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Goads

For centuries the common method of urging animals to move has been a sharp stick called a goad.  Nowadays farmers and ranchers use a cattle prod that gives a sharp shock.  Then as now, some animals are obstinate and “bull-headed” and kick back against these goads which results in even more pain.


Humans also need some type of goad to urge them to move in the right direction.  Obviously, this is not physical pain, rather the withdrawal of privileges, a financial loss or the promise of a reward.  Some people kick back against what they consider unfair laws, taxes and orders from bosses.  This often leads to resentment, self-pity, emotional stress and loss of income.


With some people conscience is enough of a goad to move them to the right path.  With others it only prods them to sear their conscience as with a hot iron (1 Tim 4:2).  Such people were those at Ephesus who, “became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way (Acts 19:8-9). The Apostle Paul persecuted followers of the Way without mercy, throwing men and women into prison and some to their death (Acts 22:1-4).  However, he stated several times that he did these acts with a clear conscience (Acts 23:1) (Acts 24:16) (2 Tim 1:3).  It took a much stronger goad for him to stop persecuting Jesus and quit kicking against the goads (Acts 26:14).  He was blinded by a brilliant light and heard the voice of Jesus (Acts 9:3-8) who told him what to do to receive forgiveness and find salvation (Acts 22:16).


Everyone needs to be goaded at times.  We are an obstinate and hard-hearted creation.  Yes, the Lord Jesus patiently stands at the door of our heart and knocks (Rev 3:20), but He also may be goading us with other methods. Hopefully these will be educational, and we will not painfully kick back against these goads.  Satan is always lurking at the door of our hearts also urging us to ignore the goads and kick back at them (Lk 22:31) (1 Pe 5:8-9).  Once a person has hardened the heart and ignored the goads, there remains a slippery slope resulting in increasingly evil sins (Rom 1:21-32) and the inevitable punishment (Heb 10:26-27).


                                              -Jim Bailey

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