Quit Horsing Around

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Psalm 32


I.         The Bible is filled with reminders to look at the world around us and learn from the examples we find.

            A.        The ant is an example of industry and not procrastinating - Proverbs 6:6-11

            B.        Job recommended - Job 12:7-10

            C.        There is wisdom to be learned in observation - Proverbs 30:24-28

            D.        Yet, not all examples are worthy of following. Just as you would not follow the example of everyone around you, the example of some animals are not worthy of imitation.

            E.        David tells us not to imitate the horse or the mule - Psalm 32:9

II.        Horsing Around

            A.        Horses are admirable for their strength - Job 39:19-25

            B.        But it is not a strength to be relied upon - Psalm 33:16-17

            C.        Horses were often caught in the wild, often were unmanageable and hence the warning - Psalm 32:9

                        1.         Horses often only give service when constrained and forced into doing so - James 3:3

                        2.         Israel was often like that. God had to use force to get use out of them - Jeremiah 31:18

                        3.         People are sometimes like that as well - Proverbs 26:3

                        4.         Rebellious, requiring strong control

            D.        The problem is that because of their strength, they will often rush head long into things without thinking - Jeremiah 8:6-7

                        1.         Like Israel, they don’t always use their heads - Jeremiah 4:22

                        2.         People rush into sins without thought - Isaiah 59:7

                        3.         It was the sin that kept Moses and Aaron out of the promised land - Numbers 20:24

                                    a.         The odd thing is that Moses in trying to deal with the rebellion of Israel, in turn rushed headlong into rebellion - Numbers 20:8-12

                                    b.         The problem with rebellion is that those rebelling don’t think

            E.        They act impulsively on their lusts - Jeremiah 5:8-9

            F.        The problem this that they don’t see the restrictions as beneficial, only as something that needs to be cast off - Psalm 2:1-3

                        1.         Rejecting authority - Jude 8

                        2.         God gives commands for the people’s good - Deuteronomy 10:13

                        3.         God punished, again, for the people’s good - Jeremiah 32:39

                        4.         Following God’s laws brings blessings - James 1:25

III.       Being Mule Headed

            A.        Mules are notorious for their stubbornness.

            B.        Have you heard someone say, “I know I shouldn’t do this, but I’m going to do it anyway?”

                        1.         Stubbornness leads to sin - Pr 28:14

                        2.         A willfulness toward sin - Hebrews 10:26-27

            C.        Stubbornly clinging to their lusts

                        1.         Like a donkey, thinking only of mating - Jeremiah 2:23-25

                        2.         Acting like brute beasts - Jude 10

            D.        Like a mule some people stubbornly cling to their sins - Romans 2:5

            E.        Like the horse, stubbornness must be broken - Proverbs 26:13

                        1.         Either they bend, or they break - Proverbs 29:1

                        2.         That is basically what happened to Pharaoh when God demanded the release of the children of Israel. Pharaoh took the punishments, refused to bend, and eventually broke with his firstborn dead and his army drowned in the Red Sea.

IV.      Submitting to God

            A.        Rather than be wild, rebellious, or stubborn, we need to submit a broken will to God - James 4:7-10

            B.        It is never pleasant to “make” people do what is right - Hebrews 12:5-13

            C.        This why people are asked to willing follow the leadership - Hebrews 13:17

            D.        God doesn’t get pleasure from punishing people - Ezekiel 33:11

            E.        People don’t see the danger in rebellion or stubbornness, but God does - I Samuel 15:23

                        1.         It is why rebellion and stubbornness were punished severely - Deuteronomy 21:18-21

V.        God is willing to forgive, but He is able to punish - Isaiah 1:18-20

            A.        Which destiny will be for you?

            B.        Are you going to continue horsing around or being mule headed?

            C.        Or will you present to God a broken and contrite heart?

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