Whenever Jehudi finished reading three or four columns,
the king took his knife and cut off that section of the scroll.
He then threw it into the fire, section by section,
until the whole scroll was burned up.
Jeremiah 36:23 NLT
I don’t know why, but every time I drive next to a lane that is closed off for construction, I watch it as I drive alongside it to see if it really “needed” to be closed off. Could I actually have driven on it safely in case of an emergency? It’s an extremely tempting thought, especially when my lane is slowed to a stop during rush hour. I try to look for two cones that are just far enough apart that I could squeak through and imagine the rush of whizzing by the illogical traffic jam, arriving on time for my super duper important whatever.
But then reality kicks in that the orange cones are there for my safety. Someone, somewhere a couple years back probably researched what the most effective color and shape was for indicating danger. They came up with those orange and white striped cones as a way to protect us and the road workers in risky working conditions. They visually scream WARNING!! DON’T CROSS ME!
And if I, for whatever reason, chose to ignore them, I would be in danger.
In Jeremiah, God tries warning his people multiple times of the danger they were in and even gave them “orange cone wisdom.” In chapter 36 he has Jeremiah sit down and dictate to a writer (Jehudi) all the promises God had made to his people from a specific period of time up until their present days. He told Jeremiah to have them read to the king so that he could see the reality of his present danger. The message was brought in on a long scroll and read to the king. Check out the king’s response:
“Whenever Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took his knife and cut off the section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up. Neither the king nor his official showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard.” (Jeremiah 36:23-24 NLT)
Wowsa. That’s not just driving in the coned-off lane… that’s driving in the coned-off lane AND hitting every single cone along the way, sending them flying in all directions.
Where in my life do I live with that level of disregard for Jesus-made, orange-cone wisdom? Where am I gambling with a risky opportunity that might save me 5 minutes or give me temporary relief? Where am I cutting off the scroll of God’s message and throwing it in the fire, like the unwise king?
This week, I’m going to take a careful look at my life and see if there are any orange cones anywhere that I’m tempted to ignore… or potentially already ignoring.
- Maybe it’s in how I care for my physical health.
- Maybe it’s in who I hang out with… or who I DON’T hang out with.
- Maybe it’s in the time I spend on social media.
Then, I will start with praying for God’s wisdom and discernment to fill my perspective so that I know where to begin and how to simply let the orange cones do their job. (Even when it’s rush hour.)
Dear Lord, thank you for your patient, persistent wisdom in my life. I love that I can learn from others’ mistakes in the Bible and – with your help – keep myself from doing what they did. Please help me carve out time this week to look for your orange cone warning and wisdom. Give me the courage and boldness to live your way. Amen.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/23212428@N00/18752707252″>The Darkside</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>