Lisa and I recently took a trip out west to visit family. Most of our family is in Washington State so we put on about four thousand miles on this trip. We used to plan our trip so we would be traveling through Montana in the daylight. When you crossed the state line into Montana there was a billboard which read,
Nightti:me: 65 mph
Daytime Reasonable and Prudent”
Though I often wondered what the local sheriffs considered “reasonable and prudent”, we made pretty good time through Montana. Well, they have not had that billboard for quite a few years as they joined the rest of the states with a more specific maximum speed limit. However, this year they changed their maximum speed limit to 80 mph. I didn’t pay too close of attention to my speed as we flew through Montana. I figured, if they set their speed limit at eighty miles an hour do they really care how fast you are going?
I will assure you they do! As I was cruising along I saw a police officer coming from the other direction. Just after he got to us his flashing lights came on and he turned quickly into the grassy ditch dividing the two highways and was soon headed in our direction. I didn’t figure he was after me so I continued on until he pulled up behind me.
After I pulled over he came up to my window and asked for my license and insurance. While I retrieved them for him I asked why he pulled me over. He said I was going too fast. I asked, “Isn’t
the speed limit eighty miles an hour?” His response was that I was going eighty-four. He told me that he was originally from Minnesota and that he knows that we are not allowed to drive as fast there so keep it to the speed limit. He let me off with a verbal warning; and I did the speed limit.
Sometimes people do the same thing with God’s laws. Because He does not judge us instantly for everything we do wrong we sometimes get the misconception that He is not really concerned about that sin. In Psalm 50:21, The people had been breaking God’s laws and He said, “These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.” Just as I interpreted the high speed limit as a lack of concern and proceeded to break the law, these people interpreted God’s patience with them as a lack of concern and persisted in their sin. Let us not make the same error for He will not keep silent forever.