Tag: rebellion

Sin has consequences

Scripture reading for March 23: 1 Samuel 27-31

Have you ever been curious about what will happen in the future?  If we had that information, we feel that we could get rich, save ourselves from disaster, or control the world.  God warns us not to seek any source other than Himself for this information! (Leviticus 19:31) He is the only source of Truth because He alone knows the things to come!  (Isaiah 42:9)

Saul lived in rebellion and was tormented by an evil spirit.  He had tried to seek the Lord, but God no longer answered him through the priests or prophets. (1st Samuel 28:5-6)   He was living in fear and desperate for direction.  He, himself, had banned all witches, mediums, and sorcerers from the land. But now Saul sought out a medium to ask for the spirit of Samuel to be brought up from the dead.  A spirit, like Samuel, appeared and spoke prophetically to King Saul one last time, pronouncing his coming death the next day and telling him the reasons why. There was no visible remorse or repentance.

1st Samuel 28:18-19 “Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out His fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. Moreover, the Lord will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with Me. The Lord will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.”  

True to the Word of Samuel, Saul and his sons died the next day.  Saul was wounded and asked his armor bearer to put him out of his misery.  The armor bearer was terrified and refused, so Saul fell on his own spear, taking his own life!  Even in his death, Saul took matters into his own hands! (1st Samuel 31:2-6).

Are you doing something right now that you know is in disobedience to God’s Word? In what ways did God show Saul mercy and demonstrate His patience? If you need to repent, today is the best time.

“But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9)

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Rebellion, witchcraft, and arrogance

Scripture reading for March 19: 1st Samuel 13-15

“But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is like the sin of divination (witchcraft-KJV)  and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the Word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” (1st Samuel 15:22-23)

When we think about witchcraft and the occult, we tend to think about men and women dressed in black, bats, curses, and evil including violence, blood and death.  Our modern culture promotes the occult through television and movies that are watched by millions.  Children’s books, like ‘Harry Potter’ introduce the young to occult teaching as entertainment. Games like dungeons and dragons are used by the naive promoting the occult. God’s Word is clear, participation in the occult is rebellion against His Word.

Saul was anointed and empowered to lead the nation.  He was the answer to the people’s cry for a king who would protect them.  The Philistines prepared a huge army with horses and chariots to attack Israel. Samuel, the prophet, had told Saul to wait for him to come and sacrifice to the Lord in order to seek God for direction . Saul waited but grew impatient and although not a priest, decided to offer the sacrifice himself.  Samuel returned just after Saul completed the offering, and rebuked him.  (1st Samuel 13:13-14) 

Samuel then instructed Saul to attack the Amalekites and destroy everything as punishment from the Lord for their attacking Israel on their way from Egypt.   Saul obeyed, but only partially!  He kept back the best sheep and goats for sacrifice and let King Agag live.  The Word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” (1st Samuel 15:10-11)  We must take note that partial obedience is not obedience!

God hates rebellion and stubbornness!  We can call it entertainment, but God still calls it sin!  These sins don’t entertain God and should not be entertained in our lives or homes!   Are you in ‘partial’ obedience in any of these areas of sinful behavior? What actions can you take today to bring God’s grace?

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Hardened by sin’s deceitfulness

Scripture reading for August 10th: Hebrews 3

Key Scriptures: Hebrews 3:12-15 “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

Knowing God’s Word and will does not guarantee that we will believe it and obey God. The Israelites had God’s Word and knew His laws and decrees. They had experienced God’s presence in the cloud and fire and heard His voice on Mt. Sinai. But unbelief still plagued them and they fell away from God! Notice that falling is always ‘away’ and never ‘towards’ when unbelief is found in a hardened heart. Notice that ‘today’ is this day that we now find ourselves in. It is a day to ‘take care’ to listen to God’s voice. It is a day to exhort one another to guard our hearts against sins deceitfulness and hardening character. It is a day of salvation, as we never know if a ‘tomorrow’ is in our future here on earth. Sin often brings presumption that we have lots of time to do our own thing and then repent. Beware, a hardened heart is coming your way!

