Heeding the Warning

Heeding the Warning

We belong to God and his desire is for us. That is stronger than any desire sin may have.  As we seek to heed God’s warnings and avoid the danger of sin crouching at our door, we do not do so in our strength but in his mighty power, knowing that we are his.

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. Genesis 4:7

Last Friday was Mountain Day in Japan, a public holiday to encourage people to take some time off in the summer and enjoy the mountains. I decided to brave the heat and climb a mid-sized mountain. At the entrance to the trail, however, I was faced with a warning sign: Beware of Bears! On average bears kill 1 or 2 people every year in Japan and injure several others. As I pondered whether to risk climbing the mountain, another climber appeared so I figured it was safe if I followed him. Some others had obviously heeded the warning and had bells hanging from their rucksacks to warn any bears off.

For the past few days in Japan we have been hearing warnings about a typhoon making landfall today in the west of the country. Flights and trains in that area have been cancelled and people have been urged to take precautions and stay alert. Japan is a country with a lot of natural dangers such as earthquakes, flooding, mudslides, tsunamis and tornados, so it has developed sophisticated warning systems, including alarms on our phones and loud public announcements. Giving people warnings about a coming danger means that they can take action to try to stay safe.

Recently I was reading the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4 and was struck there by the warning that God gave Cain. I imagine that most of you know the story of Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain, the older son, worked the soil and his younger brother, Abel, kept flocks. In the course of time the two brothers brought offerings to the Lord. Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil and Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.

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