Today’s Reading: 2 Sam 14:1–15:37, 2 Pet 1:16–21, Ps 141:1–142:7
Today’s Theme: The allure and danger of sedition
Today’s theme is about sedition which is undermining and usurping authority. This is a dangerous thing, mostly for the offender but it disrupts the work of God, His kingdom and people. We have been called to be humble, to submit to the authority of God’s word and our leaders. Satan was the first one to express sedition.
A definition to help us think this through is “Sedition – conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state or other lawful government” – Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary.
2 Samuel 14:1–15:37
Manipulation and discernment
In order to change the course of things your servant Joab did this. But my lord has wisdom like the wisdom of the angel of God to know all things that are on the earth.” 2 Samuel 14:20 (ESV)
Joab’s subtle sedition seems to be filled with good intent, but that is the allure of sedition. Often the one undermining authority thinks they are doing something worthwhile.
One of the elements of sedition is manipulation. The one usurping or undermining authority has no real authority of their own and so uses manipulative methods to put forward their case and achieve their goal.
Jesus warned us against being manipulative in Matthew 5:37 “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
God has given us Himself in the person of God the Holy Spirit. By Him and the clear revelation of God’s word in the Bible we can exercise discernment to see through manipulative and seditious schemes.
Here are a number of verses to help us think about discernment:
1 Corinthians 2:14
Let’s ask God to help us sharpen our discernment today.
The battle for hearts and minds
Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. 2 Samuel 15:6 (ESV)
We are in a battle for hearts and minds. There are so many false stories being told to allure our people into bad ways of thinking and trying to distort the revelation of truth in the Bible.
We need to guard our minds and hearts, we do not want to be won over by the sedition of the devil or one of his proxies.
Paul encourages us that our hearts and minds can be guarded by God’s peace which Jesus left with us in Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Paul also warns us in Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Loyalty vs Sedition
But Ittai answered the king, “As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.” 2 Samuel 15:21 (ESV)
The attitude of this man and the priest in later verses shows their loyalty to and love for their king.
Rather than showing sedition to those God has put in positions of authority in our lives we should instead show them our loyalty in Christ. More importantly we should show allegiance and loyalty to God.
The author of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
2 Peter 1:16–21
The true story vs myths
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Peter 1:16 (ESV)
At our 2014 youth conference we dealt with the false story of our origins called evolution pointing our youth to the truth of the Bible’s account of creation. You can see the video on our website here
The Gospel is not a fable, fantasy or fiction it is the one, ultimate true narrative, God’s great story of creation, redemption and consummation through Jesus the Christ.
We have eyewitness accounts in the New Testament which stand up under the scrutiny of any courtroom.
Have confidence in the record or the scriptures today.
The Bible was inspired
knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20–21 (ESV)
We should submit to the word of God as the ultimate authority. Our private interpretations are worthless, we need to submit to the churches’ agreed interpretation of the scriptures and the teaching and guidance of our own pastors.
The Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God. It is not just the words of men or just a good book. The Bible was written by God the Holy Spirit through the prophets and apostles.
Do not allow your own ideas and the opinions, ideals and philosophies of this world to usurp the authority of the Bible in your life. Do not be seditious to God, submit to His revealed word with joy today.
Watch your mouth
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalm 141:3 (ESV)
Like David says in this Psalm we need to ask God to help us to guard the things we say. Our mouth can get us into a world of trouble and it is often with our mouths that we are insubordinate and express sedition and rebellion.
James warns us about the tongue in James 3:6 “And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.”
Let’s be slow to speak today and watch what we say. James 1:19.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on 2 Peter 1