Road closed. Detour. I watched as bold drivers completely ignored the signs and drove around the barrier, only to be pulled over100 yards later by a police officer just around the curve and out of sight. I don’t know if he was issuing tickets, but I did observe the officer speak to all the drivers I saw drive past the signs. The road really was closed ahead. Because the drivers couldn’t see what was blocking their way, they decided it was OK to proceed.
God loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to experience the consequences of poor decisions and bad choices. As a result, He gives us commands that function much the same as the “road closed” signs. We may not be able to see what lies ahead, but He knows and His warnings come in the form of commands that forbid specific activities. God knows the future, knows the consequence of activities, and knows what will fill us with joy and despair.
As protective as God wants to be, this is not always how His commands are viewed. The world would have us believe that God’s commands only serve to limit our fun. The commands are all the don’ts in a world that wants to do.
Take the area of sexual relationships. God has explicitly reserved the pleasure of sex for a man and a woman committed to each other in marriage. His command states unequivocally, “You shall not commit adultery.” (Ex. 20.14) The world, on the other hand, sells sex in every form as one of life’s greatest pleasures. As a result, illicit sexual affairs are glorified in television and movies, pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry, and sex trafficking is growing. The consequences of all this are dire. More and more women and children are exploited, used and discarded, in both the pornography and sex trafficking industries. Divorce, once stigmatized, is now accepted as normal and often has grave effects on children who grow up in broken homes. Abortion is another widely accepted practice, despite the emotional turmoil many women and even men suffer as a result of ending the life of their child. Many women also experience lifelong physical repercussions that have led to an inability to bear further children or even death.
The majority of these consequences would disappear if God’s command was viewed as a means of protection rather than limitation. God loves each of so much that He wants us to experience the deep joy and lasting peace life has to offer. We have the best chance of doing that by obeying His commands and trusting He knows and sees what we cannot.
Just like the drivers who saw the “road closed” signs, we have a choice. We can take God at His word and trust that His commands are indeed for our protection and joy. Or we can disregard the signs, continue along the path and find out for ourselves what lies ahead.