Hebrews 3:16-18 “For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for exhorting me and warning me by Your Holy Word and voice. Use me to exhort others and watch over their souls. Help me to stay humble and soft in my heart, responding today to Your Word and call for repentance and faith. Today is the day of salvation and now is the time to receive grace!

2nd Corinthians 6:1-2 “Working together with Him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

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Thankful for end-time warning!

Scripture reading for December 8th:  1st Thessalonians 4-5, 2nd Thessalonians 1-3

Key Scriptures:  2nd Thessalonians 2:1-4  “Concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.  Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come, until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.  He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called god or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”

Paul was concerned about false teachers who were leading the church astray concerning the gathering of Christ’s people at His return.  He told them to check out all messages by the Word.  That day would not come until a great rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed.  He would exalt himself above God and set himself up as God in the Temple of God.  These events were declared in Daniel’s prophesy.

Thankful for prophetic warning:  “The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom.  After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings.  He will speak against the Most High and oppress the saints and try to change the set times and the laws. ”  (Daniel 7:24-25)

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The man of lawlessness!

Scripture reading for September 22nd:  2nd Thessalonians 2

To correct some confusion in the church concerning the coming of Christ, Paul further explained some of the events that would happen before Christ returned.  “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to Him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.  Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.  He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”  (2nd Thessalonians 2:1-4)

Paul explained that a day or time of rebellion against God’s rule and word would precede Christ’s return.  During this rebellion, a man called the ‘man of lawlessness’ would rise up by exalting himself.  He would oppose God and set himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God!  He would also come with false signs and wonders which would be empowered by Satan.  These signs would deceive those who were on the path of destruction.  “For this reason God send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”  (2nd Thessalonians 2:11)

“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers, loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.”   (2nd Thessalonians 2:13)  By standing firm in the Spirit of Christ and believing the truth, salvation is assured!

 

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Rebellion: today’s entertainment!

Scripture reading for March 20th: 1st Samuel 13-15

When we think about witchcraft and the occult, we tend to think about men and women dressed in black, moonless nights, bats, curses, spells, evil and  death.   Our modern culture has lots to say about the occult and many television shows and movies  highlight this evil.  A popular series of children’s novels, “Harry Potter”, has sold millions and most think that it is another form of entertainment.

Saul was anointed by God to lead the nation.  He was the answer to the people’s cry for a king like the other nations.  But Saul was impatient.  Samuel, the prophet, had told Saul to wait for him to come and sacrifice to the Lord.  Saul waited but grew impatient and decided to offer the sacrifice himself.  Samuel returned just after Saul completed the offering, and rebuked him by telling him that God was not going to let him continue as king.  (1st Samuel 13:13-14)  So the “good” thing that Saul had done for the Lord, was not done in obedience to the Lord.

Another account of Saul’s actions occurs in chapter 15.  Samuel tells Saul to attack the Amalekites and destroy everything as punishment from the Lord for their attacking Israel on their way from Egypt. (400 years earlier!)  Saul obeyed–partially!  He kept back the best sheep and goats for sacrifice and let King Agag live.  The Word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” (1st Samuel 15:10-11)  Partial obedience is not obedience!

God hates rebellion and stubbornness!  Ask the Lord to show you if these sins are evident in your life and allow Jesus to deliver you!  These sins don’t entertain God and should not be entertained in your life or home!  Don’t give God a reason to reject you as his child!  Or worse yet, cause your children be rejected because of this evil!

