WITCHES AND REBELS
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness (insubordination) is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected
the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.
1 Samuel 15:23
When Saul was King in Israel, God gave him a clear and straightforward command to “utterly destroy” the Amalekites. He was not to spare any of them, nor was he to spare any of their animals. What did Saul do? “But Saul and the people spared Agag [King of Amalek] and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything that was despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed” (1 Sam. 15:9).
Needless to say, Saul made a BIG, HUGE, WILLFUL mistake. He committed a great sin by rebelling against the clear word of God. Samuel the prophet told him that his rebellion was on par with the sin of witchcraft… a sin so terrible that it was punishable by death in the Old Testament (Lev. 20:27).
Why did Saul do such a horrible thing? He was fearful of the people (1 Sam. 15:24)… and He was prideful. He thought his way made more sense than God’s.
Saul is not the only one who is guilty of blatant rebellion… a sin on par with witchcraft. Many Christians today are guilty of the same thing. And, like Saul, they often do not fully realize it. Could that be true of you?
Let me mention a few areas of rebellion that people fall prey to without understanding the severity of their actions:
- Rebelling against a clear command of God.
- Choosing not to forgive those who have hurt you (Matt. 6:14-15).
- Choosing not to stay active in the local church (Heb. 10:25).
- Choosing not to tithe (Mal. 3:8-11).
- Choosing not to stay away from sexual immorality (Heb. 13:4).
- Choosing your will and agenda over God’s (Matt. 26:39, Phil. 2:21).
- Choosing the appearance of a walk with God rather than a true walk with God
(Matt. 15:8-9, 23:27-28, 1 Sam. 16:7).
- Rebelling against God’s authority structure in your life.
- Rebelling against your parents (Eph. 6:1).
- Rebelling against your government (Rom. 13:1).
- Rebelling against your pastor/church leaders (Heb. 13:17).
- Rebelling against your boss/employer (Eph. 6:5-8).
- Rebelling against your child’s teacher/coach/administrator
(Rom. 13:2, 1 Pet. 2:13-15).
WHAT TO DO?
My friends, the time is now for you and me to allow God to search our hearts and point out areas of hidden rebellion. God cannot do the great things He wants to do in our lives if we are constantly guilty of insubordination… if we are constantly guilty of choosing our will and our ways over His.
As with Saul, God’s clear commands often do not make sense to us… SO WHAT!!?? The all-powerful, all-knowing King of the universe is not seeking our approval of His ways, just our instant obedience. God uses His commands and the authority structures He has placed in our lives to grow us… mold us… refine us… and burn away the dross from us.
Remember the words Jesus spoke to rebellious Saul [later Paul] on the road to Damascus, “It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 26:14). It is indeed hard for an ox to successful kick down a goad (a long, sharply-pointed stick) that is poking him in the side. The more that ox kicks and rebels against his master’s will, the more he gets the painful correction of the goad.
I encourage you as I encourage myself, make sure to be pliable and soft in the hands of the Lord. Do not let any rebellion have a place in your heart. Realize that God is over it all. You will never go wrong obeying His word and humbly submitting yourself to the authority structures He has carefully and strategically placed in your life.
David followed Saul as the next king of Israel. Whereas King Saul was a rebel, King David submitted himself to God’s word and God’s will. Saul was tormented with jealousy, paranoia, bitterness, and anger for most of his life. David was blessed with peace, power, joy and God’s presence for most of his life. The choice is yours: to be a Saul or to be a David. As for me, I chose the later.
From His Heart Ministries can be seen on LightSource.com. This is another opportunity to reach people throughout the world with the love of Christ. Tell your friends and check us out at http://lightsource.com/ministry/from_his_heart/.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for almost 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls.
Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you.
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