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A Stiff-Neck Will Cause You to Stumble

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A Stiff-Neck Will Cause You to Stumble

2 Kings 17:13-23

2 Kings 17:13–23 ESV
13 Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.” 14 But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God. 15 They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them that they should not do like them. 16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. 17 And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but the tribe of Judah only. 19 Judah also did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced. 20 And the Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight. 21 When he had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord and made them commit great sin. 22 The people of Israel walked in all the sins that Jeroboam did. They did not depart from them, 23 until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day.

Intro:

Do you have a stiff-neck? What about our country? Though I am not talking about a literal stiff-neck the illustration may work. Have you ever tried to bow your head very low when you have had an extremely stiff-neck? If so then you know the pain that follows and with that you would not do it again for anything. Once we have tasted our own will and have been deceived into believing that we can do as we please and don’t have to submit to anyone, it hurts to bow our heads to the LIVING GOD again. We find the start of this in small things like only going to church when it is convenient, or if I get drunk once every 2 months it is ok. Then the next thing we see is we are compromising in other areas of our lives. Are we worshipping idols as the Jews did in the days of the kings? As a nation we are, it is call humanism, although I am going to compare our nation with Israel during the time of King Jeroboam (931-910BC) I want you to think about yourself also. As a nation we allow our leaders to under mine our morals so much so that the world only sees the immorality of our nation, rather than the ones who want to do what is right in the sight of the LORD (the CHURCH / Prophets)

Rejection of the Prophets (V.13-14)

13 Yet the Lord lwarned Israel and Judah mby every prophet nand every seer, saying, o“Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”
14 But they would not listen, pbut were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God.
The prophets then/the Church today
Though they had forsaken God's family of priests, he did not leave them without a succession of prophets, who made it their business to teach them the good knowledge of the Lord.
Are we making it our business to teach the Good News
If not are we receiving the Good News
2. Does the Nation turn a deaf ear? What about us individually?
Mocking/making fun of, hostile rebuttals, or silent disbelief.

Rejection of the WORD (V.15-17)

15 They despised his statutes qand his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after rfalse idols sand became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the tLord had commanded them that they should not do like them. 16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made for themselves metal images of utwo calves; and they vmade an Asherah and wworshiped all the host of heaven and served xBaal. 17 yAnd they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings1 and used zdivination and aomens and bsold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.
They followed vanity.
Because they could do neither good nor evil, but were the most insignificant things that could be; those that worshipped them were like them, and so they became vain and good for nothing
They went after rfalse idols sand became false, and they followed the nations that were around them
Things in our lives that don’t cause any harm, but they don’t do any good either. These things are not to the point that they noticeably interfere with your relationship with God. The Jews allowed them to go that far but they start off insignificant.
Some of the prime time TV.
Social drinking
paying too close attention to the cheerleaders @ the game
more concerned about fashion
Withal, they served Baal, the deified heroes of the Gentiles.
made for themselves metal images of utwo calves; and they vmade an Asherah and wworshiped all the host of heaven and served xBaal.
They caused their children to pass through the fire, in token of their dedicating them to their idols.
Are we worshipping the things that we once stood against
We may not have golden calves except for on Wall Street
Do we trust in our money more then we trust in our GOD
Most of us aren’t burning our oldest child to idols but some Christians think abortion is ok there really is no difference
Stiff-necked
Pr 26:11–12
11  Like ha dog that returns to his vomit
is ia fool who repeats his folly.
12  Do you see a man who is jwise in his own eyes?
kThere is more hope for a fool than for him.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Pr 26:11–12). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
A picture of a stubborn ox
The same sin that kept them out of Canaan which was unbelief.
Do we find ourselves back into the same old sin again & again
We allow this to happen because we don’t believe that God can fix it
Some will argue with me about this and say I stumble with drinking or drugs a lot but I believe. And that may be true but I’m not talking about stumbling I’m talking about how long you stay down once you fall. If you fall, get up and run to GOD you got it; but if you fall and stay there awhile you have disbelief.
Matthew 11:29–30 ESV
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Receiving the Outcome (V.18-23)

God punished them for their sins. (2Ki_17:18-19) 18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but cthe tribe of Judah only. 19 dJudah also did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced.
for, in the matter of his worship, he is a jealous God, and resents nothing more deeply than giving that honor to any creature which is due to himself only. Therefore He afflicted them
this was a light judgment allowing their enemies to rob them. GOD’S hedge of protection is starting to slowly come down
do we put things /anything before GOD then wonder why we are being chastised
have we seen the hedge of protection start to come down from around our nation ?
Vietnam
9/11
Gives them What they want (2Ki_17:20-21) 20 And the Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them eand gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight. 21 fWhen he had torn Israel from the house of David, gthey made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord hand made them commit great sin.
As GOD’S hand becomes further away and things become tougher on them they made a man king who drove them from following the Lord and caused them to sin a great sin. This was a national judgment, and the punishment of their former idolatries;
We get so wrapped up in our sin that we make even worse decisions. It is like we say give me anything that will make me feel good about what I’m doing, just keep that GOD stuff away from me
Some said this happened to us when we elected Obama
More of a Socialized government, Gay marriage, abortions in further terms and it can go on and on
Others may say it now about Trump and they would have a whole list of stuff about him also
Either way no matter where you stand on that line GOD is the one who raises up kings and tears down kingdoms and we are are called to pray for our leaders.
When all these corrections did not work
By the time we get this far into our sin the only thing that will wake us up is a hard core whoopin we have to be brought to our knees. With Israel it is being taken into captivity and made to be slaves. You know we are no different. We are slaves to our sin and most of the time it takes something drastic to get our attention, like losing a job or a threat of divorce, or maybe the passing of a loved one, or you allowing your sin to consume your life to the point that you take someone else life and you have to live with that weight. if that is you please be assured that GOD will help you carry that also! It is different for each of us but sooner or later if you’re a child of GOD living your life with a stiff-neck sooner or later you will be brought to your knees.

Wrap up:

We saw the corrosive works of sin in a nation and we can see it holding true even today in our own nation. Though that is important to see, the most important thing is to apply this message to our individual lives. The only way we can change a nation is 1 person at a time and we must start with ourselves. Let’s take some time here right now to examine ourselves as we Prepare ourselves take communion. Ask GOD if we have anything standing between us and HIM. If so ask HIM to help us deal with that and not allow it to stiffen our necks. Let GOD deal with us right now before it takes something drastic to get our attention.

Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart

Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart
139 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
O Lord, you have psearched me and known me!
You qknow when I sit down and when I rise up;
you rdiscern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, syou know it altogether.
You them me in, behind and before,
and ulay your hand upon me.
vSuch knowledge is wtoo wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
xWhere shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where yshall I flee from your presence?
zIf I ascend to heaven, you are there!
aIf I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10  even there your hand shall blead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11  If I say, c“Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12  deven the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13  For you eformed my inward parts;
you fknitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.1
gWonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15  hMy frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in ithe depths of the earth.
16  Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your jbook were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17  How precious to me are your kthoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18  lIf I would count them, they are more than mthe sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
19  Oh that you would nslay the wicked, O God!
O omen of blood, pdepart from me!
20  They qspeak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies rtake your name in vain.2
21  sDo I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not tloathe those who urise up against you?
22  I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23  Search me, O God, and know my heart!
vTry me and know my thoughts!3
24  And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and wlead me in xthe way everlasting!4
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 139:title–24). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
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