Rebellion Speaks To The Heart

Transgression [like an Oracle] speaks to the wicked deep in his heart.

There is no fear or dread of God before his eyes.

For he flatters and deceives himself in his own eyes,

That his iniquity will not be found out and be hated.

…he does not reject or despise evil.

Psalms 36: 1-2,4b Amplified

I believe King David wrote this Psalms out of his own personal experience with sin. The person in the psalm is called “the ungodly” (NASB) or “the wicked” (Amplified). The main fundamental characteristic of this person is there is no fear or dread of God before his eyes. He does not reject or despise evil.

Transgression signifies “willful deviation from, and therefore rebellion against, the path of godly living (Vines). You can not rebel against something unless it has been applied to you as a restraint. This is one reason I believe King David is speaking from his personal battle with sin. We will use the Bathsheba and Uriah scandal (II Samuel 11) to illustrate our point.

Transgression speaks pure rebellion against God’s revealed will in the heart of the ungodly or wicked person. In Scripture the heart is described as the hidden man, the “real me”, who I really am when the exterior facade that people see is stripped off. As the heart is hidden within the body of man, so the “real me” is hidden from the view of others…but not from God’s view. It is here, the heart, where this person has rejected  God’s lordship.

Rebellion speaks “like an Oracle”. This means man’s heart hears transgression or rebellion as an authoritative voice, it sounds true and correct in what it says because man’s heart is exceedingly wicked, who can know it. In ancient times an oracle was someone who heard from the pagan gods (demons) and was sought out by the powerful and the not so powerful who needed to know “the will of the gods”. Whatever the oracle said settled the matter. For example, Alexander The Great sought out the Temple of Apollo oracle at Delphi in Ancient Greece for “godly” advice.

This spirit of rebellion speaks with authority deep in the heart of this person. The common characteristic of the ungodly or wicked is that there is no fear or dread of God before their eyes. Fear” is obedient, reverential respect or awe for God. They do not have it. “…no …dread” means he does feel extreme reluctance to face God if he offends Him (Vines). In the midst of his willful rebellion toward God, he does not think about having to give an account before a Holy God. Because this measuring stick, the fear and dread of the Lord is not before the eyes of his understanding, he does not realize that he is deceiving himself. He is blinded with his own cravings or lusts and the desire to please man, or himself, instead of pleasing God.

Oh, there is a way that seems right to man but the ends thereof are death.

The reason he does not think about God in these matters is because rebellion flatters the heart to soothe his conscience, that organ that convicts of right and wrong. The flattery “sears the conscience” so it ceases to work, therefore, they have no moral compass. They are morally blind, i.e. if it feels good do it. The deception is necessary to prevent the inner man, especially in a Christian, from discovering his own iniquity and, consequently, hating his iniquity. Instead he, the Christian, goes on in his rebellion against God’s revealed will.

In David’s case, he went nine months being deceived by his transgression concerning his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah, her husband and David’s loyal soldier. It was only when Nathan, God’s prophet, rebuked David did he awaken from transgression’s deceiving flattery and the fear or dread of the Lord returned to his understanding. Transgression flattered him with things like: “Your the king, do what you wish”; “You work hard and deserve this;” or “Your a strong warrior and smart leader, it is unfortunate that good men (i.e. Uriah) have to die”.

As born again Christians, if we discover our iniquity in the light of the Holy Spirit’s conviction, we will hate it, for our true born again nature is to be Christ-like and not devil-like. If we can only repent of our sin in “words” but not in “practice”, then we will get on our knees and beg God to deliver us from the sin because we know He hates it; therefore, we hate it. By true repentance and the mercy of God, we can escape the bondage that our sin has delivered us into. Paul said:

Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, YOU BECAME OBEDIENT FROM THE HEART to that form of teaching to which you were committed….

(Romans 6: 16-17 emphasis added)

The fear of the Lord includes the hatred of evil but a person in this condition, does not reject or despise evil (verse 4). Instead they embrace it and hold it close to their heart. They deceive themselves and others about what they are doing or so they think. David describes this person’s conduct:

The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;

He has ceased to be wise and to do good.

He plans wickedness upon his bed;

He sets himself on a path that is not good;

He does not despise evil.

(Psalms 36: 3-4 Amplified emphasis added)

If we have rebellion flattering us in our hearts concerning something WE KNOW is sin, displeasing to God, we need to get into God’s word and let Him teach us the fear or reverence of the Lord so we can truly hate our sin. We all like the song Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin but the apostle Peter says if we call God “Father” we need to live in the fear or reverence of the Lord:

If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, CONDUCT YOURSELVES IN FEAR during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

(I Peter 1:17-19 emphasis added)

I know to some Christians, maybe most, fearing or reverencing the Lord is a foreign concept due to the emphasis on “love” in the New Testament church and the sugar coated preaching many hear today.  In future post we will look at how the early Christian church conducted itself in the fear of the Lord  and that Lord Jesus, the Messiah, delighted in the fear of the Lord.

