REBELLIOUS NATION
TOWARD GOD


INTRODUCTION

Rebellious nation toward God category will pay a price for such a status unless recognition and repentance comes into focus. There are references concerning God's judgment on such nations; as well as His mercy extended towards those who turn to Him.

A rebellious status is noted concerning Nineveh.  Scripture reveals: The word of the Lord came to the prophet Jonah, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city and cry out against it: for their wickedness is come up before me (Jonah 1:1-2).

So Jonah arose, and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.  Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city of three days journey.  And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey (on the first day), and he cried out, and said, yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown (Jonah 3:3-4).  


Rebellious Nation Toward God
Mercy Extended

Scripture reveals: The people of Nineveh believed God (the first step towards repentance), and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth (a sign of repentance), from the greatest of them even to the least of them (Jonah 3:5).  And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way: and God repented (relented) of the evil, that he had said he would do to them; and he did it not (Jonah 3:10). 

It was noted that God did not change in His ultimate intention toward the Ninevites; rather they changed in their attitude toward Him. On the basis of that change, God could deal with them in mercy, rather than in judgment as their failure to repent would have necessitated.  

Scripture reveals: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).  This is a perfect illustration of Nineveh's repentance, to prevent the judgment of God, and His mercy extended!  The same can be extended to any rebellious nation toward God that repents of its evil deeds and turns to God!

Umbrella of Provision
and Protection

A rebellious nation toward God may lose God's umbrella of provision and protection; instead a lowering of His protective hedge, with possible judgmental awakening strokes to induce a return to Him.  

Scripture reveals: For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations (Psalm 22:28).  It was noted that God rules in the hearts of some by His Spirit and grace, and over others with a rod of iron.  Those words reveal that when God is removed from the scope of things it incurs His wrath; or at the very least, judgmental strokes to induce a return.

Many nations have eloped from God, allowing ungodly venues, rather than obedience to His Word; with little remorse for having done so, bringing in a rebellious nation toward God category.

Rebellious Nation
Characteristics

An example of a rebellious nation toward God was reflected in the characteristics of the nation of Judah.  Scripture reveals: Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord has spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me (Isaiah 1:2).

O, sinful nation, a people laden (weighed down) with iniquity (lawlessness) (results of a rebellious nation toward God category), a seed of evil-doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked God unto anger, they have gone (turned) away backward (Isaiah 1:4).  It was noted that the prophet Isaiah pictured the southern kingdom of Israel (Judah) as ungrateful children rebelling against their parents; having become corrupt and backslidden. 

Have Forgotten God

During a civil war, addressing a divided nation, President Abraham Lincoln spoke of all the blessings of God, then finalized His speech with a startling statement: We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown, but we have forgotten God!

We have forgotten the gracious hand that preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these things were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.  

Earlier, in a bid for the senate, he quoted Scripture saying that a divided nation cannot stand.  We are seeing many nations; due to a rebellious nation toward God status, no longer having the fear of God, seeking to solve their problems without benefit of divine intervention; division and chaos being the result of arriving at such a  rebellious state!

Ungodly Lifestyles 
Punished

Scripture reveals: Except the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom and we should have been like Gomorrah.  Hear the words of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom, you people of Gomorrah (Isaiah 1:9-10).  It was noted that the prophet Isaiah addressed the people of Judah as if they were the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah; cities that were noted for their sinful lifestyles, resulting in destruction.

Scripture reveals: God turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow (destruction), making them an example to those that after (afterward) should live ungodly (2 Peter 2:6).  We are seeing that which was warned against in many nations today, ungodly lifestyles relished, promoted, and dramatized, bringing them into a rebellious nation toward God category.

Cease to do Evil

Scripture reveals: Wash you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my (God's) eyes; cease to do evil (Isaiah 1:16).  It was noted that prophet Isaiah was calling the people back to obedience to God.  Wash does not indicate the sinner may cleanse himself; nor does it refer to mere ritual washing, rather it indicates the sinner must accept the cleansing offered by the Lord, a cleansing of the heart resulting in true repentance.

There are many rebellious nations toward God; who as Judah, have turned away from "What Thus saith the Lord" by instituting ungodly ways to satisfy lustful attitudes and mannerisms.  It is unfortunate, but there is a lack of "sounding the alarm" against the ungodliness of man, even with some churches adopting the ways of the world, rather than exposing sinful lifestyles identified in God's Word.

Power and Authority
of God

Scripture reveals: God increases (makes great) the nations, and destroys them: he enlarges (spreads out) the nations, and straitens (guides) them again (Job 12:23).  It was noted that God, having the power and authority to create, also has power and authority to destroy that which He creates.  This was shown by the Flood (in the days of Noah).

When humans become so evil, that every thought and imagination of the human mind and heart was only evil continually, God decided to destroy from the earth the humans He had created (expect for Noah and those in the ark with him); to give life and take away life are both within God's authority.  Why does a rebellious nation toward God flaunt that authority; because there is no longer a fear of God in them!

Withdrawal from God

Rebellious nation toward God entails a withdrawal; as in the case of the nation of Judah because of their sins, a time He would not hear their prayers, nor assist them against their enemies, nor arise with help in their hour of need.  There would be no finding Him, no looking to Him for comfort and confidence, no beholding the works and ways of God, having withdrawn from Him.

They had cast aside their dependence on God for a rebellious state; and unless repentance become a factor, God would allow the consequences for their withdrawal to unfold before their eyes.  A choice awaits each individual, or nation; whether to look to God in all things and enjoy His benefits, or turn away and receive His chastisement in an attempt to induce a return to Him.

Nations that Forget
God

Scripture reveals: The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God (Psalm 9:17).  It was noted that the wicked shall be turned into hell signifies a place of torment where the souls of the wicked go immediately upon their departure from their bodies and after judgment is over; with an everlasting separation from God, and a sense of His wrath and fiery indignation.

Those words emphasize the need for man to recognize there is a place called Hell; reserved for those who rebel against God, or reject the prompting of God's Spirit to reconcile man towards salvation of the soul. Scripture reveals: Put them in fear, O Lord; that the nations may know themselves to be but men (Psalm 9:20).

It was noted that put them in fear; those who are bold, impudent, a fearless generation of men who neither fear God nor regard man.  The Psalmist prays that God would inject fear into them, that the nations may know themselves as but men.  This refers to those who oppose Christ and His people, that they may know that they are but frail, mortal, and miserable men.

Blameless and Harmless
Innocent

Scripture reveals: That you may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (a rebellious nation toward God status), among whom you shine as lights in the world (Philippians 2:15).

It was noted that to be blameless is to have no finger a just accusation pointed at them; harmless is to be morally pure; without rebuke is without incurring spiritual damage; to shine as lights in the world, or as stars that are readily noticeable in a dark sky.  Scripture reveals: Let your light (testimony) so shine before men, that they may see your good works (life), and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

It was noted that the believer in Christ is to shine forth into the darkness of human depravity (brought on by a rebellious nation toward God category).  Darkness is the absence of light and darkness cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness!

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