When the warning sign appears on your computer screen, how do you proceed? When you read "warning wild animals," how do you proceed? Do you panic? Do you become concerned? Do you proceed cautiously? Do you heed the warning, and change your direction, actions, or attitude? Can you think of a time you wished you heeded the warning?
This reading is all about heeding warning and finding mercy for doing God's will. The Exodus narrative begs us to ask Pharaoh: "If you had to do it all over again, would you heed God's warning delivered through Moses?" To lose the firstborn in a family is brutally painful. He was warned. He faced the turmoil of, "If only…" Ever been there?
Ask Pontius Pilate, the fifth Roman Governor of Judea, serving under the emperor Tiberius: "Would you have done things differently when you had the man on your hands, Jesus?" Have you ever wondered about the outcome of his ruling concerning Jesus, if Pilate had of heeded the warning of his wife, found in verse 19: "Don't have anything to do with that innocent man…"
According to the first two texts, neither of these men heeded the warnings of God and missed his mercy. Psalm 21 is King David's hymn of thanksgiving. Interestingly, he, too, is guilty of failing to heed God's warnings and suffered painful repercussions from his choices.
David's hymn expresses his forgiveness experience of being cared for by a merciful, forgiving and gracious God. I am sure you know David's story of adultery, but you need to know his story of repentance and reconciliation. That same forgiveness would have been available to Pharaoh, and Pilate had they bent their knee before God in surrender. This hymn is the "morning-after" worship song.
That brings us to us. How do we respond to sin and the potential restoration that God extends? Do we pat ourselves on the back and say, "well done?" Do we rally praying friends and celebrate his goodness? Do you bow our heads in prayer and rejoice in his graciousness? Remember Jesus ― as the song goes ― is the "way-maker, miracle worker, promise keeper and light in the darkness." He will make a way for us when confronted with warnings of sinful activity. That is who he is.
What warnings are we disregarding today? May we all pay attention to him who loves us so much!
Children’s Ministries Pastor and passionate follower of Jesus