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Signs

This year at Vacation Bible School, my wife and I did a series of skits called, “On The Road…” Most of these were stories of misadventures from our numerous travels. They ranged from the account of getting lost in Washington, D.C. to the tale of frustrating the GPS by taking a brand-new bridge across the Mississippi near St. Louis. The last of our skits was a story borrowed from John Wyant and was about making certain the “HOME” setting on the GPS was set for where you wanted to go. From our most recent trip to St. Louis, my wife and I have a brand new story to tell.

It was early afternoon on a Tuesday, and we were on our way to a series of baseball games. The Boston Red Sox were playing inter-league ball with the Cardinals. My wife had circled this series on the calendar since learning about it last year. If she must, she will root for St. Louis, but, hailing from New England as she does, Boston is “her team.” There was the usual amount of “trash talk” during the drive. It didn’t seem to matter that “her” BoSox were playing this year from the bottom-basement of their division’s standings. This was the team that had beaten the Cardinals in the World Series last year, and that’s all that seemed to matter.

It was a fairly routine drive on a beautiful, August, Illinois day. The skies were clear and blue, and we were enjoying the new 70 MPH speed limit on I-55. There were the usual slow-downs for construction work – it was summer in Illinois, after all – but nothing extraordinary until we’d gone just past the town of Lincoln. The construction signs had warned of possible troubles. Three lanes were merging into one. “Expect Delays,” said the flashing notice. We found one at Exit 123. It was more than a delay as the traffic had come to an absolute stop.

Somewhere up the line cars might have been moving as drivers redistributed their cars from three lanes into one, but from where we were sitting, nothing was moving except for those few vehicles exiting at Marker Number 123. I watched one or two of them go by before I noticed a little orange sign near the exit marker that said, “Detour.” “Let’s go that way,” I suggested to Vi, and so we took the exit. Up at the stop-sign the directions were to go left.

In less than a mile, that road was closed. Big signs across the entire roadway. A bridge across a creek was being replaced. “Road Closed.”

“Only in Illinois,” I lamented, “would they detour you off of the interstate and onto a closed road.”

We eventually made it around that construction jam and down to St. Louis. Using our GPS map we were able to circumnavigate a corn field to the next exit on I-55, Exit 119. There we found the traffic to be moving quite nicely. That particular construction bottleneck was behind us.

This adventure got me to thinking about signs and what the Bible says about them. Jesus’ enemies (and even some of those who would become His friends) were constantly looking for Him to “show them a sign” that He was from heaven. According to Matthew 16: 1-4:

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.
He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’  and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.  A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.

Jesus dismissed them because the ONLY sign that the needed was standing right before them, and they chose not to believe Him. The weren’t satisfied with His revelation of God the Father to them. They wanted something else, something more.

Dissatisfaction is a danger that haunts us all. Are you content with the truth that Jesus has put before you? Do you really believe all the truth that Jesus has made known to you, or are you searching for something else? Perhaps something more? Do you find yourself taking “Detour” signs off of “The Gospel Road”? Jesus said that sort of dissatisfaction springs from a heart of wickedness and adultery. Don’t let those words describe you.

Today as you read the scriptures and pray, give thanks for the truth that has been revealed to you. Thank God for His Son, the Lord Jesus. Thank Him for the Word, His truth given to us all, and for the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes to this truth, Unlike some signs along the highway, God’s truth will never lead us astray.

Praying that He makes your path straight and clear,

Pastor Clint

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