WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 21, 2020
TOPIC: DON’T REBEL AGAINST GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us” (Psalm 2:2-3 New King James Version).
One of the definitions of rebellion is “opposition to or defiance of authority, accepted moral codes, or social conventions.” There could be a rebellion against human authority or God’s authority.
Rebellion against God is a sin. Sin is rebellion against God. When I say don’t rebel against God, I’m saying in essence don’t defy His authority; don’t violate His Word.
God didn’t give human beings the Bible to choose which word is convenient for them to obey or the portions they prefer to obey.
He has not given us His Word to debate but to obey. Unfortunately, there are many people who live their lives in rebellion to what God has stated in His Word. They believe God cannot dictate to them! In other words, they challenge the authority of God over their lives and decide the ways they want to live their lives.
In his epistle to the Romans, the apostle Paul talks about those who rebelled against God and chose to live contrary to His will. He says in Romans 1:18-19 that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
As I’ve said, sin is rebellion against God. Disobedience to the Word of God is rebellion. Going your own way instead of following the way of God is rebellion against God. Refusal to follow God is rebellion. There is a way that seems right to man but the end is destruction (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). Destruction, including eternal damnation, is the result of living in rebellion against God.
In Numbers 14:9a, Moses told the Israelites, “Only do not rebel against the LORD” (New King James Version). In the wilderness, on their way to the land of Canaan, the Israelites rebelled against the LORD (Numbers 20:24; 27:14; Deuteronomy 1:26, 43; 9:23; Isaiah 1:2; Ezekiel 20:13, 21). Even in the Promised Land, they rebelled against God, worshipping foreign gods, which eventually led the two kingdoms into captivity.
In Joshua 22, the delegation led by Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the priest, to the children of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, told them not to rebel against the LORD or against the other tribes of Israel by building themselves an altar besides the altar of the LORD their God (Joshua 22:19). But their answer showed that they had not rebelled against God; the delegation was pleased with their reply.
Don’t rebel against God. Samuel told the Israelites in his farewell address, “If you fear the LORD and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the LORD your God” (1Samuel 12:14 New King James Version).
He continued in verse 15: “However, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it was against your fathers” (New King James Version).
The act of Jeroboam, king of the Northern kingdom of Israel, is an example of rebellion against God. He rebelled against Him after He had made him the king over ten tribes of Israel. His sin laid an evil foundation for other kings after him. The Bible always says that they did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam or that they followed his sins or walked in his sins.
“And Jeroboam said in his heart, ‘Now the kingdom may return to the house of David: If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn back to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah. Therefore the king asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, ‘It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!’” (1 Kings 12:26-28 New King James Version).
Instead of Jerusalem where the Temple had been built and dedicated to the worship of God, Jeroboam set up two golden calves: one in Bethel, and the other in Dan. The Bible remarks that this rebellion of Jeroboam became a sin (verses 29-30). He went further to make shrines on the high places and made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi. In addition, he ordained a feast similar to the one in Judah. In Beth-el, he gave offerings to the calf he had made and placed in Beth-el the priests of the high places he had made.
Verse 33 says, “So he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart. And he ordained a feast for the children of Israel, and offered sacrifices on the altar and burned incense” (New King James Version).
Please take note of that phrase: in the month which he had devised in his own heart. Everything King Jeroboam did was his own device; it was not commanded by God. He did them in his bid to establish his throne. He acted in rebellion against what God had ordained.
The Bible says in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (New King James Version). Anyone who chooses to enter through the wide gate and the broad way is living in rebellion against God. The end is destruction.
Jesus says He is the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Him (John 14:6). Whoever chooses another way is living in rebellion. Jesus is not one of the ways to heaven; He is the way. Therefore, you should follow Him and not devise your own way or another way anyone could have devised.
Don’t rebel against what God has written in His Word even if it doesn’t make sense or it’s not popular. It is not God who must change His Word; it is human beings that must change their lives to be consistent with His Word. Doing otherwise leads to destruction.
The result of people’s rebellion against God is evident today in many marriages, homes, schools, governments, societies, and so on. Many thought they were wiser than God, but the consequences have been horrible. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their own craftiness’” (1 Corinthians 3:19 New King James Version). The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 5:25).
Wise people obey God; foolish people rebel against Him. The end result is always unpleasant. The psalmist says he had hidden the Word of God in his heart so that he would not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). If you rebel against the Word of God, not hiding it in your heart you’ll automatically engage in acts contrary to His Word.
Verses 28-32 of Romans 1 say, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (New King James Version).
Psalm 2 is one of the messianic psalms, a prophecy concerning Jesus Christ. The psalm is attributed to David. Verses 2-3 say, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us” (New King James Version).
This passage is not only talking about the rebellion of some nations against Israel but the opposition against Jesus the Messiah and His kingdom. David described the plan of the nations or people of the earth to rebel against the LORD and His anointed as foolish and futile. “Why are the nations so violently moved, and why are the thoughts of the people so foolish?” (Verse 1 Bible in Basic English). He said in verse 4 that He whose seat is in the heavens would laugh at them; the LORD would make fun of them.
David advised the rebels in Psalm 2 to act wisely by obeying and worshipping the LORD to escape terrible judgment. This is also a wise counsel for everyone today (verses 10-12).
Don’t seek freedom from the LORD as those kings wanted. Freedom from the LORD is no freedom. Freedom from the LORD is slavery to Satan and sin. Freedom to do what you want and not what the LORD wants is slavery. Slavery to God is better than slavery to Satan and sin.
The apostle Paul says in Romans 6:16, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (New King James Version).
He says in verse 19 that just as believers had formerly presented their members or bodies as slaves of uncleanness, and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, they should present them as slaves of righteousness for holiness.
The prophet Samuel told King Saul that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23a). Don’t rebel against God. Obey Him. “Today, if you will hear His voice: Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (Hebrews 3:15 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not rebel against God and His Word. In the name of Jesus, I submit myself to the authority of God and His Word. Holy Spirit, help me to hide the Word of God in my heart so that I will not sin against Him. I shall not present my body as a slave of uncleanness and lawlessness but as a slave of righteousness for holiness.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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