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The Nature of Rebellion (1 Samuel 15:23)

Introductory Thoughts

Man’s opinion concerning the sinfulness of sin very rarely reflects God’s holy, perfect, and righteous declarations. This is because man does not think like God. The Lord expressed these sentiments in Isaiah 55:8-9 when He said, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, . . . For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Even a cursory study of rebellion verifies these truths as a man generally thinks of it more lightly than he ought. Man describes rebellion as strong willed or independent; however, God provides an accurate description as He states that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” Because God likens rebellion to witchcraft, the Old Testament punishment for rebellion was likewise death (Deuteronomy 21:18-23). There can be no doubt as to the seriousness of this sin from God’s perspective.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): King Saul knew what would happen if he rebelled against God (1 Samuel 12:13-15). Yet, he rebelled several times (1 Samuel 13:9, 13-14; 1 Samuel 15:18-19). In fact, his death was a direct result of his rebellion (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).
  • (For everyone): What is your opinion of rebellion? How does your opinion compare with Gods opinion? How will a faulty opinion on your part hinder any meaningful fellowship with the Lord?
  • Do you sense any rebellion in your own heart? When did this rebellion first show up? What needs to be done on your part to yield your rebellious actions to the Lord?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to identify any rebellion in your heart.
  • Ask the Lord to help you adopt His views on rebellion.