Rebelling Against the Rebels
Against Whom do You Rebel?
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
Did you know that God, our Father, gives a special blessing for rebelling? If anyone is a student of the scriptures you are probably well aware of the wrath of God that has come upon mankind because of our rebellion against God.
We see here in Psalm One, David begins with a benediction of blessing for rebellion! We are blessed when we hear the council of the wicked and purposely, do not go in the way they direct us! This is a wonderful contradiction in the nature of our walk with God and way the world thinks it should be.
In God's kingdom there is an order and a government. This is where our allegiance lies.
In the church there is government and order ordained of God, and in the home there is government and order ordained of God. In today's modern age the word "subjection" has become a dirty word. Comedians can mock any Christian faith and use any four letter word they want, but if someone has the audacity to say, "Wives should be in subjection to their husbands", for this they will be called out on the carpet, ridiculed, and humiliated. Our willingness to proclaim these precepts boldly is part of our rebellion against the rebels, and our humility before God.
In today's message I want to look at another extreme. When should a woman rebel against her husband? When should a congregant rebel against their spiritual leader? In other words, when should men and women draw the line and do the opposite of what the people in authority want them to do. This includes the government of nations, states, and municipalities.
Ungodly, Sinners, Scornful
Words are important! A blessing of God comes when we, "walk not in the councel of the ungodly", "stand not in the way of sinners," and "sit not in the seat of the scornful."
Ungodly: These are those who profess to know God but do not walk in him. They do not reflect his image on the earth. They want the blessings but reject the cross.
Sinners: Those who make no pretence to be godly. They are unrepentant. This covers a vast multitude, some that have heard the Word and rejected it, and others who are simply ignorant and don't know better.
Scornful: These are they who sit in judgment of everyone around them. They are the mockers who consider themselves wise, yet their council is the council of death. They have an "evil eye", i.e. they find fault with everybody but themselves.
Abigail meets David the king
The Legacy of God's Rebels
All of God's preachers are rebels against the ways of the world, but I want to focus on a few very apparent examples from the Word of God.
Abigail; 1st Samuel Chapter 25
Abigail lived in the time of David. She is described as a woman of good understanding and of a beautiful countenance. She was married to a very rich, howbeit very arrogant and evil man named Nabal.
David at this time had been anointed king by Samuel the prophet, but Saul still held the throne in eyes of the world and, because he was jealous, was trying to kill David. David's band followed him throughout the mountains of Israel. They were mighty men that followed David and all of Israel had heard how he had been ordained by Samuel.
Nabal insulted David and his men even after they had done well to him and had protected his flocks and sheep herders in the fields. It was because of this insult that David gathered up his men and was going to avenge himself against Nabal and all the men who worked for him.
When Abigail got wind of this she committed an extremely rebellious act. She went behind her husbands back, and came to David with gifts and sustenance for his troops. She even went so far as to insult her own husband openly saying, "Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him" (Nabal means fool.)
Abigail ended up with a blessing from God and not a curse.
If she had not done this Nabal and all the men that were with him would have been slaughtered. David also acknowledged that she had kept David from sinning against the Lord. It would have been sin to have avenged himself upon Nabal, instead of trusting God.
Let me be cautious and punctuate the fact that I am not trying to sow discord in any marriage. Quite the contrary, I want to show, from the scriptures that there comes a time when enough is enough. "The righteous are as bold as a lion". There comes a time when our Savior says, "he that is filthy let him be filthy still, but I want you to follow me."
Moses defies Pharaoh
Moses was another rebel. If you are not a student of the scriptures you may not be aware that Moses first recorded act of rebellion was not when he stood in Pharaoh's court and demanded, "Let my people go." Moses first act of rebellion was done in haste and in his own power and understanding. All that it got him was the blood of a murdered man on his hands and the status of fugitive for 40 years.
When Moses learned to submit to God, he became the rebel God could use. This is what God our Father wants from us.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is the Lord.
Judah and Tamar
Tamar Had to Have Her Place in God
Tamar Genesis Chapter 38
Another great woman of faith was Tamar. What Tamar did is so outlandish that it boggles the mind at first glance that she is among the daughters of faith.
Tamar had been promised the heritage of the firstborn. It is important to understand the importance of this right and privilege. Judah one of the twelve patriarchs of Israel had promised that his son would be her husband after her first husband (Judah's older son) had died before they had children.
During this time Judah's wife died.
When Judah's younger son was old enough to marry, Judah went back on his word. He acquired another woman to be his son's wife. What Tamar did next was scandalous! She covered her face and stood in a place that she knew Judah was going to pass by. Judah mistook her for an harlot and went in to her.
Later, when it was revealed that she was pregnant, Judah was going to have her put to death! When she revealed that he was the father, Judah acknowledged that indeed she had been more righteous than he.
What mattered to Tamar more than reputation or loss of life was the promise of the birthright that belonged to her!
How important is your birthright!
It needs to be added, that though Judah had sinned, he was cut to the heart. A hypocrite would have put Tamar to death, in order to cover their own sin. Judah chose the reproach of confession and exposure of his own sins, rather than commit another ungodly act to hide them.
In the garden, Jesus prays alone
Our Way is God's Way - it is a Solitary Way
There are times that even those that we love and respect, will not understand what God is calling us to do.
Isaac loved Esau and did not understand Jacob's calling until Esau had lost the blessing and the birthright.
Jesse, King David's father, did not see the calling God had on his youngest son's life.
Jesus Christ is Lord. When we stand before him it will not be with Mother or Father, husband or wife. We won't be able to turn to friend or foe and put blame on them. We will stand alone, naked in the eyes of the one that created us. We will give our own account. What the Lord wants is simply to be Lord in our hearts, with none before him.
That kind of humility will cause you to be a rebel. Even sometimes in the eyes of those we love.
In the end, no matter how many loved ones we surround ourselves with, it is still a solitary walk through this desert we call mortal life. We look for a city beyond what mortal eyes see. We have the promise of eternal life. Thank God that Jesus never fails. Take hold of that promise! As the saints of old took hold of the horns of the altar, take hold of God's word!
Remember that before the children of Israel entered the Promised Land they allowed their flesh to be cut and they left their flesh buried in the desert at the hill of the foreskins. So we too must let our hearts be circumcised. The sin that so easily besets us must be cut off and left behind.
When this happens the holy boldness of the Lord shines through. Those around you will see in your eyes the light of God's own Holy Spirit. The joy of the Lord will be alive in our hearts.
The Apostle Paul said that when you walk in this boldness and joy, without being afraid of your adversaries, that your rebellion against the world will be mistaken for sin.
"And in nothing terrified by your adversaries; which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God."
Determine in your heart, this day, that Jesus Christ will be your Lord. Confess him before men. Don't ever waver from your faith that God has raised him from the dead. He is our Savior and will lead us to victory.