Topic: You Stubborn And Stiff-Necked People
Episode: Blackboard Jumble
Lesson PDF link: 36.pdf
This lesson is a study on an unwillingness to be taught and its short-term and long-term consequences. We are also studying human reaction and God's reaction. I am using an old MGM short called "Blackboard Jumble." I want to show that it is near impossible at best to teach an unwilling class, but patience needs to be shown in abundance when things get tough like what is shown by God. Reactions to this should be one of prayer instead of craziness and stress (Hard to put into practice--very hard).
Scriptures Used Include: Romans 2: 4-16; Jeremiah 11: 1-17; Isaiah 66; Ezekiel 24: 1-14; Luke 13: 34-35; Psalms 103
Today, we are discussing the topic of learning. What is learning? How do you learn something? How long does it generally take you to learn something? We are going to show a cartoon about learning or lack thereof. We will have a discussion and Bible Study.
Cartoon: MGM: "Blackboard Jumble":
What do you notice in this cartoon? What would your reaction be to the students? Our Bible Study comes from Romans 2: 4-16; Jeremiah 11: 1-17; Isaiah 66; Ezekiel 24: 1-14; Luke 13: 34-35; and Psalms 103.
The Bible States In Romans 2: 4-16
4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?
5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
6 God "will give to each person according to what he has done."
7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;
10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
11 For God does not show favoritism.
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.
13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.
14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law,
15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)
16 This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
The above passage was addressed to some self-righteous Jewish Christians (Messianic Jews) who were not living the life and criticizing other people for the same kinds of sins. This is called hypocrisy. These people were also being stubborn and stiff-necked (not taking teaching seriously and doing what they wanted unrepentantly). The consequences for this are dire indeed as the Bible states in these passages in the Old Testament.
The Bible States In Jeremiah 11: 1-17:
1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD :
2 "Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem.
3 Tell them that this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Cursed is the man who does not obey the terms of this covenant-
4 the terms I commanded your forefathers when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the ironsmelting furnace.' I said, 'Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God.
5 Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey'-the land you possess today." I answered, "Amen, LORD."
6 The LORD said to me, "Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: 'Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them.
7 From the time I brought your forefathers up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, "Obey me."
8 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.' "
9 Then the LORD said to me, "There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem.
10 They have returned to the sins of their forefathers, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken the covenant I made with their forefathers.
11 Therefore this is what the LORD says: 'I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.
12 The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they will not help them at all when disaster strikes.
13 You have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.'
14 "Do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.
15 "What is my beloved doing in my temple as she works out her evil schemes with many? Can consecrated meat avert your punishment ? When you engage in your wickedness, then you rejoice.
16 The LORD called you a thriving olive tree with fruit beautiful in form. But with the roar of a mighty storm he will set it on fire, and its branches will be broken.
17 The LORD Almighty, who planted you, has decreed disaster for you, because the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done evil and provoked me to anger by burning incense to Baal.
This is tough stuff coming from God to Jeremiah. Jeremiah's people went back to worshiping false gods after God warned them time and time again not to go to worthless idols for help or blessing. The reason God doesn't want idolatry is that the idol can't hear, do anything, see anything, by no means protect. God brings chastisement to people to bring them back to Him so that He can help his people repent and be blessed again.
The Bible States In Isaiah 66:
1 This is what the LORD says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?
2 Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the LORD. "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.
3 But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a man, and whoever offers a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig's blood, and whoever burns memorial incense, like one who worships an idol. They have chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in their abominations;
4 so I also will choose harsh treatment for them and will bring upon them what they dread. For when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, no one listened. They did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me."
5 Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: "Your brothers who hate you, and exclude you because of my name, have said, 'Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy!' Yet they will be put to shame.
6 Hear that uproar from the city, hear that noise from the temple! It is the sound of the LORD repaying his enemies all they deserve.
7 "Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son.
8 Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.
9 Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the LORD. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God.
10 "Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her.
11 For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance."
12 For this is what the LORD says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.
13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."
14 When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of the LORD will be made known to his servants, but his fury will be shown to his foes.
15 See, the LORD is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For with fire and with his sword the LORD will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by the LORD.
17 "Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the midst of those who eat the flesh of pigs and rats and other abominable things'they will meet their end together," declares the LORD.
18 "And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory.
19 "I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations'to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations.
20 And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the LORD -on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels," says the LORD. "They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the LORD in ceremonially clean vessels.
21 And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites," says the LORD.
22 "As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the LORD, "so will your name and descendants endure.
23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the LORD.
24 "And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."This is really tough stuff from God to Isaiah. This looks to me like perhaps a Messianic passage. This means that it is talking about Jesus's second coming and the final judgment of all humankind. God unites all the true believers (those who declare and worship God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and declare Jesus as their true Lord) from all nations, tribes, and tongues in one place and they all worship Him in absolute joy and unity. The rest of humankind get nothing but Hell itself. They are forever like unclean and tarnished cooking pots that have to be thrown away never to be used or wanted to be seen again.
