Zechariah 3:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
Too many people have assumed that believers may freely rebuke in their own authority, but there exists no scriptural basis for this. The LORD gave us an excellent example when He said, “The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan.” When rebuking the Devil, the LORD emphasized the importance of authority. No believer should ever rebuke except according to the God-given authority of scripture. In Zechariah 3:2, the LORD was His own authority, but believers do not have any such authority in themselves apart from the Lord and His word. Paul spoke expressly about this when he charged Titus to “speak, exhort, and rebuke with all authority” (Titus 2:15). It is not sufficient to flippantly invoke the Lord’s name; one must base any rebuke upon the scripture. Henceforth, it is the Lord that rebukes, never the believer.
∙ (For children): Paul said the only way he knew right and wrong was from God’s word (Romans 3:20b). We need to know God’s word (2 Peter 3:18) so we can sufficiently warn the unruly (1 Thessalonians 5:14a) and warn one another (Romans 15:14). The scripture is our authority.
∙ (For everyone): How can we rightfully rebuke others apart from the authority of God’s word? How do we know that the actions of another are wrong if we do not have God’s word on the matter?
∙ What is the only source of truth that we have in this world? How can you accurately rebuke others apart from that source of truth? How could you harm others by doing so?
∙ Ask the Lord to help you use His authority when rebuking.
∙ Ask the Lord to show you the importance of authority.