Summary: Exposition of 2 Sam. 20
What’s Wrong with Being a Rebel?
2 Sam. 20
What’s wrong with being a rebel?
We celebrate some rebels as heroes. George Washington and his army fought the American Revolution to rebel against the tyranny of a British king named George III. Those of us born and bred by the grace of God south of the Mason-Dixon Line are sometimes known as “rebels” in honor of our Civil War ancestors. The good guys in the movie Star Wars were known as the Rebel Alliance and everybody cheered them on to defeat the Evil Galactic Empire. Books and films paint rebels as heroes—misfits who are always in trouble at school, always in trouble with the law, standing alone, living life on their own terms, answering to no body else, a law unto themselves.
That sounds pretty inspiring, but there’s a problem when you start translating rebellion into real life. Teachers and principals tend to frown upon students who disrupt class by disobeying the rules. Parents don’t see that rebellious son or daughter as a hero. The criminal who refuses to obey the law doesn’t get awards for his brave rejection of society’s laws. The hard-headed, hard-hearted man/women too stubborn to listen to those who love them aren’t very easy to live with.
The Bible says that one of our big problems is all of us have a rebel living in us, and if we’re not careful, this rebel will ruin us.
Romans 3:10-18 10As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” 13“Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; 14“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” 15“Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17And the way of peace they have not known.” 18“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
You and I need to be regularly reminded of the dangers of rebellion in our own hearts. This morning I want you and I to talk about what’s wrong with being this kind of rebel. Turn with me to 2 Sam. 20, and let’s answer this question: what’s wrong with being a rebel?
I. Rebels reject legitimate authority. (v.1-2)
When one of my sons was almost 2 years old, he and I had a great battle of the wills. Our family was living in a trailer where the door of his room was right next to the bathroom where I was working with some dan placed him in his room, and told him to stay there, and not come into the bathroom.
He almost beat me back in. I took him out again, and told him not to come in the bathroom, but stay in his room. Again he races me back. We do this one more time, until finally I set him down in his room and gave his bottom a spat. This time he didn’t follow me into the bathroom. He came to the place where the two rooms joined, and placed one foot in his room, and the other foot in the bathroom, and looked up at me, as if to say, What are you going to do now, Big Boy?
Even a 2 year old can display the essence of rebellion- a rejection of legitimate authority.
This is the same attitude we see in a character named Sheba. V. 1 really belongs with the previous chapter, which records King David’s welcome back to Israel as king. David is the rightful king of Israel, not just because everybody likes him, but because God chooses him as king. But Sheba rejects David’s authority, and at the same time, rejects God’s authority. Why?
One reason may be because Sheba is from the tribe of Benjamin—the clan of the previous king of Israel named Saul. Perhaps he’s still angry over Saul’s rejection and David’s acceptance as king of Israel. He might just be tired of all the fussing and fighting over kings that’s gone on for all these years. It’s not entirely clear why Sheba tries to start up a rebellion, but one thing is clear: this rebel has no respect for legitimate authority.
This is something all rebels share in common-a rejection of authority. “Nobody tells me what to do.” For a rebel rules are made to be broken. You don’t need anybody else’s help, or advice. Who needs a boss? Who needs parents? Who needs God? Stand with one foot in, and one foot out, and dare anybody to try and make you do anything.
That’s the face of a true rebel. Does that face ever stare back in defiance at you in the mirror? Well, what if it does? Why is that a problem? What’s wrong with being a rebel? What’s wrong is you are rejecting a legitimate authority in your life. An authority that deserves your respect, your obedience, your submission- an authority placed there by God Himself.