It is amazing how people will use a product for something other than it is intended and then try to sue the company or manufacturer to compensate them for injuries incurred. To cover themselves from liability, manufacturers have had to place some humorous warning labels on their products. Here are just a few examples:
1) On a Swedish chainsaw: “Don’t stop chain with hand!”
2) On a Sears hair dryer: “Do not use while sleeping.”
3) On a clothes iron: “Do not iron clothes on your body.”
4) On a push mower: “Do not use as a hedge trimmer.”
We laugh at these and think: “How stupid can people be?” Well, as someone has aptly said, “There is no limit to what stupid can do!” And such stupidity or foolishness is not limited to the use of chainsaws, hair dryers, irons and push mowers, etc.,—it carries over into the spiritual realm as well. If you will, we are the products and God is the Manufacturer. He has given us a detailed Owner’s Manual called the Bible which is full of instructions on how we are to operate as intended and some clear warnings about what will happen if we abuse or pervert His directions.
Unfortunately when His Instruction Manual has been ignored or—as in some cases—outlawed, soon everyone begins doing “that which is right in his own eyes” as happened during the period of the Judges before Israel had a king (Judges 21:25). When we are not living in obedience to God’s Word, we are ruled by our old, sinful natures which are in rebellion against God. We are easy prey for the devil and the philosophies of man. The Apostle Paul warns us: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Col. 2: 8).
God gave very clear instructions, for example, regarding marriage, that it is to be one man and one woman. He gave us that pattern from the very beginning way back in Genesis as He provided a wife for Adam, and then gave this directive for the future: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). In His infinite wisdom, He designed men and women in such a way that they could become “one flesh” and reproduce to fill the earth. If you think about the features of male and female and their ability to reproduce, never through time and chance could that have happened through some process of evolution! It was the amazing design of the Creator. God’s design was for children to be reared in a home with a mom and a dad who have become one through the physical intimacy of their marriage. As you think about how traditional (i.e., biblical) marriage is being attacked today, you realize how many have, in ignoring or rejecting God’s Word, bought into Satan’s lies, just as Eve did in the Garden of Eden, when he said to Eve: “Indeed, has God said, ‘you shall not eat from any tree of the garden? …You shall not die…’” (Gen. 3:1,4). God made us in His image (Gen. 1:26,27), and part of that is our free will to choose to obey or disobey, to follow the Manufacturer’s directions or to do it our own way. But, we can’t avoid the consequences of our choice. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7,8). “Flesh,” as used here refers to our old, sinful nature received from Adam as a result of the fall in the Garden of Eden. Just think of all the problems our society faces—economically, emotionally, physically, spiritually—because of the disintegration of the family. We are reaping what we have sown. We have failed to follow the instructions in the Owner’s Manual.
Perversion of God’s design for marriage is called immorality, and notice Paul’s warning: “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body” (I Cor. 6:18). Then in his letter to the Romans, Paul tells what the consequences will be: “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie…For this reason, God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function (God’s design) for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer (i.e., follow His Manual), God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper” (Ro. 1:24-28). (There is no question of what God has to say about what our society calls alternate lifestyles. Look at the words I underlined in these verses!).
An even more tragic commentary on our current culture is that those who are showing their loyalty to God and are following His instructions are now being persecuted for refusing to bake a wedding cake, or prepare a floral arrangement, or take photographs for a homosexual wedding. Rather than being lauded for standing up for their Christian beliefs, they are being sued and are having their lives threatened. Wow, how far we have strayed and we will pay the price. How can we flippantly say “And may God bless America” at the end of a speech in which we have advocated activities contrary to God’s Word? The Bible says, “Blessed is that nation whose God is the LORD…” (Psa. 33:12). “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Pr. 14:34). We have been a blessed nation, probably more than any other on earth other than Israel during the reigns of David and Solomon, but we can’t be blessed any longer if we turn our back on God and His Word. Earlier in that chapter in Proverbs it says: “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Pr. 14:12).
Manufacturers’ warnings are given for a reason: to protect us, knowing our tendency to do stupid things! God, knowing the bent of our sinful nature, has also given us warnings—not because He is some celestial killjoy, but because He loves us and wants to protect us. He truly wants the best for us and gave His best to prove it by dying for our sins on the Cross.
“Anyone can have a wedding, but only God can create a marriage!”