Bridges on Proverbs 29:1
 
Charles Bridges on Proverbs 29:1
 
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1.  He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. {He...: Heb. A man of reproofs}
 
THIS is indeed an awful word. The intractable ox, hardening his neck against the yoke,† is but too apt a picture of the stubborn sinner, casting off the restraints of God. This was the uniform complaint against Israel,† a true picture of the mass of the ungodly before our eyes. Conviction follows upon conviction, chastening upon chastening. Still the rebel hardens his neck, stops his ears against the voice of God, and invites his threatened judgments.
Awfully frequent are these instances among the children of godly parents, or the hearers of a faithful minister.† Every means of grace is a solemn, but despised, reproof. Aggravated sin makes the judgment of a righteous God more manifest. The more enlightened the conscience the more hardened the neck. Every beating pulse is rebellion against a God of love.
Sometimes it is more the immediate voice of God. An alarming illness, a dangerous accident, or the death of a companion in wickedness, is “the rod and reproof” intended to “give wisdom.” (Verse 15.) But if the “fool” continue to despise all God’s reproof, his destruction will be sudden,† and without remedy.†
Such was the destruction of the old world, and of the cities of the plain, long hardened against the forbearance of God.† Pharaoh grew more stubborn under the rod, and rushed madly upon his sudden ruin.† Eli’s sons “hearkened not unto the voice of their father, and in one day died both of them.”† Ahab, often reproved, by the godly prophet, hardened his neck, and “the bow, drawn at a venture,” received its commission.† How must Judas have steeled his heart against his Master’s reproof!† Onward he rushed, “that he might go to his own place.”† Truly Divine patience has its end. And this fearful moment once arrived, “the vessels of wrath, endured with much long-suffering,” are now shewn more manifestly, as “fitted for destruction.” (Romans 9:22.) No remedy — not even the Gospel — can remedy the case. As they lived, so they die, so they stand before God — without remedy. No blood — no advocate pleads for them. As they sink into the burning lake, every billow of fire, as it rolls over them, seems to sound — without remedy.
Sinner — Oh! that thou wouldst be wise to consider thy guilt, thy state, thy prospect, while yet “thy judgment and damnation linger”!† Is not “the Spirit of grace” pleading with thine heart? Would he not now save thee wouldst thou but obey his call? Thou art standing upon mercy’s ground, betwixt heaven and hell. O thou God of almighty sovereign grace, shew “a pattern” of thy “long-suffering.” (1 Timothy 1:16.) Let the sinner sing thy everlasting praise, as “a brand plucked out of the fire,” a monument of thine over-abounding grace. (Zechariah 3:2.)