Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 29:1 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing. 2 When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan. 3 He who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth. 4 By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down.
Stiff Neck Remedy
Today Solomon takes a look at some commonalities between a wicked person and a wicked Nation.
First let’s consider the individual that is prideful… thats what the metaphor of having a stiff neck indicates. He is set in looking at life the way he wants to in his heart and will not turn his head towards the truth. You know when you stiffen your neck or any joint in your body and you hold it tight as heavy stress is placed against it… there is a possibility of injury.
And the thing is… truth will not back down. It presses down hard against every lie and every worldly promise of satisfaction. It eventually breaks every person who holds a stiff neck because truth always persevere and is always proved right. We see it individually here on earth in the course of our life as we follow false pursuits and if we keep a stiff neck we will see it on judgment day and on into eternity.
So just as wickedness brings pain and brokenness to individuals it also breaks Nations. We see it over and over through recorded history in the Bible with Nations like Egypt and so many of the evil Nations they encountered in their wilderness travels and not only them but all along the way Israel also experienced much neck trouble when they stiffened their neck to the ways of God. Even students of modern history look back and see these same consistencies among contemporary nations who have turned away from God and embraced self serving ways. Solomon says how when the wicked are calling the shots for a whole Nation it causes the people to groan.
And you know what?… real bodily neck trouble can cause a person to really groan... Am I saying truth? If you’re like me you know the answer to that. Ive had lots of neck problems in my life.; first as a young boy and then again and again many times. You may know how hard it is to find the right spot to hold your head and you have to wear a brace especially when you lay down and you can hardly drive because you have to move your whole body to look to the right or the left. Just as it is with an individual... A nations neck begins to stiffen its a sign that lots of groaning is in their future.
In closing lets look at what Solomon goes on to say about an individual and nations both in regards to those without a stiff neck to God: 3 He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,… 4 By justice a king builds up the land,…
So… then there are some who have a neck that is not fixed in cement to go their own way… Instead, they hear God’s word, turn away from wickedness and trust in God…
(turning from sin is called repentance and trusting God is faith). That’s cool right?
Even in Solomon's day one can see how wickedness and trusting in self brings brokenness beyond healing and looking away from the promises of sin and to God with faith brings salvation.
We see the Gospel in the Old Testament over and over.
As for the individual... Solomon says how if his son loves this kind of wisdom it makes his father; or himself... glad…
Receiving the Gospel makes our Father in heaven glad as well.
As for a nation that trusts God… they give truth its place of honor and therefore justice… Solomon says how this does not break the nation beyond healing but rather builds up the land.