Only, against Yahweh, do not 'Rebel' (Nu. 14:9) - Download PDF Article
Our beloved Creator demands total allegiance from his creations. Sin, the enemy of Yahweh, is constantly knocking at our door, inviting itself into our lives, attempting to acquire some or all of our allegiance for itself. Charles H. Spurgeon wrote, "Ah! now we dance with our sins, it is a merry life with us, we take their hands, and, sporting in the noontide sun, we dance, we dance, and live in joy. But then those sins shall bite us. The young lions we have stroked and played with shall bite; the young adder, the serpent, whose azure hues have well delighted us, shall bite, shall sting..." The meaning of sin is to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honor, to do or go wrong. Sin, as an act of rebellion, rather than missing the mark, can have a domino effect, resulting in generations experiencing the repercussions; a derailing effect, whereby derailed generations, who do not even know or understand what originally derailed the main engine, suffer the consequences of another's sin of rebellion. King Solomon's life is an example of the sin of rebellion and how it affected generations for hundreds of years. We can either be a King Solomon, one who rebels, in part, to what the Word of Yahweh commands or we can be one who is ignorant of the Word of Yahweh, such as was King Josiah, who was, unknowingly, in rebellion against Yahweh because of the actions of prior rebellious generations or we can be one who pledges allegiance to Yahweh by obeying his commandments, as did King David.
Allegiance to Our Creator, Yahweh
There are two kinds of people in the world; those that do not have enough information to pledge allegiance to our Creator and those that do; those that do have enough information chose either to submit to our Creator or rebel against him. The ones who rebel against the Creator may be your next door neighbor. They can be moral people, giving to charities, obeying the laws, paying their taxes, providing for their family members and being outstanding citizens. We all know people who fit this description and some may even be family members. One thing these people all have in common is that they have made a decision to refuse allegiance to their Creator, who is Yahweh. They will not swear an oath of allegiance to Yahweh as is required by all countries for any citizenship. They have refused citizenship for the New Earth by refusing to love Yahweh their Elohim,––with all thy heart, and with all their soul, and with all their might (Deu. 6:5). They have chosen not to live in a kingdom ruled by Christ and Yahweh. If you do not believe me, ask them. They have decided to suffer the consequences of their decisions, which means they will perish (Ps. 37:20, 104:35; Jn. 3:16). Our discussion will not be about these people nor the former group but about those who at one time pledged their sole allegiance to Yahweh.
Allegiance means, "the tie or obligation of a subject to his sovereign, or government" (OED). In the U.S.A., we pledge our allegiance to our republic thereby rejecting all other foreign governments. Treason is defined as the action of betraying; a breach of faith. Section 110 of Article III. of the Constitution of the United States, declares that: "Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort..." As children, did we ever wage war against our parents or gave aid and comfort to the enemies of our parents? As adults, have we waged war against Yahweh by refusing to obey his voice, as recorded in his Word; rebelling against his counsel? If so, aid and comfort was given to his enemy by our actions, which is an act of treason on our part.
What kind of allegiance do we, the creations, owe to our Creator, who has breathed into our nostrils the breath of life? Ezekiel presents a vivid picture of Yahweh's ahab (love) for Jerusalem, which I will adapt to apply to ourselves; "And, as for thy birth, in the day thou wast born, Thy navel–cord was not cut, And, in water, wast thou not bathed, to cleanse thee,––And, as for being salted, thou was not salted, And, as for being bandaged, thou wast not bandaged. No eye, threw a shield over thee, by doing for thee one of these things, taking pity on thee,––But thou wast cast out, on the face of the field, Because thy person, was abhorred, in the day thou wast born. And I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, thrusting about thee in thy blood, And said to thee––Despite thy blood, live! Yea I said to thee––Despite thy blood, live! Into myriads––like the bud of the field, made I thee, And thou didst increase, and become well–grown, and didst attain to most excellent adornments,––Thy breasts, were well–formed, And, thy hair, was grown, But, thou thyself, wast utterly naked. And I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, and lo! thy time, was the time for endearments, So I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy shame,––And took an oath to thee, And entered into covenant with thee, Declareth Adonai, Yahweh, And thou didst become mine. And I bathed thee in water, and rinsed thy blood from off thee, And anointed thee with oil; And clothed thee with an embroidered dress, And sandalled thee in red leather,––And wrapped thee about with fine linen, And put over thee a mantle of silk. Then decked I thee with ornaments,––And put bracelets upon thy hands, And a neckchain upon thy throat; And put a nose–jewel upon thy nose, And earrings in thine ears,––And a crown of adorning, upon thy head. Thus wast thou adorned with gold and silver, And, thy raiment, was of fine linen and silk, and embroidered work, Fine flour and honey and oil, didst thou eat,––And so thou becamest exceedingly, beautiful, And didst attain unto royalty. Then went forth thy fame among the nations, for thy beauty,––For, perfect, it was––in my splendour which I had put upon thee, Declareth Adonai, Yahweh" (Ez. 16:4-14). Ephesians chapter two, which is addressed to us, declares that, "...Yahweh, being rich in mercy, by reason of the great love wherewith he loved us, Although we were dead by our offences, gave us life together with the Christ,––by favour, ye have been saved,–– And raised us up together, and seated us together in the heavenlies, in Christ."
