God hates rebellion.
“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23a) [See also Numbers 20:12-14; Isaiah 30:1; Isaiah 63:10; Psalm 68:6; Psalm 107:10-11; Nehemiah 9:26. Rebellion is described throughout the Bible as a certain path to judgment and destruction, unless there is repentance and an embracing of godly order].
Christianity has changed government and culture in many ways. One way has been to inject the very concept of order. Order is a communicable attribute of the Triune God. There is order in His creation of the world and, through redemption in Jesus Christ, order in our lives may be recovered—cosmically and personally (though the fallen world, still suffering from that disorder, awaits the consummation of the Kingdom of Christ, when all Edenic order will be restored).
“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…” (1 Corinthians 14:33 NIV).
Just go to a country where the residual faith of Judeo-Christianity is culturally, historically absent. You can almost say that it is a universal, “If there is no Christian influence in the culture, you don’t want to drive there!” Chaos in traffic, a simple but real example of “ideas have consequences,” is just one consistent indicator of a void of a Christian world and life view. The way a people treat women and children is another more profound and infinitely more important feature of such cultures.
So back to the point. God hates rebellion. He calls for order. He would tell Peter, who cut of Malchus’ ear (a Roman soldier who kept his head but lost his ear to the impulsive Peter), that “those who live by the sword die by the sword.” Yet many look upon the “Occupy Movement” in America has a positive, non violent movement that is seeking justice for all people. But that is not the story that is unfolding before us. It is, to quote my son, “simply anarchy.” Left-over-Abbie Hoffman-wannabe” rebels called occupiers have found a “movement” to vent their inner angst. It reminds me of disproven but once radically fashionable Students for a Democratic Society who, in the 1960s, stormed administrative buildings of campuses, shutting down education in the name of democracy. It sounded more like lawlessness and mobocracy then and it does now. I hear the passage in my mind as I see the images of chaos and disorder in our streets:
“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25 ESV).
But there is hope.
This morning my son and I got up at “zero-dark-thirty” to vote. The polls opened at 0630 here in North Carolina. We wanted to be first up. My son just turned eighteen and this was his first time to vote. He was excited to do so and I was excited to watch him sign in and cast his vote after carefully examining the candidates and their stance on issues (with Safari and his iPhone). That is order, albeit order with technology! Order is the way to effect change. Yet even that process is a by-product of a Biblical past which continues to leave a positive influence in this increasingly secularist culture. We should all pray that we “occupy” ourselves more with the Bible, with the truth of Jesus Christ which sets men free, and less time being occupied with scenes of anarchists who have no idea why or what they are protesting.
Let them get up at 5:00 am and go vote.
- The rebel and the king; ‘the law has not changed’ (theaquilareport.com)
- When God Comes Down (Isaiah 64) (michaelmilton.org)