Daily Bible Radio

Stopping the Rebels

2 Chronicles 11:1-4 :

When Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, one hundred eighty thousand chosen men who were warriors, to fight against Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam. But Yahweh’s word came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, “Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, ‘Yahweh says, “You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers! Every man return to his house; for this thing is of me.” ’ ” So they listened to Yahweh’s words, and returned from going against Jeroboam.

It must have been a horrible surprise for the men of Jerusalem to discover that what they thought was a good thing, would actually have been rebellion against God. They were preparing to attack the rebels in an effort to bring them back into submission to the king, only to discover that they would have been rebelling against God to do it.

Notice that rebellion against man is right and good if it is determined by God to be good. In Romans 11, Christians are told to obey the authorities, but this passage in 2 Chronicles, clearly shows us that what is said in Romans 11 doesn't apply to every case. We know that Paul, who wrote Romans, knew the law well. He knew exactly what the Bible said in this part of 2 Chronicles. Paul was from the tribe of Benjamin. These events were an important part of his own family history. We should also remember that the Jewish officials had made Christianity illegal. How could it be that Paul was telling them to obey everything every authority ever says? That simply doesn't make any sense if you take the whole Bible seriously.

What this passage shows us, is that it is quite possible for us to think we are doing something right by attacking our own brothers, when we are the ones in the wrong. Paul knew all about this. He used to put Christians in prison, and he had the the proper authority to do so. Here's what it says:

Acts 9:1-2 :

But Saul, still breathing threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

God had to deal with Paul, much like he had to deal with Paul's ancestors in our passage today. Here's what Jesus said to Paul:

Acts 9:4 :

He fell on the earth, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

What the Bible actually teaches us, is that if we don't rebel against the right people, we find ourselves opposing Jesus. Rebelling against those who are in rebellion to God is a choice to stop rebelling against God. You must always rebel against evil in order to to do good. The important thing is that we listen to what God wants, so that we know what is good and when He shows us, we should obey no matter what the leadership says.

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