Pueblo, Colorado 1980. 

Van Halen was at the top of their game and the top of the world. They were at the start of their Women and Children First tour. Before their concert, Van Halen entered their dressing room to find a bowl of M&M’s. Upon further examination of the M&M’s, the band saw … brown ones. This threw them into an eruption of unchained rage. They trashed their dressing room, causing $3,500 worth of damages, but that was the least of their worries. 

The stage for that concert was set up on the new tartan flooring in the gym. Later that night, the heavy stage collapsed through the floor, ruining the tartan surface and damaging the gymnasium’s subfloor, causing $80,000 worth of damages. The reason the stage collapsed is the same reason why Van Halen found brown M&M’s.

When a concert venue was lucky enough to book the mighty Van Halen, they would be given a concert rider. The contract was long and extremely detailed, consisting of lighting, audio, security, staffing needs, stage construction, and other needs of the artist. One section of Van Halen’s contract read as follows…


Potato chips with assorted dips




Twelve (12) Reese’s peanut butter cups

Twelve (12) assorted Dannon yogurt (on ice)

If brown M&M’s were found, then the concert venue would forfeit all the proceeds from the concert with full compensation. Also, the band would trash their dressing room.

Most people would see this and assume that it is just absurd rockstar behavior, but there was a very logical reason behind the demand. It showed whether or not the venue management had read the contract thoroughly. If the management overlooked the brown M&M’s, they had probably overlooked other things. While most popular bands had around three semi-truck loads of equipment, Van Halen had nine. The stage setup was laid out in extreme detail in the contract, and if the venue decided to not read the instructions, it could lead to life threatening safety hazards. No venue had any right to claim ignorance because the contract gave them fair warning. 

In the elementary school Bible class, we are going through the book of Leviticus. To say that the book of Leviticus is meticulously detailed would be the understatement of the century. There is a very good reason for it to be detailed. Safety. Nadab, Abihu, Uzzah, and David are perfect examples of what happens when you don’t read the fine print.

(Leviticus 10: 1-11) The scriptures do not say whether Nadab and Abihu had malicious intentions when offering their unauthorized sacrifice to the Lord. Odds are that there was no ill intent. Regardless of their intent, their sacrifice was not authorized by God. They knew deep down that their sacrifice was not authorized by God, and they paid the ultimate price for it. 

(2 Samuel 6:1-5) King David and Uzzah did not have any bad intentions when they made their mistakes. David wanted to make life easier for his men, so he decided to have the Ark of the Covenant be wheeled on a cart instead of carried on poles. Instead of following God’s instructions to the letter, he wanted the best of both worlds. Uzzah simply wanted to keep the Ark of the Covenant from falling. Uzzah knew that the Ark was not to be touched, but he touched it. Regardless of his intent, Uzzah touched the Ark when he should not have, and he paid the ultimate price for it. The Ark should not have been on a cart in the first place. If the Ark was carried as per the Lord’s instruction, Uzzah would have never lost his life. 

Humans being humans, we like to put our own input where it doesn’t belong. The religious world today likes to proclaim that one can be saved by simply believing in God, believing in some guy, praying really hard, or by giving money. The reality is that none of the teachers or the students are safe. The only way to be truly safe is if you read God’s law slowly and carefully, starting right now. If not, then prepare to pay the ultimate price.


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