‘Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not look on the stubbornness of this people, or on their wickedness or their sin, ‘lest the land from which You brought us should say, “Because the LORD was not able to bring them to the land which He promised them, and because He hated them, He has brought them out to kill them in the wilderness.” ‘Yet they are Your people and Your inheritance, whom You brought out by Your mighty power and by Your outstretched arm. Deuteronomy 9:27-29
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:23
The American Heritage Dictionary defines ‘stubborn’ as:
stub·born adj. stub·born·er, stub·born·est. 1.a. Unreasonably, often perversely unyielding; bullheaded. b. Firmly resolved or determined; resolute. 2. Characterized by perseverance; persistent. 3. Difficult to treat or deal with; resistant to treatment or effort. –stub“born·ly adv. –stub“born·ness n.
According to the Word of God to be stubborn or obstinate is to sin and to displease God. There is nothing wonderful about a person no matter who he is or he thinks he is when he is unreasonable, perversely unyielding, bullheaded, resolute, and difficult to treat or deal with, resistant to treatment or effort. Being inflexibly, hardheaded, willful, adamant, headstrong, intractable, pigheaded, or unyielding doesn’t win any points with God. Because of the stubbornness of His people God was prepared to kill the children of Israel out of their Egyptian captors, had not Moses interceded to God on their behalf. God loves those who are flexible, open-minded, compliant and agreeable. He loves a cheerful giver and doer of the Word of God. His word is unchanging:
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-9
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:22-27
Yes, to those who are cheerful givers, God is able to make all grace abound toward them, that they, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have abundance for every good work. Yes, we are to be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves. Those who are doers of the work are the ones who will be blessed in what they do. Yes, if anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. God’s word is unchanging:
So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. Genesis 22:6-8
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Abraham the Father of faith was able to trust God with the life of his son to provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering and he was not disappointed because God did what He was believed and confessed for. The bible records for our profit and instruction:
Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of The LORD it shall be provided.”
Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son- “blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Genesis 22:9-18
Because Abraham obeyed God’s voice God would bless him and multiply his descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and his descendants would possess the gate of their enemies. But we live in a perverse adulterous unbelieving generation of many who call themselves Christians and are not different from the world. They cannot and do not trust the Lord to be their provider in all things. Many of them have trusted the Lord to be ‘saved’ but not for Him to be their Baptizer, Healer, Defender and Provider like Abraham and David did:
Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South. Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. Genesis 13:1
And Abraham journeyed from there to the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar. Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.”
But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also? “Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.”
And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. “Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”
So Abimelech rose early in the morning, called all his servants, and told all these things in their hearing; and the men were very much afraid. And Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I offended you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.” Then Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you have in view, that you have done this thing?”
And Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife. “But indeed she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. “And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, ‘This is your kindness that you should do for me: in every place, wherever we go, say of me, “He is my brother.” ‘ “
Then Abimelech took sheep, oxen, and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham; and he restored Sarah his wife to him. And Abimelech said, “See, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.” Then to Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; indeed this vindicates you before all who are with you and before everybody.” Thus she was rebuked.
So Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants. Then they bore children; for the LORD had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Genesis 20:1-18
God defended and avenged Abraham from Abimelech who had taken Sarah. The LORD had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah. He was prepared to kill Abimelech and his whole family if he would not restore Sarah. And so Abimelech did as the Lord had spoken to him and when Abraham prayed to God, God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants. Then they bore children. Now if God did this for Abraham the father of faith He will do the same for any of His trusting servants including defend and avenge them. God’s word is unchanging:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, “leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. “Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. Matthew 5:21-26
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. “Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ “And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, ‘yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? “I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-8
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Gordon Williams http://gordwilliams.com/