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Today's Problems Come From Yesterday's Solutions: It's the Problem with Rebellion

As it is said: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. For who heard and rebelled? Wasn’t it all who came out of Egypt under Moses? With whom was God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

(Hebrews 3:15–19, CSB)

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

(Matthew 6:33, CSB)

The second essential element of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is the understanding and acceptance that our problem is the choice we have made to rebel against God. The problems we have today were created by us or by some other person(s) choices in the past. It’s like what Peter M. Senge wrote, “Today’s problems come from yesterday's solutions.”

We do what we do because we want to be happy. I want to be happy. In general I believe that most of the human race would like to be happy. The problem we find in our search for happiness is what we believe will make us happy. Motivation is a powerful thing. Motivation that is directed by a true and good belief is one of the most positive ways to live and to have a happy and successful life. Motivation that is directed by a false and wicked belief can be the most destructive and lead to a miserable life. The motivation to want to be happy is natural. How we go about seeking this happiness is governed by our beliefs. 

Our problem is that we believe the wrong things. We believe the wrong things because we trust the wrong source. 

The first two human parents did this. The Lord God had created them, made the perfect environment for them to thrive, and loved them. He spent time with them. The Lord God laid down the rules for a healthy and happy life. They should have trusted Him. There was no reason to not trust Him. 

Then along came the crafty serpent. He questioned God’s motivation and outcome for the rules He had given Adam and Eve. Our ancestors then listened to the serpent and believed him. He appealed to their desire to be happy. Actually they should have been happy until the serpent’s lie convinced them that they would be happy-er if they were like God. They believed that God was holding back something that was good for them. 

Adam and Eve broke the moral law that all of creation was founded upon. They rebelled against God. The whole cosmos has suffered ever since. 

In short, the problems we have in our world today are the result of the rebellion of yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that and so on. We are all rebels against God and we suffer for it. 

That was the problem of Israel as they were delivered by God through Moses out of Egyptian slavery. You would think they would be eternally grateful. They lived under the foot of a people who used and abused them. They and their ancestors before them cried out to God in misery, asking God to remember the covenant He had made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

God answered. He delivered them by His mighty hand through ten plagues and a trip through the Red Sea on dry ground. In the wilderness God gave them victory over enemies, guidance and protection with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, and fed them. Yet when it came time to enter into the Promised Land, they rebelled. Ten times God said they had disobeyed and for that, none of that generation would enter into God’s rest, save Joshua and Caleb. 

Rebelling against God is not good for us. Why can’t we learn that? I think it is because I believe I know what will make me happier than God does. I also think that perhaps God is holding back on me. I need to figure it out on my own. As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that workin’ for ya?” 

There is also another problem with rebellion. It makes us stupid. Now, it's not wise to rebel against God in the first place, but after that, rebellion increases our stupor when it comes to God, His will and His ways. The more we rebel, the more we want to rebel. The more we sin, the more we sin. Our judgment gets cloudy and our understanding of the moral and even physical order of things becomes confused. 

Rebellion or sin in general is like quicksand. The more we wallow in it, the deeper we go. This is why we think we can change the reality of things by using different words. We call sin a “mistake.” A man who thinks he can be a woman, or a cat just because that is what he wants to be called, is not just mistaken, he is delusional. Things that are clearly spelled out as sins in the Scriptures are touted in our day as freedoms or rights. 

And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right. They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, senseless, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. Although they know God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die—they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.” (Romans 1:28–32, CSB)

If we keep going this direction, our problems will only increase, both for individuals and for society at large. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.  

It’s hard to admit that we have rebelled against God. But God often has mercy on people and allows them to see the true source of their pain. Like the prodigal son so far away from home and away from his father, we can “come to our senses” (Luke 15:17), repent and start the journey back home to our waiting father. 

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, CSB)

God has provided a solution for us. Why He’s done this is the greatest mystery of all time! I think after the Adam and Eve debacle, I’d just have scrapped the whole thing and started over with another creation. But that is not God’s way of doing things. He is certainly powerful enough to do it, but he is also holy, righteous and loving. We are made in His image. He chose another way. That will be further explained in other essential elements of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

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