Beware Of Rebellion
We saw the benefits of obedience in last week’s sermon about King David, how God saved him from being killed by Saul and anointed him King, even while Saul was still alive. This week, we will be looking at the opposite – Rebellion.
What does ‘Rebellion’ mean?
1) To go in the opposite direction of what was commanded. Simple example is Jonah.
Rebellion can be in a) appearance b) speech c) actions and d) mental rebellion – doubt e.g. Eve. Doubt = lack of faith which leads to disobedience, lack of faith also leads to eternal death. Faith leads to obedience.
Who is a rebel then? – A rebel is someone who has drawn the battle line between himself and the one under whose authority he is. He is one who wants to go in the opposite direction of what was commanded. He/she resists any authority, control or tradition – they refuse to obey, they are disobedient.
How does rebellion start? – Rebellion starts as like as a seed, planted by ourselves, others or Satan, as a means to get our own end. E.g. when Satan asked Eve, “Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?”
Other examples of rebellion in the Bible: Jonah, Sodom and Gomorrah, Adam & Eve, Lucifer (Isaiah 14: 12-15).
Dangers of rebellion/disobedience
- It shifts the rebel from living in the light of God (enjoying walking with God, fellowship with God, all the blessings that come with it), to living in darkness (fear – negative fear, worries, distress, lack of joy, lack of peace, lack of fellowship with God through prayers as time is taken up by the other things mentioned). When we live in the light of God, we are free – we are free to run, we are free to dance, we are free to live for you, we are free!
- Rebellion brings bondage – tied with iron chains under serious affliction. We should examine ourselves – if we have prayed and fasted about things without any respite, could it be that Heaven identifies us as a rebel? Some wrongly think that being identified as a rebel will make them notable and outstanding in society. But look at Numbers 12:1-10; Num 16:42-49. These tell us that there is a lot of affliction and bondage for them.
- Rebellion causes the rebels to be shunned by their helpers eventually. (Num. 16:1-6; 25-27).
- Rebellion leads to falling. (Isaiah 14:12-14).
(Read Psalm 107 vs 10-14).
From these verses, we see that connection with God means:
- Emancipation from darkness and freedom from bondage. Psalm 107:14
- Being saved from troubles and distress (vs 13).
But the consequences of rebelling against God are:
- No freedom. Remaining in bondage (Psalm 107:10-11).
- Rebels labour and struggle.
- When rebels stumble, there is no help.
- Rebels suffer lots of distress, worries, problems (vs 13).
How should we deal with rebels?
- Warn them and warn them again. Just like when the Israelites rebelled, God sent prophets to warn and warn over and over again.
- Avoid, refuse, and reject their rebellion. Don’t get sucked into it. Keep yourself in the love of God – if not, you also become vulnerable to attack by the enemy.
- Do not try to appease them or beg them.
- Pray for them.
But there is a way back for those who feel or who think or identify themselves as rebels? Repent. Ask for forgiveness. Don’t let pride or fear get in the way – another weapon the enemy uses to keep rebels under his authority.
2 Chroncles.7:14 – If we turn back repent…
Summary – Rebellion is disobedience, disobedience is sin and leads to falling.
Conclusion – borrow this from last week’s lesson – Romans 13:1 – “Everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no other authority except that which God has established.” Authorities that exist have been established by God. If anyone feels they are being identified by God as a rebel, there is still hope – remember 2 Corn 7:14.
Believers should never be rebels. When we rebel, we are vulnerable. We should be humble – Matthew 18: 3-4 and respect authorities. It brings us freedom and we remain under God’s encompassing grace, e.g. David, respectful of Saul till the end.
View Previous Articles
18 March 2014 – God That Helps His People
12 March 2014 – The 5 Key Concepts of the Bible
13 February 2014 – The Power of Discipleship
19 January 2014 – Benefits of Fasting
12 January 2014 – Do Christians Have to Fast?
24 November 2013 – What Kind of A Christian Are You?
17 November 2013 – How Much Do We Trust God
10 November 2013 – Remembrance Sunday
03 November 2013 – Unity and Diversity One Body