He, that being often reproved hardens his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
I. THE TRUE IDEA OF REPROOF. Whatever is calculated in its own nature or relations to arrest the attention of the mind, and call men to see their neglect of duty, or the obligation they owe to God, involves the true idea of reproof.
II. THE WAYS IN WHICH GOD ADMINISTERS REPROOF. God exercises a universal providence. By judgments God ofttimes administers reproof. The Holy Spirit reproves by convincing the sinner of his sins and producing in his mind visitations of remorse.
III. THE DESIGN OF REPROOF. To effect a reformation. He means to secure this end by forbearance. When He finds that will not do, then He uses the rod.
IV. THE MEANING OF HARDENING THE NECK. The figure is that of a bullock working with a yoke upon his neck. The neck becomes callous with the pressure of the yoke. Men are represented as pushing against God's providence, and thus making their necks hard. The conscience of the sinner becomes quite callous under reproof if he does not yield to it.
V. THE MEANING OF BEING SUDDENLY DESTROYED. Opposition and destruction will always go together. The conscience becomes so stupefied that men lose the sense of danger. The danger of men is great, just in proportion as they cease to be affected by a sense of it; when men feel the most secure, if they are living in sin, then destruction is most certain; and when it comes it will be sudden, because they do not expect it at all. This is not arbitrary on the part of God; it is a natural consequence of the sinner's conduct.
( C. G. Finney.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.