Proverbs 17:11

An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.


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Authority is from God. It is right and wise. Good men understand it. They know authority exists to profit everyone, so they accept and obey it. Godly men know it is from God, so they obey Him by obeying His appointed rulers (Rom 13:1-7; I Pet 2:13-23; 3:1-6).

Evil men hate authority. They resent being told what they can and cannot do, so they disobey and do what they want anyway. God sends merciless enemies to punish them supernaturally and/or naturally. The evil man resentful of authority will be crushed by authority one way or another. All rebellious uprisings will eventually be put down.

Rebellion is now allowed and defended everywhere. It is considered normal, or even noble. Hollywood plots always include corruption and disrespect of those in authority. Children rebel against parents, who have been neutered by public opinion or law from enforcing their rule. Most authority or its enforcement is viewed as evil. Society is reaping the horrible costs of this experiment, as is evident to even a casual observer.

Rebellion is a terrible sin. It shows how arrogant, contrary, malicious, and willful man can be. God compares it to witchcraft (I Sam 15:23). When you see it, you have found an evil man. These fools cannot submit to correction or government, so they must rebel. But the great God, the originator of all authority and rule, will have the last laugh. He will send just retribution against such rebels with present punishment and then eternal misery.

Reader, have you felt your soul bristle when others correct you? Do you find it necessary to question most things you are told to do? Which is more important to you – your rights or your duties? It is part of your foolish nature that does not want to be governed. Though you arrived utterly helpless and ignorant in this world, in just a few months you expect to be able to do as you wish without regard for the authority or wisdom of others.

Rebellion brought sin into the universe. The devil rebelled against his role in heaven – he wanted more (Jude 1:6). Adam condemned humanity to death – physical and eternal – by rebelling against God’s word in Eden (Gen 2:17; Rom 5:12-14). God burned up Sodom for rebelling against God and nature’s laws for man-woman sex (Jude 1:7). And he opened up the earth to swallow rebels for complaining against Moses (Num 16:1-34).

Rebellion is promoted from the top and bottom. At the top – a false concept of God as a begging weakling allows men to think they can reject Him and the Bible. At the bottom – permissive parents and flattering schools program children to rebel against any threat to their freedom. And in between, rulers legislate privilege and protection for rebellion and sedition – like labor unions and free speech – that keep the evil in motion (Eccl 10:5-7).

This evil conspiracy creates widespread dysfunction. Women revolt against submission to husbands, wrecking marriages. Students defy teachers, causing classroom chaos. So-called patriots despise civil laws, promoting anarchy. Deacons overrule pastors, neutering wise leadership. Women have short hair, men have long hair, rap is called music, Picasso is called an artist, piercing tongues is accepted, and adultery is called having an affair.

The Lord, the great God, will punish rebellion against His word or His ordained authorities. He kept Moses from Canaan for rebelling against a single command (Num 20:24). He describes civil rebels that speak disrespectfully of government rulers as comparable to rabid dogs needing to be put down (II Pet 2:10-12; Jude 1:8-10). Beware!

Consider Solomon’s wisdom about rebellious children, “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it” (Pr 30:17). And, “Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness” (Pr 20:20). This type of preaching may not be politically correct today, but remember that God inspired it through the wisest king.

Consider him against rebellious citizens, “My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both (Pr 24:21-22)? And, “The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul” (Pr 20:2). Especially in America, citizens presume it is their right to disrespect and rail on rulers.

Reader, it is wisdom to learn obedience and submission to authority today. Appreciate it! Rejoice in it! All authority begins with God, so you must first examine and measure yourself by obedience to His commands and rules for your life (Ps 119:128). The Bible then clearly states your duties in five spheres of human authority – family, marriage, civil, employment, and religious. Learn them, do them, and teach them to your children.

The greatest submission to authority was Jesus Christ submitting to a false trial, torture, and a crucifixion death planned by the Jews and executed by the Romans. He asked God for a way out of the event, but He fully obeyed God the Father’s will and voluntarily became the victim of the most inhumane crime in history (Matt 26:38-44; Phil 2:6-8; Heb 5:7-10). This holy example should motivate and direct your submission (I Pet 2:13-23).