We are continuing the topic of rebellion today at CSAHM. For humans, rebellion began in the Garden and has not ceased to this day. Adam and Eve did not believe or trust God’s best for them. Discontented, they wanted more. Ungrateful for what they had, they desired what was forbidden. Despite knowing the consequences, they rebelled (Genesis 3).
“Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland. Again and again they tested God’s patience and provoked the Holy One of Israel.” Psalm 78:40-41
The Israelites were freed from hundreds of years of bondage in Egypt by the powerful hand of God. He performed wonders and signs through Moses until Pharaoh told them to leave. They saw God part the Sea for them to walk through onto dry land. They were fed bread from the sky and water from a rock. Yet, ever ungrateful and discontent, they complained and grumbled. In their rebellion, they bowed down to other gods.
“They did not remember his power and how he rescued them from their enemies. They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders on the plain of Zoan…He brought them to the border of his holy land, to this land of hills he had won for them…But they kept testing and rebelling against God Most High. They did not obey his laws. They turned back and were as faithless as their parents. They were as undependable as a crooked bow. They angered God by building shrines to other gods; they made him jealous with their idols.” (Psalm 78:42-43,54, 56-58)
Israel quickly forgot all that God did to free them from slavery. They forgot the miracles and amazing things God had done for them. They forgot how He had provided for them in the desert. They forgot His faithfulness in fulfilling all His promises to them. And in their forgetfulness, they rebelled.
We are not unlike the Israelites. We are prone to forgetfulness as well. We forget the lengths that God went through to rescue us from our own slavery to sin. We forget how much he loves us. And like the Israelites, we too rebel against God.
But God is gracious. When Adam and Eve rebelled, God covered them in animal skin, the first sacrifice and redemption for sin. Genesis 3:15 records the first promise of a Savior to come. God told Moses that one day a Prophet would rise up to save his people (Deuteronomy 18). David was promised a King that would reign on his throne forever. God fulfilled his promise; Jesus did come. He died to rescue us from our rebellious, wandering hearts. He loved us in grace when we were unlovable. Through faith in Jesus we are covered in His righteousness, cleansed and made new.
We all were born with rebellious hearts. But God’s grace is greater than our greatest sin. No matter how rebellious we have been, the cross is there to remind us of our need for a Savior. When we fail to remember God’s faithfulness, may we turn again to Jesus and receive his mercy and grace. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
“Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” Psalm 103:2
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