Wilderness Wandering Attitudes to Avoid Part 5
Intro: In last 4 weeks we have identified there are 5 attitudes that manifest unbelief:
Manifestations of unbelief
Manifestations of believing God
We will see the last manifestation of unbelief in Number 16.
Moses was more than 80 years old. He was the proven leader of God for Israel. 40 years in the wilderness. Stood as God’s representative before Pharaoh and was used by God to send ten plagues on Egypt.
Held out his staff and divided the Red Sea. Spent 40 days twice on a mountain alone with God.
- Moses was not perfect and God hasn’t used a perfect leader yet other than Jesus.
“Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, THE SON OF LEVI, and Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and sons of Peleth, s RUEBEN, took 250 chiefs, famous in the assembly, well known men and they assembled against Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, seeing all the congregation are holy, and the Lord is among them. So why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” Numbers 16
Korah was a descendent of Levi, the tribe responsible for leading worship in the Tabernacle. Only Levites could lead worship. The point is these were not outcasts but close leaders to Moses.
“They assembled together against Moses and Aaron.” Vs 3
- This was a well organized planned rebellion. Very articulate, sounded right and Korah was the spokesman for the group.
- These are the leaders Moses appointed and trained!
- Theses were good people who thought they were right in standing up to Moses. Where did this come from after all they have been through together? Where does rebellion come from? What are the roots of rebellion?
1. Disappointment often leads to rebellion.
Vs 13 reveals their disappointment. “Is it not enough that you have brought us up from a land flowing with milk and honey into this wilderness because you make yourself a prince over us? Nor have you given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards.” vs 13
- They are disappointed that they are not where they thought they would be by now. Look how they described Egypt? You forgot where you came from – slaves – Egypt was not flowing!
- We began with you with a vision of great things and now it has not happened. They were expressing disappointment.
2. Coveting authority and not honoring authority.
Korah wanted to at least be equal with Moses in authority. He did not want to submit to Moses because he thought Moses had a position he and 250 other leaders felt he should have. He wanted the power!
- Remember in vs 3 Korah we are all holy – he was saying we all have the Lord with us, we are all equal before the Lord?
Ill. We are all equal before the Lord, but we are not the same in calling!
You are equal with your boss but you are not the same as your boss.
Wives are equal with their husbands before the Lord but not the same. Children are equal with their parents and teachers before the Lord as people but they are not the same in authority. Pastor and elders in church are the same before God but not the same in authority.
- Korah and others were equal with Moses, but they were not the same with authority appointed from God.
- Often people see the calling or position in leadership and desire or think they could do that job, but they don’t respect the process the leader went through to get there.
- Ill. Police officers for example
3. Stubbornness fuels rebellion.
Then Moses sent for Dathan and Abiram, who said, “We will not come up.” Vs 12
- The Leader calls for them and they say, “We are not coming!”
Ill. Are you easy to lead. Have you prided yourself on being a stubborn person thinking that is strength of character? They are not the same.
God ordained authorities:
Government – Work – Home – Church
Picture of umbrella of authority
Rebellion = knowing what to do but refusing to do it. It involves willfully coming out from under God ordained authority.
ill. There are times we should rebel when under God’s clear direction. American Revolution – Civil Rights movement. But even then it was done first with appeals to authority until their was no other option.
As long as an authority is not asking you to sin, you need to find a way to be under that authority. I am not saying abused women should stay with an abusive husband or children with abusive parents. There are laws against to protect us from that.
Rebellion is ultimately against the Lord.
Moses said, “Therefore you and all your company are gathered together AGAINST THE LORD.” Vs 11
If God placed a person in authority over you, then rejecting or opposing authority is rejecting and opposing God!
One more example of rebellion that I must share with you.
King Saul was God’s choice for the 1st king of Israel. He failed several tests of God after becoming king. Each test revealed that deep inside his heart there was rebellion against God. On the surface you would have never known he was in rebellion. He did not know it himself.
One time he was told by Samuel the prophet to gather the army at a certain place where they were about to go to war with Philistines. But wait till Samuel the priests arrive to make the offerings before the Lord. There was a divine delay of Samuel and the people had waited for 7 days and some of them said they were leaving to go back home. Out of fear of losing his people and looking foolish in front of them, he offered the burnt sacrifice, which was not permitted by the Lord. Only the priests were to do this. Samuel arrives after this and said you acted foolishly and have not obeyed the commandment of the Lord!
After this is when everything begins to go south for Saul. On another occasion Samuel gets a word from God that Saul is to lead Israel completely destroy the Amalekites, (men, women and children and animals!) So Saul defeats them but keeps the Amalekite king alive for some reason and the best of the animals.
Samuel shows up and sees all this and asks Saul, “What have you done?” Note this: When a person is in rebellion they have deceived themselves!
Saul says to Samuel. “I’ve done what you said!” I saved these animals for sacrificing to the Lord.
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Obedience is better than sacrifice, a listening ear than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” I Sam. 15:22-23
A little later Saul repents and says, “I have sinned because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.” Very revealing.
- We all want people to like us, appreciate us, tell us we are doing a good job, but not at the expense of doing what God wants even if everybody opposes us or even rises up against us! At the end of the day on judgment day – your friends or fans on Facebook are not going to be standing with you before God.
Let’s talk solution:
In order to leave the wilderness, we must replace a rebellious attitude with a submissive one.
“every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities . . . established by God.” Romans 13:1
1. Submission is for the Lord’s sake.
“Submit yourselves to every human authority for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king, as supreme, or to governors, as sent by Him for the punishment of evil doers and to praise those who do right. For it is the will of God that by doing right you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. As free people, do not use your liberty as a covering for evil, but live as servants of God Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” I Peter 2:13-17
- refusing to submit to your boss, is more than refusing him, but it is refusing the Lord! We submit for the “Lord’s sake”, not the boss.
2. Submission is protection by God.
Submission to authority is a covering of protection for you. “submit” is a military term.
Submission – place yourself under the mission of another, under God established authority.
Ill. Use umbrella to illustrate. It may still rain but you have protection. Satan still attacks but is limited.
3. Submission has limits under God.
“As free people, do not use your liberty as a covering for evil, but live as servants of God.”
Ill. If you take a job you should first see if their mission is something you can place yourself under while serving the Lord.
Pam started to work last year for a company as a nurse. The founder of the company even had as part of their mission purpose that they were here to serve God and help people. For 6 months it was a great job, great pay. The company was sold to another and now the mission changed. Now the bottom line was money and get the numbers up. Even to the point of getting people to sign up for a program that they did not need. Pam had to resign that position for that reason. Point is this; submission has limits!
WE are not slaves to human authorities. We serve God.
4. Submission is a test of your faith in God.
“Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for conscience sake toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.” I Peter 2:18-19
5. Submission involves intimacy with God.
“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.” I Peter 2:21
What are His steps, example that I am to follow in?
“While being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins . . . so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” I Peter 2:23-25
- To follow His steps is to involve some suffering, even when we don’t see His actions on our behalf. IT will require us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, but He gives grace to the humble.
Concl: In order to leave your wilderness for your destiny you are going to have to deal with rebellion attitude that is deeply imbedded in your heart. You may not have realized it until today. Here’s a prayer to get you started:
Lord, I realize I must learn submission not only to human authority, but ultimately to You alone in every circumstance. Help me to put off human pride and rebellion, and put on submission to You and the authorities You place me under. I must learn to trust You in all of this and find grace in the midst of hardships. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.