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The result of Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God and their rejection of Him as Lord and Master is clear.  By Genesis 4 we have sin, evil, suffering, pain, depression, hurt, headache… and murder.  Sin is throughout the Bible, and there are always significant consequences.

This is the fourth post in the Obedience study.  In case you missed the first three:

Obedience – Why Does it Matter?  Part 1
Obedience – Why Does it Matter?  Part 2
Obedience – Why Does it Matter?  Part 3

Here is a verse you will rarely hear quoted, or even preached:

Genesis 38:7  But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD killed him.

Does that seem harsh?  Do you think the rest of the family would have learned something from this?  Apparently not…

Genesis 38:10  And the thing which he [Er’s brother Onan] did displeased the LORD; therefore He killed him also.

We have very rebellious hearts.  Hearts that struggle and fight against God, rebelling against His instruction and His commands.

When God delivered the people from slavery in Egypt, He gave them His commandments (Exodus 20).  He laid out specific instructions for how He wanted them to live, and how He wanted them to worship Him.  But people constantly want to do things their own way.

Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu wanted to worship God in their own way.  They didn’t want to follow God’s guidelines for worship, and they offered “profane fire” before the Lord (Leviticus 10:1).  Would that really be a big deal?  Shouldn’t we be able to worship any way we please?

Leviticus 10:2  So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them [Nadab and Abihu], and they died before the LORD.

Does that seem harsh?

When Moses was leading the Israelites in the wilderness, they grumbled and complained constantly.  Nothing pleased them.  We all complain when we are frustred, confused, disappointed, angry… that can’t be that big of a deal, can it?

Numbers 11:1  Now when the people complained, it displeased the LORD; for the LORD heard it and His anger was aroused.  So the first of the LORD burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.

Does that seem harsh?

A man named Korah led 250 others to rebel against the leadership of Moses because of jealousy.  Moses warned the people to get away from Korah and said God would send down judgment.

Numbers 16:31-35  Now it came to pass, as he [Moses] finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods.  So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly.  Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!”  And a fire came out from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense.

Does that seem harsh?

The Israelites blamed Moses and Aaron for this incident, and so then God sent a plague on the people of Israel.

Numbers 16:49  Now those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the Korah incident.

Does that seem harsh?

They still didn’t listen, and 9 chapters later God ended up sending another plague after Israelite men were sleeping with Moabite women.

Numbers 25:9  And those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand.

Does that seem harsh?  Does this surprise you about God?  These are just a few examples of God’s swift judgment against the sin of man.  Individuals, 250 men, 14,700 men, 24,000 men… do you see a pattern?

These are all examples of the JUST and RIGHT response of a Holy God to sin.  It is not a game.  This is exactly how God should respond to sin, IF He always responded only from His holiness and His justice.  It is exactly what a disobedient sinner deserves, and it is fair and right.

God’s response to sin that is anything LESS than the immediate death of the sinner is a PROFOUND display of His love, His goodness, His grace, His mercy, and His patience.

2 Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Psalm 86:15  But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.

God’s mercy and grace are completely, totally, absolutely UNDESERVED!

We have all rebelled against a Holy God.

Isaiah 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way.

Romans 3:10-12  As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.  They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.”

We’ve all ignored God’s commands and gone our own way.  Our sin separates us from God and makes us His enemies.

Romans 2:5-6  But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “WILL RENDER TO EACH ONE ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS”.

Hebrews 4:13  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

What we all deserve is the perfect justice of God’s wrath and HIs judgment against us.

See Job 34:21, Ecclesiastes 12:14, 7:20, Romans 2:16, 3:23, 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Matthew 7:21-23, Proverbs 16:18

 

Rebellion is turning FROM God and turning TO self. That is the essence of sin.  Rejecting our Creator, failing to recognize Him as Lord, King and Master.  Rejecting the One, True Lord and trying to be the lord of our own life.  The just penalty for sin is eternal death in hell, a place of unimaginable torment, permanently separated from the God we have rebelled against.  Without hope.

Thankfully, that isn’t the whole story!!!  God Himself provides the solution to our dilemma, and we have absolute hope in Jesus Christ… which will be Part 5 of this study.