Recently after missing several weeks of physical therapy, I was very happy to find out that I had not lost any of the range of motion that I had slowly gained over the previous six months. Always excited by a new challenge I was happy to start some new exercises that seemed like a cinch to me. My therapist
Not only did I have a headache on one side of my head and neck, I also had such a stiff neck that I could not turn my head either way. In order to see something that was not in my direct line of sight, I had to turn my whole body.
As I was working at my computer, my tattered Bible in front of me, I suddenly remembered that the term, "stiff-necked" had been used by God to describe His people more than once. In at least one case, the term "stiff-necked" was replaced by the word, "stubborn" and accompanied by the word, "rebellious." One thing that I know for certain, being classified as "stiff-necked" was not a compliment from God.
When a person has a stiff neck, they are only able to see what is directly in front of them. They can not turn to the left or the right to see what is happening around them. Input is kept to a minimum due to their condition, and unless they have the energy to turn their entire body, they miss out on much of what is going on around them. Though in this case my condition was physical, there is spiritual application as well.
So often, we are
We often have a plan in mind and will not deviate from it. Then when God does not perform according to our plan, we get
When we stubbornly refuse to open the eyes of our hearts that is where rebellion comes into our lives. Rebellion is defined as, "opposition to one in authority or dominance." Often words like, "disobedience" accompany it. It is also "resistance to treatment or management."
It becomes easier to see why God told the Israelites that they were a "stiff-necked" stubborn and rebellious nation when you consider these definitions. It also becomes apparent that we are often guilty of the same behavior as well.
Perhaps it is not something overt that is easily seen to others, but rather covert like when God speaks to our hearts about something that we need to do or need to stop doing--and we
We rebel when we refuse to listen to anyone but ourselves. We revolt when God lays out for us a plan regarding circumstances and situations in our lives, and we choose not to follow Him. Whether it is laid out in a scripture to which the Holy Spirit leads us or He softly speaks to us, because we often do not immediately see the benefit of His "treatment plan and management," what we see in front of us seems to be all we
Why do you think that the heart of God is offended by our stiff-necked, stubborn, and rebellious ways? I do not believe it is because He is on some kind of "power trip" and just has to have it His way. I believe it is because He knows what is best for us, and He also knows that when we resist and refuse His way, in the end we only
Many died in the desert never entering into the Promised Land that God had so graciously given them. I often wonder how many extra trips we make around our "Promised Land" simply because we are following our
I do not know about you, but I have found my physical stiff-neck to be very painful. After reflecting on my spiritual walk, I see the
Thank God, He never gives up on us! Just as eventually the Israelites came into their land of inheritance, I believe that we can do the same. God help us to learn something from their behavior that will save us years on our journey and allow us to truly enjoy fully the blessings He has in store for those who obey Him.