Still, the Lord warned Israel and Judah through every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commands and statutes according to the whole law I commanded your ancestors and sent to you through my servants the prophets.”
But they would not listen. Instead they became obstinate like their ancestors who did not believe the Lord their God. They rejected his statutes and his covenant he had made with their ancestors and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves, following the surrounding nations the Lord had commanded them not to imitate.
They abandoned all the commands of the Lord their God. They made cast images for themselves, two calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed in worship to all the stars in the sky and served Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire and practiced divination and interpreted omens. They devoted themselves to do what was evil in the Lord’s sight and angered him.
2 Kings 17:13-17
Obstinate: “stubbornly adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion.” (merriam-webster.com) We need to let the meaning of that word sink in a bit. When I think of someone who is obstinate, I think of someone like Harry R Truman, the man who refused to leave his lodge near the summit of Mount St. Helen in the two months leading up to the eruption. Harry R Truman became a bit of a folk hero, but let’s be honest, in the end, he died because of his obstinance. Forest rangers had made multiple attempts to encourage Mr. Truman to leave his lodge as the warning signs of an eventual eruption became more obvious. He was visited the day before the eruption. Though his body was never found, he most likely died instantly when 150 feet of debris covered the site of his lodge.
This was the attitude Israel had up to their final exile into Assyria. God had sent multiple prophets over 286 years to warn them of the eventual outcome of their refusal to follow Him wholeheartedly. Now the time had come. There were no more warning signs. The Assyrians had conquered their land and the ten northern tribes had been scattered. They had so hardened their hearts to the voice of God that there was no other choice but to allow history to take its course and allow the Israelites to suffer the consequences of their refusal to listen.
We need to learn from the example of the Israelites not to be obstinate in our attitude toward the voice of the Holy Spirit. We need to make sure our hearts are always soft to the work of the Holy Spirit and we are listening to Him as He calls us to a place of walking in the ways of Jesus. It’s for our own good that He woes us like this. He is leading us to a place of life and out of a place of destruction.
- Are you keeping your heart soft to the voice of the Holy Spirit?