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Turning the Shoulder (Zechariah 7:11)

Introductory Thoughts

Rebellion is a willing conscious decision to refuse the instruction of another. The Lord describes this in Zechariah 7:11 when He said, “they refused to hearken and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.” This is a powerful illustration and picture! It almost seems like the Lord has a hand on the shoulder of the rebel but when faced with the Lord’s instruction, a rebel pulls away from the Lord’s gentle grasp. As he pulls away, the rebel turns his back and closes his ears to the Lord’s instruction. The Lord affirms this in Jeremiah 32:33 when He said, “they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction.”

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Through the prophet Ahijah, God made His instructions clear to Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:29-38). However, Jeroboam made a conscious decision to refuse to hearken (1 Kings 12:26-30). He definitely turned his back to the Lord (1 Kings 14:7-10a).
  • (For everyone): Try to picture the illustration presented for rebellion. Demonstrating the actions would help. How would you feel if someone pulled away his or her shoulder while you were trying to give him or her instructions? How does your rebellion offend the Lord?
  • How did the Lord Jesus demonstrate submission to His Fathers will (Isaiah 50:5)? How could you demonstrate that same type of submission?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to give you the heart and mind of His Son.
  • Ask God to help you show Him your face rather than your back.