burner until the day inevitably came that my own back side would be the “back burner”. I was warned, but chose to ignore the warning. Unfortunately, I have played this game in my spiritual life as well, ignoring God’s warning only to pay the price.
Pharaoh was warned to bring inside all the servants and cattle or else they would be killed by the hail God was about to rain down. Pharaoh did not take this command seriously and did absolutely nothing to protect the cattle and servants in his kingdom. You would think after all the previous plagues that he would know God meant what He said. Although we say he should have known better, we often do the same thing even though we know better. We are clearly given the written commands of God, but yet we ignore them and act like the day of reaping will never come.
What warning signs are you ignoring? What is God telling you to do or not do, and you are ignoring and simply living your life as if the “hail” will not come? Will you be like Pharaoh or will you heed to God’s warning? If we do not obey the voice of God, the time will come when it will be too late. When I look back on my life, I regret the warning signs I ignored, and am thankful for the times I listened to the warnings from my loving Father. May we not take God’s commands as simply suggestions, but may we obey them as if our life depended on it. Jeremiah 42:6 states, “Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.”