“But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is like the sin of divination (witchcraft-KJV)  and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the Word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” (1st Samuel 15:22-23)

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The King’s Return

Scripture reading for April 1st: 2nd Samuel 19-20

After the rebellion of Absalom, King David was in mourning for the loss of this beloved son.  Even though this son had tried to take over his throne and kill him, David wished that he himself was dead instead!  This is the heart of God for all who perish outside of His grace!  He wishes none to perish but all to come to receive salvation!  (1st Timothy 2:3-4)  Joab, the commander of David’s army calls the king out of his mourning to be thankful for those who risked their lives to support him.

As King David returned, there were many things to make right again.  Rebellion leaves a residue.  People’s hearts are tested and their loyalties become clear.  Not everyone had sided with the king!  Some had openly dishonored him and some were still in rebellion.  David must again sit at the city gate and judge and encourage the people.  He must establish a team of advisers and leaders who will be loyal to help him.  As we read these chapters of 2nd Samuel, it is interesting to note how the king deals with these various situations.

First, David summoned the elders of Judah to meet with him.  Shimei, the Benjamite who had cursed David came with them with a thousand of his brothers and fell at the king’s feet, begging for mercy. (2nd Samuel 19:16-23)  Abishai recommended that he be put to death, but David gave mercy!  Revenge was not in his heart this day!   Mephiboseth, Saul’s grandson came before David and gave a conflicting story with that of his servant Ziba.  David gave a wise answer and did not make a judgment.  Barzillai, David’s friend and adviser came and David blessed him and gave him what he desired.

As we look at these events and how people came before David, I think ahead to the return of our King, Jesus Christ!  The return of Jesus will bring many surprises.  True loyalties will be exposed!  Our King will take with Him those who have been faithful and reward all who have come to Him for mercy.  He will not judge by what His eyes see outwardly, but He will be the faithful Judge who judges righteously.  He will deal with all rebels and dispatch them to their punishment.  He will return at a time when most are not expecting Him and His reward will be with Him.  I pray that you and I are ready and watching!

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Babel Went Up. God Came Down

Scripture reading for January 5th: Genesis 10-11

I love to build things and organize.  God designed us that way! In the days following the flood, the descendants of Noah had a fresh opportunity to obey God by being fruitful, multiplying and repopulating the earth. Shem, Ham, and Japheth had a whole new world that needed care and tending. They each had a wife and could begin again to obey God’s simple command. (Genesis 9:7)

Genesis 10 records the genealogy of these three descendants of Noah. Note that one of Ham’s descendants, Nimrod is given particular attention. He was a mighty warrior and hunter before the Lord. He built the cities of Babylon and Nineveh. (Genesis 10:8-10) His brother Canaan was the father of the Canaanite tribes that inhabited Israel in the time of Abraham and beyond. Note also that Shem was the father of Eber. (Genesis 10:21) Eber’s descendants included Abram and the “Hebrew” people derive their name from him! (Genesis 11:27)

Nimrod and his family group decided to settle on the plains of Shinar, which is modern day Iraq. There they organized all or most of the family to build a tower to heaven and make a name for themselves. They particularly did not like the idea of being scattered over the whole earth. (Genesis 11:2-4) There is some implication that Nimrod forcibly organized this rebellion and hunted down those who would not comply. He also organized a humanistic religion that worshiped the work of man’s hands and the creation, but not the Creator!

God came down to see this city and stated that nothing would be impossible with this kind of unity. They had unified in opposing the plans and purpose of God. He took action and confounded their one language so that they couldn’t understand one another. In the days of Peleg he scattered them across the earth and then divided the earth. (Genesis 10:25) He created the nations from these three families.

God wants to dwell with His people and desires fellowship with them. He longs to have a people willing to be under His rule and protective covering. We can learn from these records of God’s dealing with those after the flood. He is merciful, but demands obedience. Take a few minutes today and thank Him for His mercy and His plan of reaching all with the Gospel. God came down in Jesus Christ and is here now in His church!

