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January 8, 2009

Rejecting the Word of God

That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the LORD; Isaiah 30:9, NKJV.

The full context of this passage reads as follows:

8Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and note it on a scroll, that it may be for time to come, forever and ever: 9That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the LORD; 10 Who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. 11 Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”

I read this passage in the past and had heard it mentioned in one of Pastor David Wilkerson’s sermons, either Whatever Happened to Repentance Preaching (26 November 2006) or The Great and Final Apostasy (20 August 2006). Both of these sermons should be listened to, given the poor watered-down sermons that take place in too many, but not all, pulpits across the country and even in other parts of the world.

In these three verses, God instructed Isaiah to go and preach to the people concerning their sin of rebellion against God. It must have been hard enough to preach this warning to the people let alone write it on a tablet, such as were the Ten Commandments Moses brought down from the mountain that were written by the finger of God (Exodus 31:8).

A rebellion is a revolt or open resistance to authority, or an avowed renunciation of authority. There are numerous examples in the Bible of people who rebelled against God and these examples are provided to us so that we may avoid the consequences of those who openly rejected God.

The example here in the book of Isaiah is no different from what we see today, so this just isn’t about the people of Israel in the Old Testament who rebelled against God.

We live in a society that is rebellious toward government, the military and rebellious to the law through subversive acts of fraud, deceit and greed. There is a rebellion against morality where what has long been considered immoral, such as homosexuality, is strongly contested to be accepted as a moral behavior. There is a rebellion against monogamy where debauchery of all kinds pervades the lives of promiscuous young teenagers in high school and college. There is a rebellion against marital fidelity where some husbands and wives abandon their marriage for selfish and immature reasons that will not be considered acceptable to God on their day of judgment.

So here we have the prophet Isaiah, communicating God’s displeasure to rebellious children who have lied and refuse to hear His law preached before them.

The Hebrew word for children in verse 9 is bên בּן (pronounced bane) and this word can reference not only children in a family, but used more broadly, refers to a subject, nation, quality or condition of people.

Is it not true that we see in today’s society, a condition of people that refuses to hear the law of the LORD because they would rather submit to their own way of living rather than the commandments found in God’s Holy Word? They not only refuse to keep the Sabbath day holy, but also refuse to hear someone preaching the Bible on the street in public places.

Why was there a refusal to hear God’s law? The answer is found in verse 12 and it is because they despised hearing it and this was justification for God’s judgment upon a rebellious people.

The fear people should have of their own souls, to defy the living God and rejecting His Holy Word to live by!

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; (Hebrews 3:12, NKJV).
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31, NKJV).
Matthews, Walton and Chavalas (2000) state in reference to Isaiah 30:10 that the Israelites either ignored the prophets or told them to prophesy only pleasant words and visions. (See also Jeremiah 7:25-26 and Amos 2:12).

Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers. (Jeremiah 7:25-26, KJV, emphasis mine).

“But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink, and commanded the prophets saying, ‘Do not prophesy!’ (Amos 2:12, NKJV).
The people of the Bible believed that the prophets not only preached God’s word, but their arrival and announcements often unleashed the divine action they had been forewarning the people. Some people feared them, others despised them and attempted as much as they could to silence them or kill them if they could. It is no surprise too why the prophets would either be threatened with their lives or persuaded to say something other than the judgment that was about to come.

The apostle Paul in his second letter to Timothy, encouraged him to continue preaching the Gospel to people without compromise. He had advised him that people would be seeking to hear something other than the truth of the Gospel, something more palatable to their lives that would be more appealing to them. And if they were not able to persuade someone to speak what would be pleasing to their ears, they would find someone who would.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4, KJV).
Where have we gone wrong as a nation that has turned from God and the Bible, selfishly seeking to use God for our own personal benefit, with untrained and uncalled people to pulpit ministry who are advocating the same?

Just as death can come quickly and unexpectedly, so will the execution of God’s judgment upon those who have rejected and rebelled against Him.

Verse 13 says, “Therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant.”

The consequences for sin will suddenly ensue upon anyone like a balloon stretched beyond its capacity to contain the air that is filling it, expanding to a point where it will suddenly burst. Such is our own lives that continue to reject the Word of God and live in rebellion to His grace, mercy and love.

