Despite What You’ve Heard, Mothball Soup is Bad For You!
by Pastor Gene
Most warnings are pretty important to take seriously. They alert us to the potential danger of following a certain course of action. ‘Icy road ahead.’ ‘Do not climb ladder with wet feet and hands full.’ ‘Do not breathe in asbestos.’
‘Do not eat moth balls!’
I’ve never tasted mothballs, but they do look pretty tempting. They remind me of rice balls, only crunchier – and I LOVE crunchy! But, friends, all is not as it may seem! It turns out that those tempting cheezeballs-without-the-cheeze can do some serious damage!
According to the National Pesticide Information Center, “When you smell mothballs, you are inhaling the insecticide. Mothballs can also be dangerous if they are chewed or eaten. Children, pets and wildlife may mistake them for food or candy and eat them. One mothball can cause serious harm if eaten by a small child.”
Yikers! “Mary, scratch mothball soup from this week’s menu at the Giguere homestead!”
Now, while we may laugh at some warnings – and certainly some are more serious than others – it is a really bad idea to take biblical warnings lightly!
Proverbs chapter 1 contains one of the great ‘warning’ passages of the Bible. In it, God’s wisdom is personified and is seen crying out to those in danger of falling. It’s a powerful passage. It vividly warns of the danger of saying ‘no’ to God’s correction.
But it’s also gracious – warning, as it does, before we fall. It’s hopeful, promising that all who heed to God’s warning “will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
1:20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused to listen,
have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25 because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when terror strikes you,
27 when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel
and despised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.
32 For the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
We may hear God’s voice in many ways. He may ping our hearts with conviction as we listen to a sermon, or as we read the Bible, or in something a brother or sister says during a time of fellowship. Or the Holy Spirit may whisper to us in a still, small voice in our prayer time – gently drawing us toward a deeper holiness and love for Jesus.
But, however the Spirit’s convictions come, it is important for God’s people to respond positively when they do.
God’s warnings are manifestations of His grace. He knows what will ultimately bring us joy and cause His peace to settle upon our lives and so He beckons us away from sin and to purity.
But we must never forget that there are real and grave consequences to ignoring the warnings of God’s wisdom. In fact, it may be safer to eat a big bowl of mothball soup!
- How do you respond to conviction? Do you find that it’s easy for you to ignore?
- Do you see the convictions of the Spirit for what they truly are: God’s gracious warnings?
- When the Holy Spirit pings your heart through a sermon or a Bible reading or in some other way, do you take the warning seriously, or do you down-play the danger? This may speak to the depth of your faith, or the lack of it. ‘Do I really believe God when He points out the danger of disregarding the warnings of wisdom?’
- God loves us so much that He promises to discipline us as a Father disciplines a son.
“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? … [H]e disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:6-7, 10b-11).
Is there something in your life that you should deal with today before God’s gracious warning becomes divine discipline?
- Is there something you need to talk with God about?
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