“Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.”
Moses is recalling the journeys of the Israelites, which included the all too frequent stubbornness of God’s people. They had been rebellious against the Lord for as long as Moses could remember. This is not to say that there were not times of surrender and obedience, but they were consistently insubordinate to God’s leadership and commands. This is not the kind of behavior we would want others to remember us by. Their rebellion was seen in their disobedience to God’s commandments, like when they chose not to go up and possess the land that God promised them. The Bible teaches that direct disobedience is a form of rebellion. The people of Israel were also guilty of not believing God or trusting His ability and leadership. They depended on their own wisdom and preferred their own agenda.
These characteristics are still to be found in the lives of God’s children. We all will have times when we struggle with some aspect of God’s will, but we must guard against any spirit of rebellion or unbelief. These tendencies are common manifestations of the sinful human nature that all of us are born with. We are all sinners and have all been guilty of disobeying God, failing to believe His promises, and ignoring His voice.
Thank God that through Jesus Christ we can be forgiven of these acts of rebellion. We are grateful that, at the time of our salvation, we received a new nature as the Holy Spirit of God indwelt us. The new man has a desire to obey and please God. We must learn to walk in the Spirit and hate the sins of pride and rebellion. God requires obedience from His children. Small compromises and acts of disobedience, when not seriously dealt with, can lead to habitual sin.
As parents, one of our primary goals is to teach our children to promptly obey. Because we want them to cheerfully obey God, we should require them to obey their parents. When children are permitted to disobey and ignore their parent’s commands, they are being conditioned to continue in that pattern. Also, if we expect them to obey God with their lives, they need to see this behavior in their parents. Rebellion characterized our lives before we came to know the Lord. But as believers, we need to develop lives of obedience to God and faith in His Word.