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Proverbs 29:1, He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
"Hardeneth his neck."
What an apt description of rebellion.
The Hebrew word that is translated hardeneth is the word qashah, kaw-shaw'.
It means to be dense or tough or severe, to be cruel, to be fierce, to make grievous, to make stiff when limber or flexible is called for.
The word neck is from the Hebrew word 'oreph, o-ref'; which means the nape or back of the neck (as declining); hence the back generally.
This phrase then talks about a stiff neck.
A neck that is fixed to the back and not willing to allow turning.
It is a neck that fights to keep the eyes fixed on its own way.
It is hard and unable to flex toward that which God commands.
It is a neck incapable of repentance which requires turning from one's own way towards God's way.
Qashah, (kaw-shaw') the word for hardeneth is used in the book of Genesis when Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.
It was used in describing the cruel bondage of the children of Israel in Egypt.
The same word is used when God said he hardened Pharaoh's heart and when the Lord God hardened the spirit and made obstinate the heart of Sihon, king of Heshbon.
It is used in Deut. 10:16, when the children of Israel are told to: Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
It is translated "sore upon us" when the men of Ashdod recognized the danger of keeping the ark of God.
It is used to describe the fierceness of the men of Judah and the grievousness of the yoke of Solomon that Jereboam wanted lifted by Rehoboam.
It is the same word that tells us that hard necks are necks that do not believe in the Lord God.
We read in: 2 Kings 17:14, Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.
2 Chronicles 36:11-13, Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD. And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel.
So then, a neck that is hard in not available for repentance.
It will not engage in repentance because it is too stiff to turn.
It is fixed! But God gives necks the ability to turn if the heart is subject to reproof.
God's people should not despise God's chastening, for it leads to healing.
Reproof is the lubricant, reproof is the balm that God intends to be used to turn the neck toward him.
Reproof is designed to lead to repentance but without repentance there is no hope.
The Lord says in Proverbs 1:23, Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
And in James 1:17, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
This verse tells us that God does not turn.
God does not err and need to turn because turning presumes that correction is taking place, but God needs no correction.
His direction is always correct and needs no adjustment.
We are the ones that need to turn and reproof is God's call for us to turn.
If a person is open to reproof or correction there is hope.
His neck is capable of turning.
His neck is not stiff and hardened.
But in our proverb we are told that repeatedly closing the door of correction, repeatedly being hardened against reproof, ushers in destruction.
The neck becomes fixed in its hardness and its stiffness.
It becomes impossible to turn.
God, the great physician, has no cure, no healing, for a chronic stiff neck.
What would you do with a car that would not turn. A horse that would not respond to the reins, whose neck would not turn?
A car's direction, traveling at 65MPH needs constant correction in order to stay on the highway.
A car that will not turn is not only useless, it is dangerous.
A horse that stiffens his neck and does not turn, guided by the reins, is of no use.
Destruction for both the car and the horse is assured.
God cannot be blamed for the sudden destruction.
God cannot be blamed that there is no remedy, no cure, for hardened necks.
It is a matter of your will.
He has made you a sovereign individual and if you will not turn he has no remedy, he has no medicine, he has no cure for you.
If you will to be stiff-necked, God will not overrule your will but his command to us is found in:
2 Chronicles 30:8, Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.
Get your will in line -
be ye not stiff-necked,
turn toward God
Yield, enter, serve.
or the other option, continue with a hardened neck and upon the word of God you can be assured that sudden destruction will come.