Under these conditions, how or why would anyone ever rebel against Yahweh but people do. I believe in most cases the rebels believe they can serve two masters or in other terms they can swear allegiance to two Lords. The two Lords could be their Creator and their spouse or children or parents; their Creator and their government; their Creator and their religious denomination or maybe their Creator and the lust of their flesh. Israel was known for this kind of behavior by attempting to serve two Lords, Yahweh and Baal. Men have also attempted to divide their allegiance by serving two wives but as the wives are fully aware, one is favored above another. Yahshua informed us, "No one, unto two masters, can be in service; for either, the one, he will hate, and, the other, love, or, one, he will hold to, and, the other, despise: Ye cannot be in service, unto Yahweh, and, unto Riches" (Mt. 6:24). The prophet Elijah also force people to chose only one allegiance; "And Elijah drew near unto all the people, and said––How long are ye limping on the two divided opinions? If, Yahweh, be Elohim, follow, him, but, if, Baal, follow, him" (1 Kg. 18:21). Serving two masters was not an option. The Word of Yahweh is full of accounts of people, like Elijah, who would only serve one Master.
Noah's sole fidelity unto Yahweh was illustrated when he was, "...filled with reverence, prepared an ark to the saving of his house––through which he condemned the world, and, of the righteousness by way of faith, became heir" (Heb. 11:7). Abraham demonstrated absolute allegiance to Yahweh when he obeyed Yahweh's voice by offering up his only-begotten son, Isaac (Heb. 11:17). Moses confirmed his allegiance by "...choosing––to be jointly suffering ill–treatment with the people of Yahweh, than, for a season, to be having, sins enjoyment" (Heb. 11:25). David sacrificed his life in combating Goliath because Goliath defamed the name of Yahweh. Jeremiah showed his fidelity to Yahweh by going against the religious rulers of his day, potentially sacrificing his life in the service of Yahweh. Daniel proved his allegiance by being delivered to the lions rather than denying Yahweh. Christ was the perfect example of unwavering allegiance to his Father, by submitting himself to his Father's will in rejecting the slanderers offer of kingship and in accepting the torture and death of the cross for mankind's sin. But there are also those, who were priests, prophets, kings, rulers and apostles of Yahweh, who pledged their hearts to serve him only, which they did for a period of time but then they relented. Their hearts turned from solely following Yahweh resulting into a divide allegiance, rebelling against some of the commandments of Yahweh, such as did Eli, Balaam, Korah, Solomon, Jeroboam, Nicodemus and Judas, to name only a few.
Rebellion against Yahweh
To rebel is to refuse obedience to a ruling power, which is sin. When this ruling authority is the Creator of the creation that is rebelling, then this sin is a form of treason; a betrayal of the trust undertaken by the Creator in his creation. We, as a creation, as children of Yahweh owe our allegiance to our Creator. We, being sinful creatures, will miss the mark but we can also be restored by confessing our sins to our Creator. We, being sinful creatures, can also be tempted to rebel against some of the commandments of Yahweh, making our actions treasonous. The prophet Samuel expressed this by saying, "If ye will revere Yahweh, and serve him, and hearken unto his voice, and not rebel [marah] against the bidding of Yahweh, then shall, both ye and your king that reigneth over you, continue to follow after Yahweh your Elohim. But, if ye hearken not unto the voice of Yahweh, but rebel against the bidding of Yahweh, then will the hand of Yahweh continue to be against you, and against your fathers" (1 Sa. 12:14-15).
Yahweh has given us ample examples regarding the consequences of sin upon our own life and the lives of countless others. I believe Adam's sin was not the eating of the fruit but rather in his revoking his allegiance from Yahweh to Eve. Adam chose Eve over Yahweh; a betrayal of trust. Yahweh unveiled Adam's sin by saying, "...Because thou didst hearken to the voice of thy wife..." rather than unto my voice "...dust, thou art, And, unto dust, shalt thou return." Sin and death became united from this point on. Cain, who sinned against Yahweh, was given a chance to repent of that sin but he chose rather to rebel against Yahweh by murdering the one to whom Yahweh showed favor. Cain's defiance to Yahweh's bidding was an illustration of Cain committing treason, severing his allegiance to Yahweh. From then on, whether he realized it or not, he warred against Yahweh by disobeying his commandments and by doing so he gave aid and comfort to Yahweh's enemy; the serpent who appears as an messenger of light but who is actually a murderer (2 Cor. 11:14; Jn. 8:44).
