Many times he (God) delivered them (the Israelites), but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin. Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented. He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy.
(Added for clarity.)
Rebellion. This sweet little girl couldn’t possibly have an ounce of rebellion in her, could she? Oh, wait. She’s me. Truth be told, she’s full of rebellion. Unfortunately, we all are. But wait, you say. How can this freckle-faced first grader be called rebellious?
Revisit the photo for a moment. My rebellion caught on camera as a permanent reminder that I don’t always do what I’m told – especially when I want to get my way. Which, let’s face it, is most of the time. I didn’t even have to be taught to want my way; it just comes naturally.
Do you notice anything besides the scratchy polyester dress I was sporting (thanks mom!)? Isn’t my ballerina pin darling? I thought so too. Never mind that it is lime green resting upon a mountain of maroon material. What? It matches. It does too!
Well, mom didn’t think so. She specifically told me “no” when I asked if I could wear my special ballerina pin for picture day. Hmmmph! I’ll show her. I’ll place my pin in my pocket until I get to school. I’ll put it on as I pirouette to the flash of a camera, smiling a satisfied “I’m wearing my ballerina pin” grin. Mom will never even know I wore it. Oh. Wait. What’s that?
I guess I didn’t fully think that moment of rebellion all the way through. When mom got the photos from school, she was none-too-happy. I’m sure there was some sort of consequence, but I don’t think it was too harsh because I can’t remember it. I guess my mom must have granted me mercy.
Every time I think of this incident, I giggle. Is that wrong? Probably. Definitely if you consult my mom. If anyone ever wants to get me an awesome Christmas gift (Sam), I would love a lime green ballerina pin!
Not always has my rebellion been something I could categorize as “cute”. Sometimes, it’s been downright ugly! Sometimes, there were consequences for my rebellion that I rather wish I would have avoided. Even in those times, though, God heard my cries of distress. He relented. He extended His great love to me. The consequences could have been far worse than any I ever experienced. God let me feel just enough to know, I don’t think I want to do “that” ever again.
I still make mistakes. I’m trying to avoid the blatant rebellious type. God’s been moving me and teaching me, just as He has with all the other rebellious children he has taught throughout time. Today, I’ll leave you with these words from Hebrews 3:7-9 and a few final thoughts.
So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did.”
I pray that we stop wandering in rebellion and listen to the clarity of God’s voice. Thank you, God, for being merciful when we make mistakes.
How has rebellion impacted your life?
Have you ever experienced a consequence due to your rebellion? What happened?
Think of a time God extended mercy toward you. What were the circumstances?
How has the voice of the Holy Spirit directed you to turn from rebellion?