Read Romans 1
Focus on verse 32
It is one thing to be disobedient because one is ignorant of what is right. It is another entirely to knowingly defy what is right and choose what one knows is wrong. This is the attitude that is condemned by Apostle Paul in today’s chapter.
Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (v. 32)
This is the attitude that motivates a child who knows what the rules are, to maliciously defy them and not only choose to do as he or she pleases, but to also encourage others to do the same. This is the kind of attitude that provokes the anger of a parent. This is the attitude that will get a suspect who is breaking the law to be treated brutally by police. By this I am not suggesting that authority figures are justified in brutalizing those under them because that are angry, it is simply that this defiant attitude is the kind of attitude which sometimes elicits a brutal response.
I might add that while a brutal response is rarely justified in any situation, there may be situations where excessive force is necessary to prevent a defiant person from harming themselves or others more seriously.
I grew up in the days when it was not uncommon to adjust a defiant attitude in a child by applying the board of education to the seat of learning…literally! From my own experience I can attest that it did not take me long to learn that defiance on my part rarely produced the results I was looking for because I typically was not looking for a trip to the woodshed with my father, or an introduction to the wooden spoon my mother used by the washing machine.
I believe God has a similar approach. He will forgive the most heinous sin when our repentance is genuine, but a defiant spirit is something He will not overlook. I suspect this is because defiance is closely related to rebellion, and to God rebellion is as the sin of divination. (1 Samuel 15:23) There is no simply room for rebellion in the presence of God.
In tomorrow’s reading we will consider the reward of rebellion