The Bible States In Ezekiel 24: 1-14:
1 In the ninth year, in the tenth month on the tenth day, the word of the LORD came to me:
2 "Son of man, record this date, this very date, because the king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day.
3 Tell this rebellious house a parable and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: " 'Put on the cooking pot; put it on and pour water into it.
4 Put into it the pieces of meat, all the choice pieces'the leg and the shoulder. Fill it with the best of these bones;
5 take the pick of the flock. Pile wood beneath it for the bones; bring it to a boil and cook the bones in it.
6 " 'For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: " 'Woe to the city of bloodshed, to the pot now encrusted, whose deposit will not go away! Empty it piece by piece without casting lots for them.
7 " 'For the blood she shed is in her midst: She poured it on the bare rock; she did not pour it on the ground, where the dust would cover it.
8 To stir up wrath and take revenge I put her blood on the bare rock, so that it would not be covered.
9 " 'Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: " 'Woe to the city of bloodshed! I, too, will pile the wood high.
10 So heap on the wood and kindle the fire. Cook the meat well, mixing in the spices; and let the bones be charred.
11 Then set the empty pot on the coals till it becomes hot and its copper glows so its impurities may be melted and its deposit burned away.
12 It has frustrated all efforts; its heavy deposit has not been removed, not even by fire.
13 " 'Now your impurity is lewdness. Because I tried to cleanse you but you would not be cleansed from your impurity, you will not be clean again until my wrath against you has subsided.
14 " 'I the LORD have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign LORD.' "
About the specific sin of lewdness, I have received at least one comment: 'I don't get it; how does this scripture fit the lesson?'-- meaning the passage talking about this specific sin. After all, we aren't talking about this particular sin. On the surface, he's right, but we are talking about unrepentant sin and consequences in general; lewdness in this lesson's experience could be interchangeable with any and all unrepentant sin(s). In that very real sense, the scripture definitely works. This scripture goes with my last thoughts as well. Until the Lord's anger subsides, there isn't much blessing and redemption. For those in this boat, it is a long and brutal experience. In this passage, God called on Ezekiel to tell the people that they were going to be taken over by Babylon because of their sins. Israel back then kept sinning without repentance even after God warned them over and over again. In our case, calamity eventually comes without remedy to all humankind as well when we sin without repentance. When God's wrath happens, it happens swiftly and terribly without relent. Until repentance happens, there is nothing but trouble. For a lot of people, as the scriptures show in this lesson allude to, it is going to be way too late to repent once literal Hell becomes their home. They are dead in the grave without God and without hope and His wrath will never subside for people in Hell forever. There is good news for us on this side of eternity. God is longsuffering and wrath is slow in coming, giving His people a chance to humble themselves, repent, and accept God's forgiveness made possible by Jesus Christ our Savior. To explain my point about longsuffering, we have a couple of other scripture passages to look at. First though, let's look at some things from the cartoon short that we saw a little while ago. Let's recap. What or who do you think the students represent? What or who do you think the teacher represents? What would God's reaction be to these students?
These are my thoughts: The students in this cartoon represent an unbelieving, perverse, stubborn and stiff-necked people. The teachers, since they are both normally villains in Droopy cartoons, were likely out of their element even though well meaning. They might have repented and went God's way, but didn't have the call to be teachers at this time, for the call of God is absolutely necessary for any kingdom work to be done effectively. What is the second teacher's reaction at the end of the cartoon? That's right, he went crazy at the end like the last teacher that dared to help out. Was the teacher's reaction godly? What would your reaction be like? I believe the teacher should have prayed about how to help these students so he wouldn't have gone crazy. Going crazy because of a situation like this is very human especially when not totally God-centered. No matter how godly a person is, there is a chance for this to happen if one isn't careful to guard the heart. This requires His mercy and grace which is fully accessible to us through Jesus Christ. God's reaction is quite different from these teachers' reactions and needs to be sincerely imitated by us using a very large portion of God's grace and mercy. This takes a lot of prayer and faith by the godly to attain it.
The Bible States In Luke 13: 34-35:
34 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'
In this passage of scripture, Jesus is very saddened that Israel doesn't listen to Him. I would also say that Jesus is saddened with most of humankind and is waiting for repentance to come and for His creation to come back to Him. Jesus, however is longsuffering and very patient.
The Bible States in Psalms 103:
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children
18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
What have we learned? How do we take this and use it for our lives?
God is waiting for us to humble ourselves so we don't get what we deserve. God doesn't stay angry with those who genuinely repent of their sins and come to Him. Jesus our Lord wants you to come and enjoy His kingdom and the benefits of His salvation and peace. How will you humble yourself to the Lord for now and beyond?