Provocation

                “…because you have provoked me to anger.”

            Recently I observed some boys watching cartoons with their father.  By the looks of it, the dad was enjoying the old cartoons even more than the kids. It is great to see family doing things together, even if it is watching TV.

            As I observed them, I too was drawn in by the power of television and sat next to them to join in the laughter.  I remember that in one of the scenes there was an odd looking man who was teasing and provoking the lion constantly.  Apparently, he was ignoring the sign that read,

            “DANGER, DO NOT BOTHER OR FEED THE LION!”

            The imprudent fool was admonished repeatedly, but he continued to harass the hungry feline.  Finally, the lion grew weary of his irritating taunts and swallowed him for lunch.

            The Bible warns us against provoking our Lord.  When mankind practices rebellion, idolatry and unbelief, they are tempting the Lord and evoking his righteous anger.

            Everyday, millions of human beings provoke God with their wickedness and sins.  Thankfully, our loving Savior is “slow to anger” and his mercy is greater than our sins.     

            We must never attempt to provoke God because he cannot be mocked (Galatians 6:7).  The writer of Hebrews admonishes us by saying that, “It is a fearful thing to fall in the hands of the living God” (10:31).  The same loving hands that care for us will chastise and obliterate those who continually provoke the Lord.

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