The Path of Rebellion
The passage in Nehemiah that our text comes from is giving an account of Israel after they left Egypt. Many times Israel in the wilderness journeys disobey or rebelled against God and this is referenced in verse 17. In this lesson we will look at some of the steps that are given in veres17 that Israel took in their Rebellion and see how these things apply to our lives. We will also see the exit from the path of Rebellion.
What is Rebellion?
A simple definition for Rebellion is open resistance to lawful authority. God does not have a very high opinion of Rebellion. Note it is compared to witchcraft in 1 Samuel 15:23. Everyone disobeys from time to time and disobedience in itself may not be rebellion. But when we consistently and knowingly disobey with no intention of changing our actions, then we are well on our way to Rebellion or already there.
Steps that lead to Rebellion:
1) Refused to obey (verse 17)
- According to the word of God we have many different authorities therefore when we refuse to obey our authorities we are taking the first step toward rebellion.
- Some authorities we should obey; God (Ecclesiastes 12:13) , Parents (Ephesians 6:1-2), Law (Romans 13:17), Pastors (Hebrews 13:17).
2) Not mindful of God’s works (verse 17)
- What is amazing is that after seeing all the mighty works of God in Egypt Israel was so quick to rebel in the wilderness.
- This should not be surprising though we do the same things.
3) Hardened their necks (verse 17)
- There is a great companion verse for this in Proverbs 29:1. Note that the destruction comes quickly.
- A hardened neck will refuse to see anything but their own wants and way. They cannot look to the right or the left to see any other point of view.
4) Appointed another captain (verse 17)
- In rebellion you may think that there is no authority, but there is always something or someone you are following.
- For a saved person who is rebelling against God you are following either your flesh or the devil, but rest assured you will always follow something (Romans 6:13-19)
The exit for the path of Rebellion:
What is interesting about verse 17 is that half way through the verse we see that God is ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness and did not forsake the children of Israel.
If you are in rebellion or are on the path to rebellion then God is gracious and will forgive you but you must repent and change the course that you are on. Remember destruction can come suddenly but there is a way out if you will just take it, God is waiting on you.
The Path of Rebellion (Nehemiah 9:17)
1) What is the context for the passage we are studying in this lesson?
2) What is a good definition of rebellion?
3) What are the steps associated with rebellion?
4) What is the exit for the path of Rebellion?