Deuteronomy 9:6

Girl-Pulling-Stubborn-Dog Weekly Meds

“Therefore, understand that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people.” Deuteronomy 9:6 

The message of Deuteronomy is given to Israel immediately before Moses dies and the conquest of the Promised Land begins under Joshua.  In our verse, the Lord reminds the people that it is because of God’s great mercy and longsuffering that they are here and not because they are so great.  After this verse, Moses recounts the history of the wilderness wanderings which is a pretty sad picture.  They complain about their difficulties, they complain about God’s provisions, and they resist His lead at every turn. God calls them a stiff-necked people which means they are stubborn.   

Stubbornness is the character of their hearts. They consistently resisted the leadership of Moses and the word of the Lord over and over throughout the last 40 years. In fact, they are so stubborn, Moses reminds them just a few verses later in 9:14 that God wanted to, “destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven,” but Moses pleaded with God to forgive them, and He did.  

Just like complaining, stubbornness against God is sinful. We are warned in Psalm 32:9 to accept and embrace the instruction of the LORD and, “to not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.”  

The opposite of stubbornness is willing, joyful submission. Psalm 110:3 describes the great victory of King Jesus and His people who willingly volunteer to follow His lead. This is only possible by the work of the Holy Spirit in the children of God. During Jesus’ ministry, the disciples were fearful, confused, and stubborn, refusing to go to Jerusalem.  After Pentecost, they were submitted to God, clearly understanding the truth, bold, and joyfully walking the path God had for them. They rejoiced in God’s provision, they rejoiced in their sufferings, and they willingly went wherever the Spirit led them. This is how we should be.  

May the Holy Spirit who worked such a change in the Apostles enable us as well to submit to the word of God willingly and joyfully, not stubbornly fighting against the Holy Spirit’s lead. For the Spirit is leading His people to conquer the New Covenant Promised Land which has no boundaries but encompasses the entire earth.         

His mercy endures forever! 

Pastor Flynn