You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! —Acts 7:51
stif’-nekt (qesheh `oreph, literally, “hard of neck”):
As it is figuratively used, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, the word means “stubborn,” “untractable,” “not to be led.” The derivation of the idea was entirely familiar to the Jews, with whom the ox was the most useful and common of domestic animals. It was especially used for such agricultural purposes as harrowing and plowing (Judges 14:18; 1 Corinthians 9:9).
The plow was usually drawn by two oxen. As the plowman required but one hand to guide the plow, he carried in the other an “ox-goad.” This was a light pole, shod with an iron spike. With this he would prick the oxen upon the hind legs to increase their speed, and upon the neck to turn, or to keep a straight course when deviating. If an ox was hard to control or stubborn, it was “hard of neck,” or stiff-necked. Hence, the figure was used in the Scriptures to express the stubborn, untractable spirit of a people not responsive to the guiding of their God (Exodus 32:9; 33:3; Deuteronomy 9:6; 2 Chronicles 36:13; Jeremiah 17:23, etc.). See also the New Testament where sklerotrachelos, is so translated (Acts 7:51), “Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit.”. Compare Baruch 2:30,33.
Arthur Walwyn Evans
Is the Holy Spirit of God seeking to guide you in a particular direction but you are resisting Him, being stiff-necked? To be stiff-necked is to be seeking to go in the direction you want to go and not in the direction God wants you to go in. There are many stiff-necked people in this world.
I just got back from Los Angeles, California. I went out to be part of Ray Comfort’s Academy of open air preaching. We did preach open air and also shared the gospel with people one on one. It was exciting to be with a group of about 70 people who had the same goal to share the gospel the few days we were together. We went to the Huntington Beach pier, the Santa Monica pier and a shopping area on Santa Monica Blvd. We also went to Hollywood Blvd. It is a high tourist time and people everywhere, multitudes of people, lost people with no Shepherd. With that many people it is easy to share the gospel. The vast majority of people were willing to be engaged and talk. Some were ripe for harvest and responded to the gospel… others listened, but were not ready to respond at that time—- it was a planting or watering time in their lives. Then others were simply and obviously resistant at the time, some would die that way and that is sad
But, brother and sister, how about you and I though? It is one thing for a lost person to be resistant, but are you or I being resistant to what the Lord wants to do in and through our lives? Oh, may it not be so! May we not be stiff-necked!
Dear Father, please help me to be a willing servant in the power of your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.