2 Chronicles 28; 2Kings 16-17
King Ahaz was an incredibly misguided leader. In fact, the Bible describes him and those like him as being stubborn:
Nevertheless they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God.
Stiff-necked Ahaz threw his own children in the fire. He literally watched them burn to death despite being told over and over by the prophets that God’s people were not to fear other gods but only the One God.
As ugly as that sounds, I have to confess that stiff-neckedness is not something Ahaz alone had. I, too, get stiff necked. I’m probably the most stubborn person I know! I wonder if there are things the Lord wants to teach me that I have not yet learned because of my stiff neck? Because of my inclination to think of what I want and not first seek out what God wants of me?
When people think of me after I am gone, I don’t want to be remembered as the stiff-necked mom. I want to be known as the Proverbs 31 woman…or as a woman with a teachable heart. Ahaz’s stiff neck led him to build altars to gods all over the place, desecrating the Lord’s temple in the process. I guess he thought it would help his case to cover all the bases. But in trying to appease those gods that weren’t really gods, he completely missed the boat on his heritage. He lost sight of who he was.
When I run around trying to please everybody, sometimes I lose sight of who I am in Christ. I often resist difficulties rather than embracing them as being a part of the Lord’s process of refining me. And the tension I carry in my body as a result of all my people pleasing literally gives me a stiff neck!