Summary: The Bible makes it clear that men are responsible for how they respond to warnings. If they choose to ignore them and are unprepared, their blood will be on their own head.
On a Friday afternoon, May 31, 1889 a man by the name of
Daniel Peyton came galloping down the road in Johnstown, Penn.
Sparks were flying from the hoofs of his big bay horse. He was
shouting for all he was worth that the damn had broken. Some
believed his warning and fled to the hills. Others thought he was
crazy, and they ignored the warning. They said, we have heard
rumors for years that the damn might burst, but they were always
false rumors. They just laughed and went about their business.
Scarcely had Daniel ridden out of town, however, when they heard
another sound. It was a dreadful rumble and roar of a flood. Now
it was too late, and in moments a wall of water 15 feet high came
tumbling down upon them, and hundreds of people were swept to
Warnings are funny things. They are so important, and yet they
do not do a thing if they are not obeyed. From the time we are
children we have to learn how to obey warnings. When mother tells
us the stove is hot, and we do not chose to obey and touch it anyway,
we get burned, and suffer the consequences of not giving heed to a
warning. We are warned not to play by the river, and not to cross
the busy street, and not to get into a car of a stranger, and not to eat
or drink anything under the sink. Yet, every year thousands of
children die because they do not obey these warnings. Medicine
bottles have the warning, keep out of the reach of children, but
children die by the thousands because this warning is not heeded.
Warnings are one of the best things we have in life, for they protect
us from all kinds of dangers.
Millions of people have been saved by warnings. Fire alarm
systems have saved many. Warnings of dangerous traffic situations
have saved many, and warnings about dangerous poisons have done
the same. Let's face it, warnings are wonderful, but we also must
face the fact that we hate them. We want to do as we please, and so
we despise warnings that tell us we will suffer if we go our way.
Adam and Eve were warned not to eat the forbidden fruit, but they
did not heed the warning, and the result was the fall of man.
Warnings are made every year about the danger of mixing alcohol
and driving, yet millions of self-confident drinkers have laughed at
that warning, and now they have filled the graveyards of our land.
Warnings are made by the government, and studies from
universities support them, that smoking is harmful to your health.
Millions consider it a big joke, even though thousands die every year
due directly to their smoking habit. Death wins every time we refuse
to listen to a warning. Napoleon kept on marching toward Moscow
in his determination to conquer the world, even though he had clear
warning that he was being foolish. The storks and the cranes were
flying South because they knew a terrible winter was coming. God
gave the animal kingdom built in instincts to obey the warnings of
nature. Man was left free to choose, and Napoleon chose to ignore
the warning of the birds. When the storm hit, and he had to retreat,
he left a half a million men frozen to death scattered over the
You would think men would learn from the folly of others, but
even knowing the tragic mistake of Napoleon, Hitler did the same
thing in 1941. He decided to attack Russia and get deep into it, and
then came the cold of winter. He was warned about the deadly cold
winters in Russia, but he replaced all the generals who warned him
that it was a hopeless situation. Hitler refused to listen to any
warning, and the result was the German Army was defeated, and
that was the beginning of Hilter's downfall. We can thank God that
he was a fool. Fools never learn to like warnings. They refuse to let
warnings change their minds and their plans. How does a wise man
differ from a fool? The wise man gives heed to warnings.
Noah was not a perfect man, nor was he free from sin and folly.
He got drunk after the flood, and brought shame upon himself and
his family. Still, he became the greatest and wisest man of his day
because he had the wisdom to heed God's warning. God said He
was going to destroy the world, and Noah did not laugh and say,
people are always saying the world is going to end. He said, I
believe, and he got busy and built an ark, and he was ready when