Suddenly he turned and walked straight at the fence, bouncing off and then standing there in what looked like turkey consternation. He tried again, this time harder, but still couldn't get through. So he took a few steps east and tried again. And again. Then he backtracked further west and practically ran at the fence, only to be flung backwards like a vertical trampoline, reeling and flapping his wings, the only things that kept him from landing on his turkey fanny.
First, a little education for city slickers. Turkeys hate to fly. In fact, only a relatively short fence, far shorter than ours in fact, will keep them penned up successfully. They will keep walking around it looking for an opening instead of flying over it. Pretty much imminent danger, abject terror, or a real need for food are the only things that will make them fly, hence those nice tender turkey wings we love, I suppose. So our visitor never even tried to get over the fence, he just kept trying to get through it, again and again and again.
Have you ever known someone who just wouldn't learn the lessons of life and had to get knocked down again and again and again, like someone trying to bull his way through a solid wall? Have you ever seen a person push back at God, though time and time again God tried to wake him up? I have, and it is ever more frustrating to see someone find every excuse in the book for not listening. He is no better than that turkey trying to walk through a fence over and over and over. It isn't even new.
Then the LORD said, “I have pardoned, according to your word. But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD, none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers (Num 14:20-23)
Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return. (Jer 8:5)
This evil people…refuse to hear my words [and] stubbornly follow their own... (Jer 13:10)
They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their necks…(Neh 9:17)
But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. (Zech 7:11)
Not a flattering picture, and especially sobering when you realize that those are pictures of God's people over several centuries. In other words, it happens all the time even to those who have seen God's power and goodness and "steadfast love," that covenant term which they thought as little of as garbage. That means we, in yet another century, do it, too.
And just as happened to them so it will to us if we follow their example: He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing. (Prov 29:1)
In today's slang we have a word for a fool and a loser, which is what you are when you are told again and again and still don't get it: a turkey. From what I saw the other morning, it is an apt term.
Thus says the LORD to me, “Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it around your waist, and do not dip it in water.” So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the LORD, and put it around my waist. And the word of the LORD came to me a second time, “Take the loincloth that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.” So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me. And after many days the LORD said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the loincloth was spoiled; it was good for nothing. Then the word of the LORD came to me: “Thus says the LORD: Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. (Jer 13:1-10)