Are There Traffic Signals in the Bible?
I remember riding in the car with my little cousin once, and he proudly announced that he had learned what the traffic lights meant. In his small clear voice he declared, “green means go, red means stop, and yellow means BEEEEEEEE CAREFUL!”
Signs are a major part of our daily life. They are how we find the cereal aisle, the right highway ramp, and which T-shirts are on sale.
There have been times in my life when I wished for a big neon sign telling me exactly what to do. “THIS IS YOUR JOB – CHOOSE THIS PATH” – but unfortunately that’s not the way things work in this world.
What is amazing, however, is being able to rely on the promises of God, that no matter which way life twists, He is constant, and I can count on Him to see me through.
So, thinking back to that sweet memory of my cousin, I considered this sign idea from a Biblical perspective. People sometimes act like God is out to ruin everybody’s fun, when, in fact, the message from God is one designed to guide us to the best life and best outcome possible. He wants us to have abundant lives. At the same time, He gives us information to help us know when to stop, go, and BEEEE CAREFUL so we can reach our final destination safely.
There are a lot of examples for each of these kinds of signs in the Bible, but I’m just going to point out three.
At the end of Isaiah 1:16 and the beginning of Isaiah 1:17 God says “Cease to do evil, learn to do good.” Both of these require effort, but the mere fact that God commands it means that it is possible. Sometimes I need to talk frankly with myself – “just cut it out, you can do better than this”. We’re not going to be perfect, but when it comes to evil – STOP is the traffic sign we need.
Other times require us to GO. Hebrews 6:1 begins with “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection” – wait what? Perfect? Me? You? Yes, but not by our own steam. In Christ we can be redeemed to a flawless state, and further, we are encouraged to always push on to higher better versions of ourselves. We are to GO on to completion, or perfection.
And finally friends, there are warnings in the Bible. There are times to just BE CAREFUL. The stories in the Bible are examples, for good or bad. There are also direct cautions given throughout the Bible, such as I Corinthians 10:12, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands TAKE HEED lest he fall.” It’s a reminder that we can get awfully comfy when our lives are going well, and think we’ve got it together, only to stumble. We need to pay attention, and not just coast.
I’m thankful God has given me some traffic signs in the Bible, and I definitely need them. As long as you and I yield to Him, we’ll make it to the right destination.