Summary: To navigate through life safely, notice the "road signs" God places in his word.
This sermon and the other "road sign" sermons made use of common "road signs" that were projected on the worship screen for visual impact.
God’s road signs Part 1 Jeremiah 31:21-22
In the words of the singing group, The Five Man Electrical Band,
Signs, Signs, everywhere there’s signs
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this don’t do that, can’t you read the signs.
We live in a world full of signs. Billboard signs and neon signs. Yard sale signs nailed to a telephone pole and house for sale signs stuck in front yards all over town. School signs…street signs…business signs…garage sale signs and especially road signs.
And it doesn’t matter where you go, road signs are everywhere. Sometimes the signs are confusing…like this sign (Post the nowhere to go sign…with all three arrows crossed off) How would you like to have just gotten your license, and drive down the street only to encounter that sign? Looking at that, which way do you go?
But it could be worse. You could be driving along, and while driving by doing 40 miles an hour try to make sense out of these signs in Tuscany. (Post the confusion in Tuscany sign…with six different signs)
And what about this sign? (post no warnings sign). If there are no warnings ahead, what do you need a sign for? And I guess this sign was put up for those people who have absolutely no clue about where they are (post no idea where I am going…? and arrow sign)
Some signs draw attention to potential dangers…like this sign for deer crossing sign (post the correlating sign after each) …or elk crossing. Do you know there are signs for turtle crossings…kangaroo crossing…frog…giraffe…burrow… otter…and even zebra crossing!! Senior citizens might be interested in the elderly crossing sign. And talk about hazardous duty pay…what about this waiter crossing sign!!
Some signs make no sense…at least initially. Like this sign (post going in different directions sign), which indicates that you can go in three different directions at the same time. Or this one…(post hulahoop sign) where you yield I guess to yield to hullahoopers!! Or this directional sign that only dyslectics could understand. (keep right sign) While the sign is telling you to keep right, it is pointing you to the left.
And I don’t know (post hitchhikers sign) where this sign is located…but if I ever see it, I’m locking the car doors and speeding up!!
You are probably thinking…what do road signs have to do with the Christian faith? Well in Jeremiah 31, God said these words to his people through the prophet Jeremiah
"Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take. Return, O Virgin Israel, return to your towns. 22 How long will you wander, O unfaithful daughter?…(Jeremiah 31:21-22a…leave up until ***)
The nation of Israel had been drifting…wandering away from God. They had lost their way…their spiritual bearings as a people. And so God says…
Take note of the highway, the road that you take.
Be aware of where you are heading…
Set up road signs; put up guideposts
And follow them. Quit wandering and return. You see, like roads signs exist to guide and warn the motorist, the road signs and guideposts that Israel was to erect was to assist them in staying “on course”. The problem with Israel was that they were roving. Their heart as a nation wasn’t on their God. And to correct them, God allowed them to be conquered. They had ignored God’s prophets and preachers and failed to pay attention to God’s warnings and directions. They had stopped noticing the “road signs” God placed before them.
And that’s an easy thing to do. For when you see the road signs all the time, you tend to overlook them. Who in here will admit that they have at some time in their life run a stop sign? Hold your hand up!! Well, neither have I. How can you miss a big, red octagon sign that simply says STOP!! Well, you just are so accustomed to seeing it that you fail to notice it.
When I first moved to Pekin from Campbellsville, Kentucky I was driving a church member in our downtown area. I had been living in Pekin for two weeks or so…and Todd and I were talking in the car and I was driving through the downtown area…when he said,
“Ah, are you OK?”
“I said “Sure…why do you ask?”
He replied, “You just drove through two red lights…and you’re about to run a third.”
And I slammed on the brakes…looked around and noticed that in the downtown area of Pekin, the traffic lights were on poles off to the side of the intersection. Everywhere else in the city…except in these three blocks, the traffic lights are strung over the intersection. But these three blocks had the traffic lights off to the side. Now at that time, I had my license for 22 years. And I was so accustomed to traffic lights suspended over the intersection…I never saw them. And I never told Todd…and had driven through that downtown area a dozen times by then…and had run those lights every time!!