Summary: Our walk with God is revealed in our willingness to continually submit to Him.
Growing in Submission
Series: Growing a Healthy Attitude
July 15, 2012
Note: this message is adapted from the book Lord Change My Attitude Before It's Too Late by James MacDonald
This was how Susannah Wesley defined "sin" to her young son, John Wesley: "If you would judge of the lawfulness or the unlawfulness of pleasure, then take this simple rule: Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, and takes off the relish of spiritual things--that to you is sin."
Resource, July/August, 1990.
One key theme that weaves its way through scripture is rebellion. Rebellion is foundational in understanding the Biblical concept of sin. Sin is anything we do that misses the standard set by God. When we commit sin, we are in essence saying that we desire the right to do as we please, whenever we please regardless of what God wants for us.
Examples of Rebellion
* Adam and Eve rebelled when they ate the forbidden fruit
* Israel built the Golden Calf after they left Egypt
* Moses disobeyed God when he struck the rock for water instead of speaking to it
* David committed adultery with Bathsheba
* Peter denied Jesus three times
* Prodigal Son rebelled against the father
Rebellion is closely connected with the relationship between God and humanity. Rebellion is relational in nature. We were created to have a personal relationship with God but those
Rebellion is simply choosing to do our desire instead of God’s desire. Rebellion is reserving for myself the right to make final decision.
1 That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert!3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?" 4 And they said to each other, "We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt." 5 Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. 6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, "The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good.8 If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them."10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Numbers 14:1-10
Four Key terms for rebellion
Marad: Rebellion against God when a covenant commitment has been broken Marks an attempt of the subordinate to break agreement with the ruler.
Marah: Rebellion of the nation against the rul and authority of God. This word is used to describe the actions of Numbers 14.
Sarar: Means to be stubborn, hardened and determined not to respond to God.
Pasa: Means to transgress, to rebel or to revolt. The focus is on the action that violates the covenant agreement. Pasa means to pass over the boundaries set by the covenant.
God responds to rebellion in two different ways and both depend on our actions.
1. God forgives when the people turn back to Him
2. God punishes when the people persist in their rebellion
Spiritually, rebellion is a violation of our obligations to God. We choose to disobey
The Problem of Rebellion
Israel disregarded the leadership of God
Israel was defeated before they got started
Israel despaired rather than followed
Israel deviated their future from the plan of God
Israel departed from the Promised Land
Israel died in the Wilderness
Results of Rebellion
Israel engaged in problems
Israel chose to not follow God into the Promised Land and they chose to go through a series of continued problems. The Wilderness lifestyle was filled with ongoing dangers and issues of the unknown.
Homeless: The people went through forty years of living without a real home
Aimless: The people went through forty years of living in a continual wandering.
Helpless: The people were weakened by their lack of defense and support
Israel endured punishment
Israel made the choice to rebel against God. They chose to not abide within the covenant that God established with them. The punishment was fixed with their disobedience. One year for each day that Israel scouted the Promised Land. The result is forty years of wandering without a place to call home.