Question: What does "kick against the pricks" mean?

    Answer: The question is probable referring to Acts 9:5 or 26:14. Saul (later called Paul) had been persecuting Christians (Acts 9: 13,14). Even though Saul had been sincere, Saul was wrong (Acts 23: 1,26:9). Saul was acting according to the law of Moses, but this system had been abrogated (2 Cor. 3). Hence, Saul had no authority for his actions.

    A large percentage of people in the first century were tillers of the soil. Oxen were used to work the soil. The prick or goad was a necessary devise. The prick was usually a wooden shaft with a 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. You see, if the ox refused the command indicated by 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 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 (see Matt. 28: 18). God therefore, has the right to "boss" man. God has given man commandments to be obeyed (IJohn 5:3). However, man may elect to disobey God (Josh. 24: 15). When man disobeys, however, man pays. "The way of transgressors is hard," wrote Solomon (Prov. 13: 20). God/man is analogous to the farmer/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 (Heb. 5: 8,9).

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