Exodus 32:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people…
To be stiff-necked means to be stubborn and self-willed. Rather than humbling themselves before God and obeying His commands, the nation of Israel often walked in willful disobedience. Even as the prophets were warning them of the coming judgment, the people openly resisted their preaching and even mocked them. Jeremiah said that the religious leaders preached “peace, peace – when there is no peace.” (Jer 6:14; 8:11) In other words, they pretended that everything was ok when in reality it wasn’t. Paul tells us that something similar will happen in the last days. “A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear.” (2 Tim 4:3 GW)
Israel’s arrogance angered God. James tells us how we should act whenever we have sinned against the Lord.
James 4:6… God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
In other words – REPENT!
Scripture reveals to us that the nation of Israel had to undergo God’s divine chastening before they would repent. In 722 B.C. the Assyrians invaded the northern kingdom of Israel and carried away many of them into captivity. In 586 B.C. the same thing had to happen to the southern kingdom under the invasion of the Babylonians. Yet this did not have to happen. Israel could have avoided this extreme suffering. Consider Jeremiah’s words of wisdom.
Jeremiah 9:23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
Warren Wiersbe writes in his commentary: “God doesn’t delight in a nation’s learning, political influence, armies, or gross national product. He delights in a people who practice kindness, justice, and righteousness because they know and fear the Lord. God promises covenant blessings to those who obey Him…” 
Many have noted the striking similarity between the ancient nation of Israel and America. There was a time when Americans gladly pledged that we were – ‘One nation under God.’ Even on our currency we inscribed – ‘In God we trust.’ But the godless liberals in this country are doing all that they can to take this important heritage away from us. In their ignorance they are destining us for a day of judgment.
Brethren, we know the truth. We have the Word of God that reveals who God is and how He responds to wicked people. Therefore we must stand strong. We must do as one man said and not – “give up, shut up, or let up until we have stayed up, stored up, and prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ.”(Testimony of a Persecuted Christian from Rwanda)
 (Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) – Old Testament – The Bible Exposition Commentary – The Prophets.)