Exodus 33:4-6
Proverbs 29:1


“… if a man sin against the LORD,
who shall intreat for him?”



When the people heard from Moses that the LORD, rather than going with them in their journey to the Promised Land, would send an angel instead, they mourned. The LORD told Moses to tell the people specifically that they were a stiffnecked people. They deserved to be consumed in a moment by Him. They were told also to remove the ornaments they wore on them and He would consider what He ought to do with them.

The LORD made it very clear what He thought of the people. What does it mean to be stiffnecked? When plowing, the farmer sometimes uses a pole with a spike to prick the neck of the ox when it refuses to move in the right direction. The stubborn ox is said to have a stiff neck when it is uncontrollable and refuses to go in the direction indicated by the farmer. The children of Israel would understand this expression. It means that they were a stubborn people bent on going their own way instead of responding to God’s direction and leading. Stiffneckedness is an obstinate stubbornness not to obey God or do His will.

Do you have a stiffnecked spirit? You know you do when you refuse to obey and do what is right in God’s sight whenever it does not suit your liking. You want to have your way and achieve your own aims. No matter how often you have been told in sermons and in your own Bible reading, you will not respond to God’s commands and guidance. Maybe God has spoken to you about a wrong relationship, wrong job, or wrong pursuit but you still think you know better. Included in a stiffnecked spirit is to go on in life as if all is fine despite having been disobedient. The people were still dressed with their ornaments, looking nice outwardly. The LORD told them to humble themselves, then He would consider how to deal with them. Let us stop being obstinate before God deals severely with us.

THOUGHT: Do I stubbornly refuse to obey God’s direction?
PRAYER: LORD, help me to respond to Thy Word instead of going my own way.