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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

The Warning

 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
Proverbs 3:7

 On the first day of our vacation at Big Bend National Park, a mountain lion attacked a hiker. Consequently, for safety’s sake the park rangers decided to close the trails.

My husband and I had really been looking forward to hiking. In fact, that was the main reason we went to Big Bend. However, we respected the wisdom of the rangers and stayed off the trails. Some other folks did not.

As we sat on a bench near the trailhead, I saw three young men approach the “Trails Closed” sign and stop to read it. Then, in spite of the written warning, they walked around the barrier and proceeded up the trail. 

 A few hours later the rangers had to shoot a mountain lion prowling near the lodge. It was presumably looking for food. I immediately thought about the three men who had ignored the warning sign. They were fortunate they hadn’t met that hungry lion on the trail. The consequences could have been disastrous.

Proverbs 3:7 tells us not to be wise in our own eyes. In other words, we shouldn’t think we know more than we actually do. The three hikers seemed to think they were smarter than the park rangers. In spite of the official warning, they discounted the rangers’ experience and authority and put themselves at risk.

God gives us warning signs too. The scripture is full of them. They are for our protection. If we choose to ignore the Bible’s warnings and fail to respect God’s authority, we are as foolish as those hikers.

 Father, help me to respect Your warnings and choose Your way.


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