King Solomon's wandering from the path of uprightness into a state of rebellion against Yahweh is a story one can learn from. King David, who was a man after Yahweh's own heart, who sought to do Yahweh's will was Solomon's role model. Solomon in his early years, exceedingly pleased Yahweh, the evidence being that Yahweh appeared to him at two different times. Solomon peacefully reigned for forty years; so, what went wrong in the life of Solomon?
Nehemiah, who lived five hundred years after Solomon, who lived under servitude in a foreign land because of the sins of his fathers, one of which was Solomon, explained it precisely when he spoke to the believers, who were committing the same sin that Solomon committed. Nehemiah said, "Moreover, in these days, saw I the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, of Ammon, of Moab; and, their children, were one–half speaking the language of Ashdod, and understood not how to speak the language of the Jews,––but after the tongue of both people. So I contended with them, and laid a curse upon them, and I smote, from among them, certain men, and pulled out their hair,––and I put them on oath by Elohim, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take of their daughters, for your sons nor for yourselves. Was it not, over these things, that Solomon king of Israel sinned––though, among many nations, there was no king such as he, and he was, beloved by his Elohim, and so Elohim gave him to be king over all Israel,––even him, did foreign women, cause to sin. Unto you, then, shall we hearken, to do all this great wickedness, to act unfaithfully with our Elohim,––by marrying foreign wives" (Neh. 13:23-27)? How did Solomon's foreign wives sting him?
"Yea it came to pass, in the old age of Solomon, that, his wives, turned aside his heart after other gods,––his heart therefore was not sound with Yahweh his Elohim, as was the heart of David his father. And Solomon went after Ashtoreth, goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites. Thus Solomon did the thing that was wicked in the eyes of Yahweh,––and went not fully after Yahweh [meaning he held allegiance to Yahweh and another; two masters], as did David his father [whose total allegiance was to Yahweh]. Then, did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem,––and for Molech, the abomination of the sons of Ammon; and, thus, did he for all his foreign wives,––who burned incense and offered sacrifices unto their gods. Therefore did Yahweh shew himself angry with Solomon,––because his heart had turned aside from Yahweh Elohim of Israel, who had appeared unto him twice; and had been giving command to him concerning this thing, that he should not go away after other gods,––but he had not taken heed unto that which Yahweh had commanded" (1 Kg. 11:4-10), but rather he took heed to the pleasing of his pagan wives, who were then, pleasing him.
The way of the world but not the way of Yahweh, was for kings to marry the daughters of other kings or rulers which then established an alliance with the other kingdoms. Solomon implemented this practice, which began his rebellion against Yahweh. He married foreign wives, which was forbidden, who then reintroduced foreign gods into the land of Israel. He, as the Prophet and the King, established in Israel, that it was acceptable to rebel, in part, against the commandments of Yahweh; to pledge allegiance to, in part, to Yahweh and, in part, to other gods, which was strictly forbidden; "I, am Yahweh thy Elohim...Thou shalt not have other gods, besides me" (Ex. 20:2-3). Solomon was probably observing the Sabbath, the New Moon, eating a Hebrew diet, observing the three required feasts etc. etc., but he was also allowed his foreign wives and their servants and children to burn incense and offer sacrifices unto their gods (1 Kg. 11:7). The prophet Solomon's practices established that one did not necessarily have to obey the whole law of Moses. His example started a downward tend that eventually led to the death and enslavement of the children of Israel. His rebellion against Yahweh resulted in ten tribes going with Jeroboam, upon his death. These ten tribes (Israel) also followed in some of Solomon's footsteps. These kings, as a whole, practiced evil. One of these kings would be the notorious Ahab, who brought into the midst of the children of Abraham, the world renowned Jezebel (her name meaning Baal exalts or Baal is husband to), who had 450 prophets of Baal, along with 400 prophets of the Sacred Stem eating at her table while she had the prophets of Yahweh murdered (1 Kg. 18:19). Little did Solomon realize that the young lions he stroked and played with are now biting the house of Israel.
Some sixty years later, King Jehoshaphat, a righteous king of Judah, followed in Solomon's footsteps by contracting, by marriage, an affinity with Ahab and Jezebel by having their daughter, Athaliah, become wife to his son, Jehoram. Little did Jehoshaphat realize that this marriage would result in all but one of his children being murdered by his own son and daughter-in-law (2 Ch. 21:4). The young adder (Athaliah), the serpent, whose azure hues did well delight Jehoshaphat, did bite, stinging the seed of David. It was said of Jehoram, "And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab, for, the daughter of Ahab, had he, to wife,––so he wrought wickedness, in the eyes of Yahweh" (2 Ch. 21:6).
Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram, with the daughter of Jezebel, Athaliah, reigned for eight wicked years. Upon his death, the son of Athaliah, Ahaziah, became king for one year who did evil in the sight of Yahweh. Upon his death, his mother, Athaliah, this daughter of Jezebel, had all of his children murdered (except for one who was unknown to her) in order that she could become queen, which she did for six gruesome years. I would venture to say that King Solomon never realized that by breaking Yahweh's commandment, which forbade marriage to foreign women, could ever have resulted into these outcomes; neither would have King Jehoshaphat. Five hundred years later, Nehemiah is pulling out his beard because the same sin of rebellion is being committed by priests and other Hebrews!
The proverb, a little leaven, leavens the whole lump is true. As Spurgeon so aptly stated, "we dance with our sins, it is a merry life with us, we take their hands, and, sporting in the noontide sun, we dance, we dance, and live in joy. But then those sins shall bite us," as it did to all of Israel, as they and their children and their children's children were all dragged away into slavery, Daniel being one of those children. These accounts are our life lessons. To heed these lessons gives life but to discard these lessons results in the sting of death, which is sin. Not only are our own lives affected but the lives of multply generations coming after us.
This occurs because the words of Yahweh are, one by one, slowly dismissed or erased by our priests, pastors, kings, rulers and prophets. You may say, This is not happening to me! I hope it is not but I will ask you a simple question, as an illustration. Do you obey 1Corinthians 14:5, which commands, "Howbeit I wish you all to speak with tongues, but, rather, that ye may prophesy,––moreover, greater, is he that prophesieth, than he that speaketh with tongues,––unless indeed he translate, that, the assembly, may receive upbuilding," or has your pastor given you a reason why you are not required to obey this commandment? Do you believe that the prophet Solomon gave good reasons why he and others were not required to obey Yahweh's commandment on marrying foreign women? We all must make the decision to obey the first commandment, which is "Thou shalt therefore ahab [love] Yahweh thy Elohim,––with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deu. 6:5). Yahweh is very emphatic when he states that he wants people to walk in His Ways, by doing what is Right in His eyes, by obeying His Statutes and Regulations (1 Kg. 11:33). We all desire Yahweh's full allegiance to ourselves but are we giving him our full allegiance by obeying his commandments as addressed to us?
If I have to choose between wholly following Yahweh or my Church, which will it be? This is not as strange as it may seem. If you obey 1 Corinthians 14:5, your Church may ask you to leave. If you chose to stay with your Church and not obey 1 Corinthians 14:5, then you are in rebellion against Yahweh. You have a divided allegiance, as maybe your parents and grandparents had because they also did not obey Yahweh concerning this commandment. Is my allegiance divided between Yahweh and my wife, or child, or government, or friend, or parent, or job, or lust of the flesh? If a husband refuses to love his wife as Christ loved the Church, he is in rebellion against Yahweh. If a wife refuses the headship of her husband, she is in rebellion against Yahweh. If a spouse refuses to give his or her body to their spouse, he or she are in rebellion against Yahweh. Refusing to obey Yahweh in any matter is withholding our total allegiance to him; it is a act of rebellion. These refusals are not just missing the mark but rather they are treasonous. Total fidelity is what Yahweh deserves and expects. This is no different than what every spouse deserves and expects and what every parent expects from their minor children. We can learn much by heeding the counsel that was given to King Saul, "Lo! to hearken, is, better, than, sacrifice. And, to give heed, than, the fat of rams; For, as the sin of divination, is, rebelliousness,––and, as transgression with household gods, is, stubbornness,––Because thou hast rejected the word of Yahweh..." (1 Sa. 15:22-23). If we are rejecting any words of Yahweh then we are in rebellion against the Creator by dividing our allegiance. We must heed the counsel of Elijah when he said, "...How long are ye limping on the two divided opinions? If, Yahweh, be Elohim, follow, him, but, if, Baal, follow, him" (1 Kg. 18:21). We must repent of any rebellion against Yahweh that is in our lives and ask his forgiveness. Let us, his children, pledge our total allegiance to our beloved Creator and Father, regardless of the worldly consequences, looking forward to the coming of his New Heavens and New Earth, wherein dwells righteousness (Is. 65:17, Rev. 21).
(For footnotes, see PDF verison)
(When quoting scriptures, from the Rotherham Emphasized Bible New Testament, I will substitute the Hebrew words Yahshua for Jesus, Yahweh and Elohim for God and the LORD and ruah for pneuma (spirit).)
© 2005-2017 Chuck Cunningham