Quick review- On our Bible menu so far we've sampled:
Promises – God's "I will" statements
Facts – A framework that grounds God's word in time and place
Commands – Instructions containing active verbs
Guidance – Principles and examples without a direct command to follow
Today we'll take a look at Warnings.
These are the cautions and consequences. Often, these are easily identified with words such as "beware", "take heed", "watch" and the easiest one to spot– "don't".
Warnings appear early in Scripture with God issuing one almost as soon as He created man in Genesis 2. "Of every tree of the garden, you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die." See the caution and consequence pattern?
At the base of Mount Sinai, God warns the people not to ascend the mountain or even touch it, under penalty of death. (Ex. 19:12-13) Caution, consequence and the "take heed" marker.
The early chapters of Proverbs are full of a father's warnings to his son, including the cautions about immoral women. "Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways … Her house is the way to hell." (7:24,27)
The prophets made their living warning God's people, and you'll find plenty of examples as you read them. One example is from Jeremiah 18. After the object lesson of the potter forming a clay vessel, then reforming it, God issues a warning. "Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way and make your ways and your doings good." Here the pattern is reversed- consequences then the caution.
Jesus also issued warnings like this one in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6. "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward from your Father in heaven."
He carries His warnings through to the end, delivering them to the churches in Revelation. Nearly every church receives a warning to change or repent and the consequences that will follow otherwise.
What warnings have you seen as you studied? Did they follow the marker-caution-consequence pattern?