Oft Reproof, Much Hardening

Sunday, September 2, 2018

“He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1 KJV).

Behold, sinfulness intensifies as God’s Word is continuously spurned!

Matthew 14:6-10 says Israel tolerated John’s death (beheading): “But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.”

Mark 15:9-15 declares Israel demanded Jesus’ death (crucifixion): “But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.”

Acts 7:57-60 reports Israel caused Stephen’s death (stoning): “Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

The Jewish people became increasingly opposed to God’s Word to them, hardening their own heart. Indifference—permitting God’s messenger to be killed—ultimately became outright bloodthirstiness—actively participating in the killing of another spokesman! Beware, friend, sin begins “small” but grows exceedingly!