This morning I’m thinking of how stiff-necked we are. Stubborn, sure of our ways regardless of mounting evidence proving our own folly. We rush right on, head first, full speed ahead. Blinded by human arrogance, worshipping the faulty wisdom of the god in the mirror.
A study on stiff-necked:
“The plow was usually drawn by two oxen. As the plowman required but one hand to guide the plow, he carried in the other an “ox-goad.” This was a light pole, shod with an iron spike. With this he would prick the oxen upon the hind legs to increase their speed, and upon the neck to turn, or to keep a straight course when deviating. If an ox was hard to control or stubborn, it was “hard of neck,” or stiff-necked. Hence, the figure was used in the Scriptures to express the stubborn, intractable spirit of a people not responsive to the guiding of their God.” -Arthur Walwyn Evans
- And YHWH said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Exodus 32:9
- Go up to this land that flows with milk and honey. But I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I did, I would surely destroy you along the way.” Exodus 33:3
- Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that YHWH your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people. Deuteronomy 9:6
- He became stiff-necked and hardened his heart and would not turn to YHWH, the God of Israel. 2 Chronicles 36:13
- Yet they did not listen or pay attention; they were stiff-necked and would not listen or respond to discipline. Jeremiah 17:23
- You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Acts 7:51
- There is an easy way but, given the choice of two paths, we chose not to walk in it.
- This is what YHWH says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
This same Father also says:
“Return to me and I will return to you.”
He says this more than once but one of my favorite times is in Malachi, right after He reminds us that He does not change. Malachi 3, the entire chapter, feels especially relevant and personal at this time in our history.
Most will continue on stiff necked.
But some will step up and say “We are returning.”
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