Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stiff-necked People

The Stoning of St Stephen

Are you stubborn? Is it a good quality or does it trap you in “your own devices”? How do stubbornness and persistence differ? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 828).

But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. (2 Kings 17:14 NIV)

You stiff-necked people!.... You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! (Acts 7:51 NIV)

I love the image of “stiff-necked people” as an illustration of stubbornness. This contrasts with the visage of earnest yearning characteristic of persistence. Stiff-necked people coldly worship the status quo at whatever cost. All evidence to the contrary is dismissed as essentially treacherous and serving to undermine assumed and avowed rectitude. Stern and dismissive self-righteousness faces are punctuated by set jaws and uplifted chins. Anger is plainly evident or simmers just below the surface. Stiff-necked people are scandalized and agitated by any suggestion of alternative realities that differ from their own set view of things. They fancy themselves the final authority and become impervious to any leadings of the Holy Spirit which does not validate their own sanctimonious prejudices. Humility to them is weakness and the God of love is summarily deposed by the God of war – the latter to which they give full and complete allegiance. While they would worship strength, they haven't a clue as to strength’s utter dependence upon humility and a yielding, submissive spirit. It is rumored in some quarters that stiff-necked necked people survive even today, and did not exist just in Biblical times.

Print Page