The Israelites were labeled as stiff neck by God and for a good reason. In this chapter, the stiff neck Israelites demonstrated their rebellion and rejection of God as king. Rather, they prefer to be like the nations around them, to have an earthly king to rule them.
Due to their stubbornness, God relented and instructed Samuel to select the first king of Israel. Subsequent kings put heavier yoke on the Israelites and in so process the nation of Israel was split into the northern and southern kingdom. This spiral on that the northern kingdom, which is the vast majority of Israelites became idol worshippers and the southern kingdom had perhaps only 50% good kings that brought them to worship God. The kings of Israel led the people astray and in so doing destroyed most of their faith in God and also led to their expulsion of their inheritance.
How about us, the spiritual Israelites today? Do we heed the Words of God and advices/ warnings in the Bible? Are we stubborn at heart to do what we please without considering the consequences?
It is probably fine to a certain extent not to heed advices from our elders but not to heed the advices and warnings from God will lead to assured destruction. The Israelites time and time again rejected God and in so doing were punished. As Christians, although we are saved by grace, the New Testament reminds us to uphold the essence of the Law that was cast on stone and to be enmity with the world.
Not obeying the commands in the Bible, is similar to rejecting God. Just as the Israelites disobeyed God’s instruction, God rejected them and allowed them to be overtaken by their enemies. Have our hearts gone towards the ruler of this world?
This is the start of a new year. May our gracious Lord fill us with His Spirit and motivate us to do His Will. May we always be in His grace and strive to reject the enticement and filth of the world.
“For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.”
(1 Thess 4:7-9)