STUBBORNNESS – PART I
Series Verse: 1 Samuel 15:23
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…."
"The Stubborn Saint: An Oxymoron In The Body Of Christ"
Study Text: Deuteronomy 9:7-29
This week we begin our series on stubbornness. We start out by focusing on
the word oxymoron. This word is derived from the Greek word oxumoros—-oxus
meaning "sharp" and moros meaning "foolish." The
combination of these two Greek words means "pointedly foolish." What
does that mean? Well basically in the Greek sense oxumoros means this:
"something so identifiably [as though being pointed to] foolish/stupid
that you cannot miss it." Now the English translation has adopted a word
"OXYMORON" to describe the same type of foolishness regarding the
combination of words.
With this in mind, we will look at a foolish combination- "Stubborn
Saint." How can anyone claim to be or say they know a "Stubborn
Saint?" These words cannot be placed together because stubbornness is not
a characteristic of a child of God. Therefore, the Saints of God cannot be
In the 9th chapter of Deuteronomy, the Lord referred to the
stubborn as "stiff-necked" people. (Deu. 9:13) Moses begins to give
an account of the Lord speaking to him on the mount at Horeb. Now remember that
the Lord had recently delivered them from the hands of their enemies through
the parting of the Red Sea. Not only that, but the Lord had also caused the
Egyptians to give the Israelites their gold, jewels and other valuables before
leaving. Even though the Lord had performed miracle upon miracle, we are
informed by Moses that the Israelites had been rebellious since leaving Egypt,
and at Horeb their rebellion made the Lord become angry enough to destroy them.
(7th & 8th)
So what happened at Horeb? Well, while Moses was on the mountain, the
children of Israel created an idol – "The Golden Calf." Evidently,
they felt the Lord wasn’t moving fast enough so they had to take matters into
their own hands. Next, something very interesting happens in the 14th verse.
The Lord tells Moses this, "Let me alone, so that I may destroy them and
blot out their name from under heaven. And I will make you into a nation
stronger and more numerous than they." Let’s focus on this.
Again, what are the wages of sin? Death (Romans 6:23). And here, someone is
about to have to pay up – In Full! When it comes to paying the wages of sin
there is no "Credit Plan." It’s all in full and there is no other way
to pay it. Because of the stubbornness of their hearts, the Israelites were really
close to writing that last "Big Check!" But ooooh they had better
thank God for prayers of intercession. I tell you, Moses had to love his
"peeps"(people). For example, look at how sports teams trade players
at the drop of the hat. Here the Lord is giving Moses a chance to trade in the
worst team in the league for the 1998 Chicago Bulls. But he didn’t!!
Instead, Moses fasted and prayed forty days and forty nights for them and
Aaron because the Lord wanted to destroy Aaron too (20th). During his prayer of
repentance for his people Moses said these words, "Remember thy servants,
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; look not unto the stubbornness of this people, nor
to their wickedness, nor to their sin (27th verse)." Moses prayed this
prayer because their stubbornness was the root of their problem. They were
"set in their ways" and not yielding to the ways of God. They didn’t
want to wait for God. They wanted what they wanted when they wanted it.
Now we can define "stubbornness" from Deuteronomy 9:16 as
"turning aside quickly from the way of the Lord." And
"saint" can be defined as "one separated from the world and
consecrated to God." Of the saints, Psalm 16:3 states "they are the
glorious ones in whom is all my delight." Answer this: How can God delight
in someone who turns away from Him? He can’t. The reason man turns aside is
because he wants to take up that old expression, "My way or the
highway." If you don’t do it my way hit the highway. Well that’s good and
fine as long as your way is the same as Father’s way which is the HIGH — WAY.
This is why there can be no such thing as a "Stubborn Saint." The
Saints of God are about their Father’s business, so they will always align
themselves with "God’s way."
Now to the key verse in our series—1 Samuel 15:23: "For rebellion is as
the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. . .
." Why is stubbornness seen as idolatry? Because a person is actually
worshiping I-I-I instead of G-O-D. Now don’t confuse "Standing for
God" with "Stubbornness." We all, as children of God, have to
stand for God. But stubbornness is not standing for God; it is standing for
self. It’s letting pride step in before love. It’s that unyieldingness toward a
spouse, loved one or friend just to get your way. It’s knowing that you’re
right even before the question is asked. It’s haughty, puffed up, always
offended, never listening, egotistical, boastful and full of self-ambition.
What does it lead to? — hatred, jealousy, envy, fits of rage and separation
from God. When combined with the word "Saint" it creates a mythical
creature called "The Stubborn Saint" which was created by MAN to give
him the comfort of both worlds—the insurance of heaven and the lusts of
flesh. But this cannot be. Either you are on one side or the other.
1 John 2:15-17: "Love not
the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world,
the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of
the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father,
but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he
that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
Lose the "Me" "Me" "Me" and get with
"G" "O" "D"
Because He is the One who will forever be!