“Till There Was No Remedy”
By: Brian A. Yeager
There are those people who harden their necks so much that truth cannot penetrate their hearts. When this occurs, destruction is the end result for that individual. Sadly, there is no way to remedy a hardened heart and the destruction that comes because of that hardened heart. Solomon states these facts for us in this verse: “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1).
Why does this happen? Why do people become hardened and stiffnecked? When we look to the Scriptures we find these are choices that people make. Notice what God had Jeremiah write about these things: “Thus said the LORD unto me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem; And say unto them, Hear ye the word of the LORD, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates: Thus saith the LORD; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction” (Jeremiah 17:19-23).
From the pen of Jeremiah we learned that people choose to make their necks stiff and they choose not to hear the word of God. When this occurs, these are individuals who have closed their hearts to the word of God (Deuteronomy 10:16 an Acts 7:51). Since the word of God has to have a fertile heart to work in (Luke 8:11-15), there is no way to teach someone who has a covered heart. Sadly, we see this all around us. Yet, this problem is not just new to our generation. In fact, there are many times we can read about people who covered their hearts so that the word of God could not penetrate. We are going to examine one particular context in which we find covered hearts left no remedy for God’s people.
In The Days Of Zedekiah
“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. Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years” (II Chronicles 36:11-21).
The text that you just read teaches us every part of what I wanted to get into this article. We see the stiff neck coupled with the hardened heart and the punishment of God when there was no remedy to save His people. This is what we all have to pay close attention to. God is not going to just keep giving us more and more space for repentance (Revelation 2:20-23). There is a point wherein God gives us up (Romans 1:18-32).
When Ephraim was joined unto idols, God did not keep trying to reach through to them (Hosea 4:17). When the Pharisees erred in making their own laws and rejecting correction, the Lord said to let them alone (Matthew 15:1-14). When Paul and Barnabas preached in Antioch (in Pisidia) they left alone those who rejected the truth (Acts 13:14-51). God is clear that there is a time wherein there is no remedy for those who have hardened their hearts against the truth. We never want to become one who allows ourselves to be without remedy in the sight of God. Thus, let’s learn a lesson from the days of Zedekiah (cf. I Corinthians 10:1-11) so that we do not repeat the mistakes. After realizing that lesson, let’s have the mindset to always be willing to be corrected if need be.
Avoiding Being Without Remedy Through Having A Willing Mind Toward Correction
No one likes to be wrong. Yet, when there is a time wherein one of us might be wrong we have to be willing to be corrected. The word of God says: “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish” (Proverbs 12:1). We know we have the Scriptures, in part, for correction (II Timothy 3:15-17). We should never reach a point wherein we begin despising correction that we receive from the word of the Lord (Proverbs 3:11). When a person reaches a point wherein they hate correction, that person will die spiritually (Proverbs 15:10).
We do not want to refuse the Lord and reach a point of no remedy. That should be clear from all that we’ve studied thus far. Therefore, please consider these Scriptures as our conclusion: “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices” (Proverbs 1:24-31).
Volume 12 – Issue 2 - October 2nd, 2011