Think on these things. Examine yourself. If need be, learn to walk in the wholesome, healthy, profound, adoring, awed respect (i.e. the fear of the Lord) of the Ancient of Days, our Heavenly Father, and Lord Jesus.

Oh by the way, did you see your self in what David said?

Carl

King David And Blamelessness

“Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.

Also keep back your servant from presumptuous sins;

Let them not rule over me;

THEN I shall be blameless;

And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.”

King David. Psalm 19:12-13 (Emphasis mine)

Here King David speaks about hidden faults, presumptuous sins and their relationship to being blameless.

In our last post we mentioned KNOWN and UNKNOWN sins (hidden faults) in our lives. We are responsible to purify ourselves from our known sins. We are responsible for the light we have. The Holy Spirit will reveal the hidden faults or sins in our lives as we grow in our Christian experience and, then, we can repent.

The apostle John referred to these two types of sins when he wrote:

“If we continue to confess our sins, faithful is He and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from every unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9 Wuest)

John is referring to known sins when he writes “to confess our sins” and to unknown sins when he says “every unrighteousness”. The precious blood of Jesus cleanses our hidden faults or sins also when we confess our known sins. Praise His Name.

In our scripture King David is asking the Lord to “keep back your servant from presumptuous sins”. The Hebrew word zed means presumptuous,insolent and is translated in OT scripture arrogant, proud, arrogant men, presumptuous. The root word means to boil up, seethe, act proudly or presumptuously or rebelliously.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines presumptuous as follows:

1. (Of a person or their behavior) failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or appropriate.

2. Overstepping due bounds; taking liberties

3. Comes from a Latin word that means “to take for granted”.

4. Synonyms: brazen, overconfident, arrogant, bold, forward, familiar, insolent, cocky.

Therefore, a presumptuous sin is one committed with our eyes wide open. We know it is a sin against God but, due to the rebellion in our proud heart, we do it anyway.

Why do we do this? The answer lies within each one of us but we will discuss some reasons.

1. In James 1, James gives us the mechanics of falling into sin: first we are carried away from our steadfastness in Christ and then are enticed by our own passionate cravings for the temptation, thirdly our passionate cravings (lusts) are conceived by our saying YES to the enticement, fourthly we act on our lust and sin is given birth, then death is manifested in our life. Death to walking in fellowship with Christ until we repent and death to spiritual growth in our life until we repent.

2. Or maybe the sin now “rules over us”. We are it’s slave until our cries for deliverance and repentance to the Lord are heard and He frees us.

3.We take His forgiveness of sin for granted. Remember that presumptuous comes from a Latin word that means “to take for granted”.

When John wrote I John 1:9:

“If we continue to confess our sins, faithful is He and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from every unrighteousness.”

he followed it with this:

“My little children, these things I am writing to you in order that you may not commit an act of sin.” (I John 2:1 Wuest)

It is my understanding that John was saying, ” I did not write I John 1:9 to give you a license to sin with assurance of forgiveness, but my purpose was so that you would not commit an act of sin.” The goal is not to sin! In Romans chapters 6 Paul is explaining why true believers can not continue in sin. The whole chapter is built around addressing two questions (verses 1 and 15) he received from people who heard of God’s amazing grace (forgiveness of sin). One was, “shall we habitually sustain an attitude of dependence upon, yieldedness to, and cordiality with the sinful nature in order that grace may abound?” And the other was : “Shall we sin occasionally, because we are not under law but under grace?” To both questions, Paul answers “God forbid” or “May it never be!” Then Paul goes on to explain why it is impossible for a born again believer to maintain the same relationship with his sinful nature that he had prior to salvation. The goal is to be holy and blameless before Him, not to justify our wrong behavior by saying “that is how I have always been” or God doesn’t care.

4. We have received a teaching that perverts the grace of God. The teaching may say something like “It’s all under grace so it does not matter what I do, but only what I believe”. We are preparing a teaching on the book of Jude and will discuss this then. You will not want to miss it.

We could spend days discussing why we as believers commit presumptuous sins but each one of us has to examine ourselves and commit, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to overcome these sins. The Lord will come up along side us to help.

I hope you see the need to take sin seriously in your life and to purpose to be found holy and blameless before Him NOW and at His Coming. As Paul told Timothy, “Pay close attention to yourself”. Thank you for your time and may God richly bless you and yours.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)

Carl