I Samuel 15:23

Verse of the Week:   I Samuel 15:23  “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”

Encouraging Thought:  In the eyes of God, rebellion is a horrendous sin, every bit as evil as witchcraft.  But through Christ, there is forgiveness. 

God’s children are not normally involved in witchcraft, but can we rightly claim that we”re not rebellious?  Rebellion is opposition to authority, and God is our ultimate authority.  If we’ve ever disobeyed God, then we’ve acted in rebellion.  However, we serve a gracious and merciful God.  Micah 7:18 says, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.”   God is forgiving, and he desires to forgive us even when we’re rebellious.

Isaiah 55:7 says, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”  Even when we’ve disobeyed and resisted His authority (rebelled against Him), He loves and forgives us.  But to receive that forgiveness, we must abandon our evil ways and recommit ourselves to the Lord; to honor and obey Him by our words and deeds.  Then, and only then, will He abundantly pardon.

Words of Wisdom:  God does not tolerate rebellion, and stubbornness is the main ingredient of a rebellious heart and attitude.  Consider what the Bible says…

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…” Rebellion means opposition to or defiance of authority.  If we defy God’s authority by disobeying Him or we simply demonstrate opposition to His Word by our lifestyle, we are living a life of rebellion.

“…and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…”  Stubborn means unreasonably and obstructively determined to persevere or prevail.  Are you stubborn?  Do you fight God at every turn because you are unreasonably determined to prevail against Him?  You won’t.  And your stubbornness is equivalent to idol worship.

Wait a minute, I may be a little stubborn sometimes, but I don’t worship idols.  According to God’s word, there’s no difference between the two.

In Acts 7:51, Stephen said, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.”  God’s people were stubborn.  They resisted the Holy Ghost.  To resist the Holy Ghost is to rebel against God, and it all begins with stubbornness.  But stubbornness and rebellion are sins like any other.  And with true repentance, God grants forgiveness.   

II Chronicles 30:8 says, “Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God…”   Although God was talking to the children of Israel in this verse, the principle applies to us today.  He wants His children to serve Him with tender hearts, yielded to His will, guidance, and direction.  Don’t be stubborn.  Stubbornness leads to rebellion, and God considers rebellion comparable to the sin of witchcraft.