Proverbs 17:11

Seeking Rebellion

11a An evil man seeks rebellion…

1. An EVIL man

a. Evil: pertaining to that which is not morally pure or good according to a proper standard; bad in a moral and ethical sense.

b. Prov. 21:10 – his soul desires evil.

c. Prov. 15:26 – his thoughts are an abomination to the Lord.

d. Prov. 16:30 – they don’t just think about it, they practice it… bring it to pass too.

e. Prov. 28:5 – they are morally blinded by the evil in his soul, mind, and heart. Hence, they cannot understand judgment or justice.

f. The evil man is saturated in evil: his soul, mind, heart, what he perceives… all are twisted and warped by evil!

g. In the olden days, men like Solomon were ignorant and didn’t understand what men have discovered today: it wasn’t really their fault!
• Men that blew up and did evil things couldn’t help it. They had a disease: IED (intermittent explosive disorder)… or ODD (opposition defiance disorder).
• In the olden days ignorant men like Solomon used to call it sin and evil…
• They used to call IED anger and left men with low self esteem as a result.
• They used to call ODD disobedience…
• And because of their ignorance, they used to teach that it required the grace and power of a supernatural God.
• Now we know better. It’s a disease. A prescription of Valium, Prozac, or Ritalin will cure it!
• My how we have progressed over the ages!

h. I am being facetious of course.
• Solomon and other Bible writers are thoroughly accurate. There IS such a thing as EVIL… and evil men.
• It is not a disease like leukemia or arthritis. It is SIN!
• In this verse, Solomon is speaking about EVIL men.

2. Seeketh:

a. Evil men SEEK after rebellion.

b. Seek: to seek to find; to seek to secure; demand; require; search for; to attempt; to try to obtain.

c. This is the term used often in Psalms to describe men seeking after God and His guidance, wisdom, presence, etc. (Men CAN seek after that which is good if they choose to do so…)

d. But in proverbs, the evil man seeks other things such as rebellion, death, silver, wine, and many evil inventions.

e. Prov. 2:12, 13, 14 – evil men rejoice in evil and delight in wickedness (same word as evil).
• It is their joy and delight.
• This is what makes evil men evil: they LOVE evil.
• Men seek after that which they love and delight in.
• They seek anything except for wisdom or the Lord.

f. Prov. 6:14 – they devise mischief (evil) continually. They lay awake at night thinking about it…

g. Prov. 11:19 – some men pursue evil (to their own destruction) [pursue = chase after; persecute].

h. Prov. 12:20 – they IMAGINE evil… because of what lies in their hearts… and plot to bring it to pass.

3. Rebellion:

a. Rebellion, revolt, i.e., a state of disobedience, opposition, or resistance to one in authority.

b. This term for rebellion is used rarely in the Old Testament… only once in Proverbs… except in Ezekiel.

c. Evil men SEEK after rebellion – resistance to authority… opposition… disobedience… (they have ODD)

d. God considers this extremely serious. (I Sam. 15:23) It is as the sin of witchcraft!

e. Parents need to deal with this sin in their children… for that very reason. It is MORE serious a matter than we might think.

f. Rebellion is not always apparent.
• It is often “covered up”
» by cuteness
» under a guise of piety and feigned submission
» by shyness or cowardice

a. Sometimes that inward rebellion is too cowardly to break out… to speak up and express itself… so it simmers inwardly undetected…
• Sometimes God puts a lid on it by external restraints and circumstances He arranges to prevent it from outward expression.
• And sometimes God allows the devil to remove those restraints in order to demonstrate to us what our hearts are really like…
• Tea bag illustration… the bitterness in the tea bag may not be noticed until circumstances around it change—hot water! The hot water doesn’t MAKE the tea bag bitter. It just draws out what is there already.

g. Rebellion can be found in many different venues:
• Home… kids learn to cover it up at an early age.
• Marriage…
• School… it can simmer inside because of a fear of punishment…
• Counselors… and others who offer help…
• Local church… it can simmer just waiting for an opportunity to break out…
• Government…
• God…

h. What grief, sorrow, heartache, and knots in the stomach are produced by rebellion and the consequences of rebellion…
• A refusal to submit to authority can ruin any setting.

11b Therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

1. The cruel messenger here refers to a message of JUSTICE and judgment to be meted out against the one who sought rebellion.

a. This is yet another form of an oft-repeated truth in this book of wisdom: you reap what you sow.

b. Sow rebellion—and you will reap a cruel messenger with some very BAD news for you!

2. An example from the Scriptures: Saul. (I Sam. 15:9, 23).

a. God’s command was clear and precise. (vs.3)

b. Saul rebelled against the commandment of the Lord. (vs.9)

c. He even denied that he rebelled. He claimed obedience. (vs.13,28)

d. A cruel messenger was sent to him from the Lord: you have lost your reign as king! (Vs. 23)

3. The cruel messenger might report to us today too:

a. You rebelled against God and refused to bring your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. A cruel message may come to you one day: Your son ran away… Your 14 year old daughter is pregnant…

b. You sought rebellion at work and refused to do what your boss wanted you to do. A cruel message may come your way: You’re fired!

c. You rebelled against parents and teachers and refused to do your homework. A cruel messenger might report to you: you’re staying back a year at school!

d. You rebelled against the law… and the judge might deliver a cruel message to you: you’re going to jail!

e. Deut. 21:18-21 – a cruel messenger for that rebel.

4. Prov. 11:21 – the wicked (evil men) shall not be unpunished.

5. Prov.14:32 – the wicked is eventually driven away because of his wickedness (evil). [Driven away – in the sense of chased out and defeated].

6. God does not delight in sending cruel messengers. He would MUCH prefer to send messengers of GOOD!

a. Reminders from His Word… of His promises to those who walk with Him.

b. Christ is coming!

c. God promises to work in and through us as we yield to Him.

d. The Bible is FULL of good messages… for those who submit to His authority.

e. But the type of messenger sent to us will depend upon our heart attitude: is it one of humble submission or arrogant defiance and rebellion?