Words of Warning From the Past

Do We Learn the Lessons?

Keith Greer

The Old Testament was written for our learning. Paul wrote: “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom 15:4). Since it was written for our learning, we understand the lessons of the past. Right? Let me give you a few to consider.

“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes” (Deut 6:7-8). Do we teach our children the word of God by word and practice?

“And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity” (Eccl 2:19). Solomon told us a long time ago, “we can’t take it with us.” Do we still doubt it? Some work and gain material wealth at the cost of their soul.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness” (Prov 15:1-2). Do we still allow our anger to control our speech? Whoever is louder is right. Sometimes that’s the way we act.

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov 16:18). When will man learn that many a downfall can be traced back to pride. Do we admit our wrongs or try to justify and minimize them?

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Prov 20:1). Recently in a poll taken among the teenagers of a large city, over 60% had tried some form of alcohol before their graduation. I wonder what example the parents of these teenagers set?

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight” (Isa 5:20-21). We just change the name of the sin and that makes it right in the eyes of many. Abortion, that is pro-choice, not murder. Homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle, not sin before God. Mercy killing is compassion not murder. Have we forgotten the words of Isaiah?

“But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out” (Num 32:23). Do we believe that the wrath of God will somehow exempt us from our disobedience? Could we repeat the sad mistakes of the past again? We can read these words, see these lessons, yet, go down the same paths - sadly, the end is the same!

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