Israel's Rebellion and Punishment

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    DIG: When reading through this section, what were the main problems? How do you think Israel got to that point in her history? Weren’t these God’s children, the apple of His eye (Deuteronomy 32:10; Psalm 17:8; Zechariah 2:8)? How do you think the LORD felt about their spiritual condition? How do you think Israel felt?

    REFLECT: Is mere sincerity what counts with YHVH (see Romans 2:17-24, 28-29)? If rebellion means not trusting the LORD with every aspect of you life, what does it take for you to rebel against God? How can you guard against that?

    This passage is about rebellion and failure; rebellion against the LORD, and the failure to see the consequences of that rebellion. Rebellion has consequences and the consequences for spiritual choices are as certain as consequences for physical choices. Just as a bruised and wounded body will die if left unattended, and just as a lean-to will be blown down if not constantly maintained, so if we rebel against the creator of the universe and reject His ways, spiritual corruption and death will follow. As intelligent human beings, we should be able to understand that equation. Animals seem to know what is best for them, yet humans do not.2 Israel had rebelled against God and He would now make His case against her. Isaiah, speaking for ADONAI, invoked the heavens and the earth to hear the following accusation against the people. Moses, when rebuking Israel, similarly began: Listen, O heavens, hear, O earth (Deuteronomy 32:1).

    There are standards of spiritual behavior that are just as concrete as those in the physical world. They are created by God and never vary. If we live in harmony with His laws of spiritual behavior, our lives go better; however, we live in a society that rebels against the LORD seemingly at every turn. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves flirting with sin before we know it. Pleasing oneself has become the norm. Each of us has a choice. What is yours?


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