The Consequences of Neglected Warnings

During the 1982 war in the Falkland Islands between England and Argentina, the Royal Navy’s 3,500-ton destroyer HMS Sheffield was sunk by a single missile fired from an Argentine fighter jet. It caused some people to wonder if modern surface warships were obsolete, sitting … More

Warnings

After a strong warning against idolatry (v.v. 15-20), Moses for the third time refers to the Lord’s refusal to let him cross the Jordan and enter Canaan (v. 21; Deut. 1:37; Deut. 3:26-27). Certainly his repetition of the Lord’s prohibition points out his deep disappointment. Since the people were about to enter the land, Moses told them to be very careful not to forget the covenant they had made with the Lord not to worship idols in any form (vv. 22-24). If they, or their children, or their grandchildren, should ever forget these instructions he spells out the consequences of neglecting that warning (v.v. 25-31). He tells how certain judgment will come with their dispersion among the nations, and with a great loss of life (v. 27) and a giving over to idolatry (v. 28). This actually took place in 722 B.C. From that time until Mary 14, 1948, when the modern nation of Israel was recognized, the Jewish people were dispersed throughout the world and had no national homeland.

Even though a portion of the Jews are back in the land they are still in deep trouble and a witness of their disobedience. When God brings them back into that land at the beginning of the millennium, as he predicted, they won’t be having the trouble they are having today. This is a tremendous lesson for us to learn. We are called to be a separated people who are not conformed to this world (Rom. 12:1-2). However, the trend is for churches to pattern their ministry after what the world is doing.

Application

The warnings in the book of Deuteronomy were clear enough to help the Israelites, but they failed to heed them. A warning to me is not enough to make me obey. I must be living a separated life from worldly practices and take His warnings to heart.

Deuteronomy 4:21-31 (English Standard Version)


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