Friday, September 3, 2010


"SPEED KILLS!" Public service announcements have warned drivers for years that driving fast is extremely dangerous. A libertarian think tank, The Cato Institute, challenges the theory that the higher the speed limits, the higher the rate of traffic fatalities. But logic tells us that if a person loses control of their vehicle, the higher the speed, the greater the risk of being killed. Possible explanations for no noticeable change in the number of traffic deaths is that states have increased highway safety through barriers between opposing lanes of traffic, guard rails that give on impact, and water-filled barrels protecting errant drivers from fatal collisions. Those improvements, plus airbags and structural safety measures in the newer cars, may have minimized the dangers of higher speeds. Still, one would be wise to obey the speed limits, if for no other reason than to protect one's driving record and wallet.

Speed is a factor in another area of our lives. Being swift to speak, usually without considering the consequences of one's words, often leads to serious problems, possibly even death. The Word says it is dangerous to speak without thinking (Gen. 31:29; Prov. 14:29; 15:18; 16:32; Jam. 1:19; 4:11). Being fast to speak and slow to think is certainly not wise in any conversation. After all, we will be judged by every word that proceeds out of our mouths (Matt. 15:1-20).

Speed is determined by the relationship between time and distance. Being quick, on the other hand, is relative. The Bible speaks of the shortest relationship between distance and time as a "twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor. 15:52). That is fast. By comparison, the fastest any human being has traveled is about 25,000 miles an hour while in orbit around Earth. Within our atmosphere, we consider mach three extremely fast (761.2 mph x 3). Prior to flight, man was very limited. For centuries, travel by horse was the fastest man could achieve. With the invention of the steam locomotive in 1804, man could not only travel much faster, he could go far greater distances. Communication, on the other hand, has advanced from the pony express to computers that are able to communicate around the globe in a matter of seconds. Everything is happening so fast, and that may be our problem. We often don't feel like we have time to think, and as a result, we are quick to speak without thinking.

One of the signs of the end-times is how rapidly mankind is able to travel (Dan. 12:4). Daniel's prophecy has become clear with the dispensational approach to Bible interpretation which was developed shortly after the locomotive was operational. But with all the advances in travel and in Bible interpretation, man has suffered his greatest loss: we no longer hear the Lord speaking to us. We need to slow down. We need to be still, and listen for the voice of God. Psalm 46:10 tells us to be still. 1 Kings 19:11-12 tell us to stand and listen. The greatest disaster caused by going too fast is that it has killed our fellowship with Almighty God. We need to slow down! "SPEED KILLS!"

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