Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: Matthew 11:20
Man by nature does not like to be rebuked but he does like to rebuke others. Rebuke is a side and nature of God that is not discussed or talked about much in the house of God in America. But it's something that Jesus did quite a few times when He walked the earth as man and God has done many times in the bible. It is one of the things that God does when His people forsake Him and do wickedness? He rebukes them! The bible records:
"The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me. Deut 28:20
Yet rebuke was something that the Psalmist prayed that God would do to Him and said:
Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked. Ps 141:5
God's Word makes a very strong statement about God's rebuke that many of God's people should seriously consider:
Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, : When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. :
"Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.: Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke.
Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil."
The rewards of accepting rebuke are enormous but so are the judgments for rejecting them. The bible records:
Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, But he who regards a rebuke will be honored. Proverbs 13:18
The ear that hears the rebukes of life Will abide among the wise. Proverbs 15:31
He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding. Proverbs 15:32
But not all will accept rebuke and it will do not any good giving it to some.
Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on a fool. Proverbs 17:10
There are times in our lives when the gentle wonderful Holy Spirit will rebuke us just like Jesus did to Peter:
He spoke this word openly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, "Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." Mark 8:32-33
Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. Mark 16:14
There are times when we have to rebuke others, no matter who they are, just like Apostle Paul did. For God's word states:
Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge. Proverbs 19:25
But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, And a good blessing will come upon them. Proverbs 24:25
Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.
And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, "If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? Galatians 2:11-14
Unfortunately man, when a new truth is revealed or an old truth is restored about the value and purposes of rebuke, goes off the tangent and uses it to death that it looses its value and purposes. One of the great tricks of the devil in derailing any truth is the push it to excess and separate it from other truths such as love, mercy, justice, compassion and wisdom. For God's wisdom is something that most of God's people know very little about. Although everything God did from creation to Calvary and to the present things in our lives He has done and does by Wisdom. King Solomon who received wisdom unlike any man just for the asking wrote much about wisdom, including the following:
To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity; : To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion-: A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, : To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles.: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:1-7
King Solomon put a great emphasis on the importance of having wisdom and he also wrote:
My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; : Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice, Equity and every good path. When wisdom enters your heart, And knowledge is pleasant to your soul, : Discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you, To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things, Proverbs 2:1-12
Wisdom and understanding is extolled and more important Solomon states that the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. For God is the one who is a shield to the upright and guards the paths of justice so that His people may understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path. Apostle Paul expressed this truth in a nutshell when He stated:
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God-and righteousness and sanctification and redemption- 1 Corinthians 1:30
Jesus Christ, Himself, has become for us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption and everything that we need. Apostle Paul labored and prayed that God's people may grow up into Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge:
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Colossians 1:27-28
that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3
The bottom line is that if we tune into Christ and His wisdom and power, we will have wisdom and power to rebuke others. For whether we like it or not we have all be called to be our brother's keeper. We have been called to obey the word of God which says:
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2
This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. : They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. Titus 1:13-16
If we do not rebuke others, we might ourselves be rebuked by the Lord for accepting their behavior and ways. Because God's word has given us the power and authority to change things:
"And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:19
The mouth of man should be full of the things of the Spirit. It should bring healing, wisdom, rebuke, joy and strength. It should be calling spirit to spirit. It should keep on destroying the kingdoms by the breath of his mouth. For God's word is true of Jesus and should be true of His people:
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.
His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Isaiah 11:1-4
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5
"Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant." Jeremiah 1:9-10
But some who sing and shout that they want to be like Jesus do not want to be a prophet like Jesus was, like Abraham was, like Moses was and others were. They do not have the Spirit of the Lord that was upon Moses which caused Him to say:
Then Moses said to him, "Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the LORD'S people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them! Numbers 11:29
More than that they have missed the Word of God of why the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church. For God's word states:
"And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. Joel 2:28
For all of this many of God's people especially the prominent ones must repent ask for forgiveness and ask for the Spirit of wisdom even this day. Then we will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.