How can people not expect God’s judgment upon them for continually rejecting Him, rebelling against Him, when He has warned us like a father of the consequences for walking on a path that is not good for us?

Even the worst rebel who has sinned against God is worthy of His mercy and forgiveness and He is ready to forgive those who come to Him with a repentant heart.

To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. (Daniel 9:9, NKJV)

They refused to obey, and they were not mindful of Your wonders that You did among them. But they hardened their necks, and in their rebellion they appointed a leader to return to their bondage. But You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness, and did not forsake them. (Nehemiah 9:17, NKJV)
Is it worth the consequence of spending an eternity in hell, in punishment and torment for rejecting the Word of the LORD, knowing that God is ready to extend his grace, mercy and forgiveness, to anyone who genuinely repents for their rebellion against Him?

Jesus said, “Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15) and tragically, society rejects and ignores the gospel.

The greatest gift one receives for repenting and believing in the gospel is the forgiveness of their sins and eternity in paradise, just as Jesus promised the thief who hung on the cross next to him (Luke 23:43).

Their salvation becomes justified by faith through the LORD Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1) while a rejection of the gospel, unbelief in the Son of God results not with life, but death where the wrath of God abides upon them (John 3:36).

Should not God’s grace and mercy be desired more than a casual acceptance of His wrath for the selfishness to live in rebellion against Him?
For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:14-15, NKJV.
The rejection of the Word of God and living in rebellion against Him justifies God's sentence upon the soul that opposes Him, while the one who has chosen to repent of their sins and is redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, saves the sinner and grants them a place in God’s eternal kingdom of heaven.

To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. Daniel 9:9, NKJV

Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. Luke 14:23, NKJV.


Are you a good person?


Reference

Meyers, R. (2006). e-Sword. The sword of the Lord with an electronic edge (Verson 7.8) [Computer software].

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

3 comments:

Thankful Paul said...

It was a happy day for him when he gave us our new lives, through the truth of his Word, and we became, as it were, the first children in his new family. JAMES 1:18 LB

Robert McClanahan said...

Hi Kurt,

January 8 blog is really something. Powerful composition Kurt. This exactly describes a significant portion of our current society and also the manner in which we are being "taught"

There is so much truth here that it is scary. Don't you think much of our current social, economic, educational, and government problems are very much related to the fact that we are not really "One Nation Under God" anymore?

Thanks for sticking with the Blog Kurt. Just one of your entries is enough for a person to study for a long time.

Robert

Thoughtful said...

Hi Kurt:

Nikki here from seminary!.

Good thoughts but I wanted to perhaps add something to your comments posted below:


We live in a society that is rebellious toward government, the military and rebellious to the law through subversive acts of fraud, deceit and greed.

There is a rebellion against morality where what has long been considered immoral, such as homosexuality, is strongly contested to be accepted as a moral behavior.

There is a rebellion against monogamy where debauchery of all kinds pervades the lives of promiscuous young teenagers in high school and college.

There is a rebellion against marital fidelity where some husbands and wives
abandon their marriage for selfish and immature reasons that will not be considered acceptable to God on their day of judgment.

All very valid statements, but the component that I feel we all miss at times and fail to acknowledge is that the church once the backbone of many societies, has fallen into a slumber and high levels of the same things that we decry in society.

Look at the examples that has been portrayed by the church. The church allowed the world into her doors and abandoned God, the church permitted the preaching of prosperity and paying God for a blessing, the church meaning the body did not speak out against these false prophets.

we must also ask the question what have we(the body) rebellious children done to our God?

we have permitted him to be minimized and compartmentalized into a gift giver.
The media loves to proclaim that God is fake, so when the church falls the world watches. we all are guilty of failing our Lord. we have the same sickness within our doors, yet we dismiss it. is this not a spirit of rebellion within us the believer also?

Yet we the children who have tasted and seen, how do we show the world the right pathway to walk, when some of us are so good at posturing and pretending.

Let us not look at the speck of sawdust in our brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in our own Luke6 v 41.

Our society is sick and dying, Souls are being lost each and every day. we can ponder the ills of this world forever, but in the meantime, lives are going to hell. Who can Love these broken and lost children, some so lost that they sleep in doorways, some so lost they end their own lives. No let us teach the children of the real and living God that we have seen, let us show those who are without Love, the Love of Christ..