“Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.” – Proverbs 29:1
For so many reasons, our human nature seeks to rebel and to continue being so stubborn. We should really ask ourselves these questions: Are we stubborn and rebellious? Do we get pleased everytime we break rules? Do we ignore instructions and corrections? Do we loathe people who don’t mind their own business?
As we reflect in these questions, we can never deny the fact that we are really rebellious and stubborn. We like to dance with distortment and chaos because it is what our sinful nature wants us to do. We always love to dwell with our sinfulness and we always love to feed our sinful nature.
God on the other hand is holy and righteous. He doesn’t tolerate sins, so that is why He will really rebuke us and will really discipline us every time we sin. He is gracious and merciful; He is loving, existentially good and great but most of the time we forget that He is also just and holy. God is not a two-faced god that tolerates evilness, but He will bring destruction to the people who continue sinning because He is just.
Today’s verse is one of the frightening warnings from God. He used the word ‘remain’ for us to see the difference between change and remaining. God did not say that “whoever is stiff-necked” but He said, “whoever remains stiff-necked” which means that He is referring to the people who already heard and tasted the Gospel but remains sinful.
Indeed, we can never stop sinning for we are sinful by nature but we can depart from our sinful nature through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That is why God used the word ‘remain’ so we can understand that we, people, who already know what Jesus did on the cross for us should not remain stiff-necked. We should listen to the rebukes of God and to the warnings of God.
This verse will totally remind us how stubborn and rebellious we are. We might think that we are doing well because we have a nice church, we have a great teacher who disciples us or that we are always reading some reflections on the internet. To be honest, we must instead be more vigilant! Because even if we have a nice church, a great teacher or that we read the Scriptures everyday, we are still in danger of falling down.
Even Judas who betrayed Jesus fell down. He had the best Teacher, he had the best Preacher, he had the best Discipler but still he remained stiff-necked. This is the danger of not completely submitting to the will of God. If we cannot fully submit to the will and control of God, part of our sinful nature will always crawl back to bring us back to our sinful cycle.
Therefore, let us not remain stiff-necked to the rebukes of God and harden our hearts everytime people will try to remind us what we should do and not do. For God will really destroy us without remedy. Again, God is not being unfair. He is a Holy and Just God. He doesn’t tolerate sins and He really hates sin so it is just very right for Him to destroy us.
However, He is still gracious for He said in this verse that “after many rebukes” which means that He will really give us many rebukes. He is very loving, that is why He will rebuke us many times through different people around us. Yet, everytime we reject this rebuke and harden our hearts, we will really be destroyed.
Again, God said in this verse ‘remain’ that means a constant action without any transition. As Christians, as people who truly believe in the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, there should really be a transition from darkness to light. So, we should not be that person who is remaining stiff-necked, instead we should be the people who walk in love.
But then if we can reflect on this and still notice that our life is still rebellious and stubborn, then we should really be alarmed and remember that maybe we are too busy in joining the bandwagon without truly assessing ourselves if we already have submitted everything to God. This verse is our reminder and a warning. Let us repent and change our ways now. God doesn’t tolerate sins that is why He sent His Son to the world to save us, so let us therefore accept His free gift and change our ways.
Let us submit to the will of God and live our lives just like how Christ lived His. Let us become people who will not just remain sinful but people who will really have the greatest transformation– from darkness to light.
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