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The Man of Lawlessness and Rebellion

Scripture reading for December 5th: 2nd Thessalonians 1-3

Because of Christ’s love He has warned the Church about one man who will come that will be known for terrible evil and lawlessness.  This person will be called the ‘man of lawlessness’.  We should know about him to motivate us to tell as many people as possible about the Lord and warn others.

“Concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.  Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:1-3)

The coming of Jesus Christ will happen suddenly.  (1st Thessalonians 5:2-3)  According to Paul, this day will not come until this lawless man is revealed.  Some in Paul’s day were saying that the day of the Lord had already come.  He wrote this to address the concern that some had missed the rapture.  We are still watching for this to happen today.

Paul goes on to describe the man of lawlessness as one who will opposes truth and set himself up as god.  He will do this through Satan by counterfeit signs and wonders.  (2nd Thessalonians 2:9-10)  These signs will deceive people who have refused to know and love truth.  They will be deluded and go to their destruction.  (2nd Thessalonians 2:11)

We have a choice each day to read and believe God and His word.  If we reject the truth, we have nothing left but a lie.  Lies may sound good, but they lead to destruction.  God chose us to be saved by the sanctifying work of the Spirit and belief of the truth.  This is all a gift of God’s grace.  Because of this grace will will share in the Lord’s glory when He comes.

Take time today to share Jesus Christ with someone who does not know Him.  Ask them if you can share this passage about the coming man of lawlessness.  Let the Holy Spirit lead both of you to discover truth and to love it!

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Rebellion: Today’s “entertainment”!

Scripture reading for March 20th: 1st Samuel 13-15

When we think about witchcraft and the occult, we tend to think about men and women dressed in black, moonless nights, bats, curses, spells, and evil that is ugly.  It usually includes violence, blood and death.  Our modern culture has lots to say about the occult and many television shows and movies that highlight evil are watched by millions.  A popular series of children’s novels, “Harry Potter”, has sold millions and no one thinks much about it other that another form of entertainment.   When we imbibe of this evil, we are stubbornly rebelling against God’s command.  (Leviticus 19:26)

Saul was anointed and empowered to lead the nation.  He was the answer to the people’s cry for a king like the other nations.  But Saul was impatient.  Samuel, the prophet and judge, had told Saul to wait for him to come and sacrifice to the Lord and seek counsel.  Saul waited but grew impatient and decided to offer the sacrifice himself.  It was not his job or place, but he went ahead anyway.  Samuel returned just after Saul completed the offering, and rebuked him by telling him that God was not going to let him continue as king for all time.  (1st Samuel 13:13-14)  So the “good” thing that Saul had done, was not done in obedience to the Lord.  He had impatiently rationalized his action and fell under God’s disfavor. There was no repentance either.

Next, Saul’s son Jonathan acted in courage and faith to attack the Philistines.  He and his armor-bearer scaled a cliff and killed 20 men in a short time.  They had not been around when Saul had made the men swear not to eat anything until the enemy had been defeated.  Jonathan ate some honey to gain energy for the  ensuing fight.  One of the soldiers told Jonathan about the oath of his father, but he had already tasted the honey.  Saul acted impetuously with the vow and then wanted to execute his own son! (Remember Jephthah!)

The final account of Saul’s actions occurs in chapter 15.  Samuel tells Saul to attack the Amalekites and destroy everything as punishment from the Lord for their attacking Israel on their way from Egypt. (400 years earlier!)  Saul obeys–partially!  He kept back the best sheep and goats for sacrifice and let King Agag live.  The Word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” (1st Samuel 15:10-11)  Partial obedience is not obedience!

God hates rebellion and stubbornness!  We can call it entertainment, but God still calls it sin!  Ask the Lord to show you if these sins are evident in your life and allow Jesus to deliver you!  These sins don’t entertain God and should not be entertained in your life or home!  Don’t give God a reason to reject you as his child!  Or worse yet, cause your children be rejected because of this evil!

“But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is like the sin of divination (witchcraft-KJV)  and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the Word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” (1st Samuel 15:22-23)

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