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Let Us Not Be a Stiffnecked People!

Crossing the River Jordan

Deuteronomy 9 opens just before the Israelites are to pass over the river Jordan to, finally, possess the land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey. But just as the Lord’s words of rebuke applied to Israel at that time, so, too, do they speak to those of us who hope one day to pass over into the heavenly Canaan.

Let us, therefore, take heed.

Deuteronomy 9

Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven, A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak! Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.

Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.

Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD. Also in Horeb ye provoked the LORD to wrath, so that the LORD was angry with you to have destroyed you. When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water: And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant. And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image. Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they.

So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands. And I looked, and, behold, ye had sinned against the LORD your God, and had made you a molten calf: ye had turned aside quickly out of the way which the LORD had commanded you. And I took the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and brake them before your eyes. And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the LORD was wroth against you to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also. And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time. And I took your sin, the calf which ye had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount.

And at Taberah, and at Massah, and at Kibroth-hattaavah, ye provoked the LORD to wrath. Likewise when the LORD sent you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, Go up and possess the land which I have given you; then ye rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and ye believed him not, nor hearkened to his voice. Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.

Thus I fell down before the LORD forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the LORD had said he would destroy you. I prayed therefore unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, destroy not thy people and thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; look not unto the stubbornness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin: Lest the land whence thou broughtest us out say, Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land which he promised them, and because he hated them, he hath brought them out to slay them in the wilderness. Yet they are thy people and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest out by thy mighty power and by thy stretched out arm.


Let us ALL examine our past rebellions against God, sorrow in earnestness for them, and ask God — even in that moment — to forgive us our sins.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

He is a loving, merciful God, full of grace and truth!

And let us pray to our Father, in Jesus’ name, not only for forgiveness but to give us the power, through His holy Spirit, to strengthen us so that we are not overpowered by a lust to commit those sins again — leaning not unto our own limited strength and understanding, but, rather, unto God’s infinite strength and wisdom.

But if we fall, God wants us to get up and try again, with that godly sorrow that worketh repentance, as above, that leads to forgiveness and salvation, beseeching the Lord to continue to strengthen us by His Spirit which He has given to all of His children, to lead us into truth and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, in Jesus’ precious name.

And let us understand with certainty that none of us are saved from the eternal condemnation we all deserve by way of our own “righteousness”. Nay; rather, we can only ever be saved by way of God’s grace through faith in His Son, that is, by God’s free gift of mercy:

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The enemies of Jesus in His own day sought a false redemption through the works of the law and the tradition of men which had nothing whatsoever to do with God’s way. They were as the prophet Isaiah said like sheep who’d gone astray, each to his own way. In reading the following verse, let us not fail to acknowledge that 700+ years before the birth of Jesus Christ, Isaiah — through the workings of the Holy Spirit — prophesied perfectly of our Lord and Savior’s having come into this world to be a propitiation for our sins, the just for the unjust:

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

To get the full depth and breadth of this prophecy, read the whole of Isaiah 53. Laying aside for a moment the hundreds of other prophecies throughout the Old Testament that point, directly, to Jesus, Isaiah’s prophecy throughout Chapter 53 couldn’t make it any clearer that Jesus, and He alone, is the Christ. And yet those who call themselves Jews and are not (cf, Revelation 2:9; 3:9) have willfully blinded their own hearts and minds to the irrefutable fact that they murdered the Messiah they purport, still, to be waiting for.

When that false “Christ” rises to power, true believers will know with certainty that it is the Antichrist, the son of perdition:

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

That falling away has already (and yet continues to) come, with the world’s most powerful “churches” being filled — just as was the temple in Jesus’ day — with all manner of abominable traditions of men.

So let us end where we began: Let us not be a stiffnecked people!

For professing Christians, worldwide, are in eternally grave danger of going astray, each to his own way, to say nothing of the false princes, priests and prophets who are busy being about their father the devil’s business, doing all they can, collectively, to “lock down” the whole world — literally enslaving and murdering a great many this past year-plus — in preparation for raising the son of perdition to power.

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4)

You’ve been warned.