Stubbornness is unyielding refusal to change one’s mind or course of action.
In the Bible this word described rebellion against God and His Word. It can describe the gluttonous and disobedient son who rebels at his father’s command (Dt 21:18-21; 9:27). It can also be a complete rejection of God in turning to “iniquity and idolatry” (Judges2:19; I Sam 15:23). The self-willed woman who refuses to abide in the house with her husband is “stubborn” (Prov 7:11).
A person who hears the word of God and obstinately refuses to accept and obey it is stubborn, usually prompted by pride as in the case of Pharoah in Egypt. He hardened his heart, refusing to let the people of Israel go (Ex 13:15). He finally yielded after the passover angel killed his son. Preacher Keeble used to say some people are so stubborn they have to get hot and fighting mad before they finally study their Bible and admit they are wrong – just like the old blacksmith had to get the iron red-hot in the fire before he could shape it with his hammer on the anvil!
When Jesus set His face sternly toward Jerusalem knowing He would be crucified there, He was unyielding, stubbornly resolved to obey God (Lk 9:51). We must also be stubbornly submissive to God’s truth, “standing your ground” for truth as a good soldier (Eph 6:10-18). Courageous Stephen was fixed in purpose. He and other martyrs refused to deny their stand and commitment to truth.