“What Does It Mean To kick Against The Pricks?”
The question is referring to Acts 9:1-5 and Acts 26:14 where Saul (later called Paul) had been persecuting Christians and suddenly had a personal encounter with Jesus (Acts 9:10-14). Although Saul had been sincere, Saul was admittedly wrong (Acts 23: 1,26:9). Saul was acting according to the law of Moses and out a sincere zeal for his religion but he was sincerely wrong.
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. (Acts 9:1-5)
Parenthetically speaking, I cannot help but to wonder how many True believers and followers of Christ have been figuratively, emotionally, and spiritually stoned to death by contemporary sincere religious folks on the altar of religious zeal. (Proverbs 19:2) But that is a discussion for another day.
What does it mean to kick against the pricks?”
A large number of people during Saul’s lifetime were tillers of the soil. Oxen were used to work the soil. The prick or goad, as it is sometimes called, was a common devise used by farmers to control or direct their oxen as they plowed in the fields. The prick was usually a wooden shaft with a sharpen pointed spike (prick) at one end. The man working the ox would position the goad in such a way as to exert influence and control over the ox. If the ox refused the command of the farmer, the goad would be used to jab or prick the ox. Sometimes the ox would refuse this incentive by kicking out at the prick. As a result, the prick would be driven deeper into the flesh of the rebellious animal. The more the animal rebelled, the more the animal suffered. Hence, the statement to Saul: “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” (Saul was rebelling against God.)
God possesses total authority and control over His creation (Job 23:13, Matt. 28:18). God therefore, has the right to “boss” man. God has given man commandments to be obeyed (Exodus 20:2-17, 1 John 5:3). However, man may choose to disobey God (Josh. 24: 15). And when man disobeys, man pays. “The way of transgressors is hard.,” wrote Solomon (Prov. 13:15). God and man are comparable to the farmer and the ox situation. When we disobey God, we hurt ourselves. When we continue to disobey and rebel, we are like the ox – driving the prick in deeper and deeper, hurting ourselves in rebelling against authority! Beloved, when will we learn? Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him (John 14:21, Heb. 5: 8-9).
Mankind continues to rebel against God and His commandments in various ways, failing to realize that they are kicking against the pricks and driving eternal condemnation and suffering deeper and deeper into their flesh and ultimately into their souls. (Galatians 6:8)
Their rebellion takes on many forms. Here are just a few that I have identified:
- Prosperity Gospels opposes God’s Word that says Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth (Matt. 6:19-21).
- Legalized Same Sex Intercourse and Socially Sanctioned Premarital Sex opposes God Word that says Wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men (Leviticus 18:22, 1Cor. 6:9)
- Ordaining Women as Pastors opposes God’s divine order that says That the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God…do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man (1 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Tim 2:12).
- The fabricated “Prayer of Salvation” that doesn’t exist the Bible opposes God’s instructions to sinners to believe, repent, be baptized into water in the name of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit that will give evidence of himself through the speaking in tongues (Acts 2:38, Acts 10:44-46).
- Changing the Holy Sabbath to Sunday when God – Who does not change and Who Commands are immutable – has not changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday but habitually worshipped and did good works on the Sabbath as an example for us to follow (Mark 3:4, Luke 4:16, Luke 14:1-6 ).
- Denominationalism opposes God for the Holy Scriptures say that there should be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.(1 Corinthians 1:10).
- Catholicism opposes God for it practices the veneration of Mary, the saints, angels and religious statues and images when Christ and His apostles did not (Colossians 2:18).
In Summary, many rebellious folks have the appearance of godliness but deny God’s authority to rule in their lives. They deny His plan of salvation and tell Him how they want to be saved. They arrogantly deny His authority to establish gender roles in His Church thus they pervert the gender roles in their own churches. They theologically dismiss God’s immutable Eternal Commandments in favor of their own idolatrous and demonic doctrines. They brazenly excuse, justify and celebrate sexual immorality and homosexuality to the extent of legalizing sin and criticizing those who oppose their filthiness.
They are kicking against the pricks. They are opposing the God who is eternal and all-powerful and who is Holy and unchanging. They are rebelling against the One True God who holds their eternal judgment in His hands. They are ultimately destroying themselves by opposing the Creator of the Destroyer who will destroy them and wreak havoc upon their souls. (Isaiah 54:16, Matthew 10:28)
It is an insanity that I cannot understand – why someone would resist eternal life. I cannot understand the reason why someone would resist and deny themselves the washing away of their sins through water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. I cannot understand how someone can say that they are followers of Christ yet will not follow his example of obedience in baptism (Matt 3:13-15) I cannot wrap my mind around the madness – the self indulging psychosis that possesses a woman to want to have sexual intercourse with another woman or a man to want to have sex with another man or a woman becoming adamant about stepping into a role ordained by God for men.
When will we learn that we cannot change God? God is Holy. It is we who must repent and seek God’s forgiving mercy. We must be transformed. We must be born-again (John 3:1-7).
There are many more examples, subtle and flamboyant, of how the contemporary Christian Church has rebelled against God, They only hurt themselves and those who follow in their pernicious ways (2 Peter 2:2).
Hear me when I say, you will only bloody yourself trying to kick against God’s Word of Authority.
It is hard to kick against the pricks.