“And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.”
“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” (1 Samuel 15:23) God doesn’t give much place for the rebel. Everyone has at some point in their life has come across a rebel. Dealing with rebels is one of the hardest tasks to deal with because your efforts to get through to their heart is futile because of their disposition to fight back. The hope of the rebel is bleak because they won’t listen to the one who can help them in life.
Diagnosing a rebel is not always easy because some people who are considered rebels either don’t understand, or they just don’t show much emotion. In the verse above, God called the children of Israel a “rebellious nation.” He then goes on to show Ezekiel the symptoms as to why He called them rebellious. God’s revelation of the symptoms of Israel’s rebelliousness is how you can diagnose whether you are rebellious, or if someone you are dealing with is rebellious. Let me share this diagnosis.
First, a rebel does wrong and doesn’t care about it. The verse above says, “…they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.” The rebel has the attitude that they are going to live the way they want, and they could care less that the way they are living is wrong.
Second, a rebel lacks respect for others. Verse 4 calls the children of Israel, “impudent children.” “Impudent” means a lack of respect. You will always find that the rebel has no respect for others and especially authority, because they are only living for themselves. An authority will never change a rebel because of their lack of respect for anybody.
Third, a rebel is strong-willed to the point of stubbornness. Verse 4 says calls the children of Israel “stiffhearted.” There is nothing wrong with having a strong will, but it becomes wrong when nobody can tell you what to do. A rebel’s heart is set on their rebellious ways, and NOBODY will be able to change those ways because their heart is set in those ways.
Fourth, a rebel won’t listen. God warned Ezekiel that Israel would likely not listen to his warnings and admonitions because they were rebellious. A rebel has the attitude that “nobody is going to tell them what to do.” The rebel is often asked politely by an authority to change their appearance or the way they do things, but they go back to their own ways after they are corrected because they won’t listen to anyone.
Fifth, a rebel says hurtful words to defend their positions to others. God told Ezekiel not to be “afraid of their words.” The rebel is often very hurtful in what they say because they are going to defend their position because they are not going to change no matter what you say to them.
Sixth, a rebel is often disdainful in their facial appearance. God told Ezekiel not to be “dismayed at their looks.” The rebel rolls their eyes and smirks when they are corrected because their rebelliousness has no respect for others.
Do you have symptoms of rebellion in your life? It is often not the outright rebellious that is most dangerous, but the quiet rebel who rebels in their heart. You can have no place for rebellion in your heart if God is going to use you.