A pain in the neck!
And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!”
Exodus 32:9 (NKJV)
How often have we heard the expression ‘they are a pain in the neck!’ or even used it ourselves? It is an unkind expression when used in this way against individuals as it literally describes a sharp, stubborn pain that is reluctant to go away. We sleep in the wrong position and wake up with a crick in our necks – ouch!
While the condition lasts our movement and flexibility are acutely affected. We are stuck in that position until it finally eases. God called the ancient Israelites a ‘stiff-necked’ nation. They were stubborn and refused to change their ways, often preferring their Egyptian gods.
I challenge you to a simple exercise. Turn your head to one side and keep it there. Now see if you can look up or forward without moving your head. You cannot do it! When we are stubborn and ‘stiff necked’ we can only see in the direction we are facing – sideways. We are literally side-lined!
Our spiritual focus is the same when we side-line God. We cannot look up to Him or see the way forward to be guided by Him because we are looking in the wrong direction.
To follow Jesus is to follow the straight and narrow path. We are told, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Let’s turn our eyes to the Lord God and He will lead us. He will also heal the pain in our neck – be it physical or spiritual!
Father God, forgive us our stubborn ways and help us to walk the path of righteousness for your name’s sake. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Study by Irene Wilson
About the writer:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford congregation of Grace Communion International, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.
St. Peter’s Church
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