What does it mean to be stiff-necked?
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Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
The punishment of individuals for sin is not carried out in this life. There are exceptions in Scripture which serve as examples. Death itself is the punishment for all and every sin. Nations receive collective retribution (Israel is a witness to this) but individuals generally do not.
Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
Job 21:7 Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power? 8 Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes. 9 Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. 10 Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf. 11 They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. 12 They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. 13 They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.
Death comes with a relative suddenness upon both the righteous and the wicked for we do not know the day of our death.
Ecclesiastes 8:8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.
Ecclesiastes 9:12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
The wicked die without hope for there is no forgiveness available for their sin is they have not sought it in this life. The righteous (who have taken heed of reproof and sought forgiveness) die in the hope of resurrection at the appointed time.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
Delayed retribution for sin is intended to give us the opportunity to repent.
Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
While we have life we have the opportunity to hear the reproof of God in the scriptures and to repent and live as he commands us.
Ecclesiastes 9:4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
Asaph explains that the righteous can envy the prosperity of the wicked but need to remember that the day is coming when the wicked will be no more.
Psalms 73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. 3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. 5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. 6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. 7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. 8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. 9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. 10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. 11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? 12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. 13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. 14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. 15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. 16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. 18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. 19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. 20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.
For the wicked who die before the return of Christ the day of their death is the day of destruction. For those which are alive when Christ returns judgement will come suddenly without prior warning.
Proverbs 6:15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.
Proverbs 24:22 For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?
Psalms 37:22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
Psalms 37:38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
Jesus likens his return to the days of Noah and the flood and the days of Lot and the destruction of Sodom.
Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
The day of judgement will assuredly come but no one knows when, nor can it be worked out from scripture. The exhortation is that we must watch; for it will come suddenly and unexpectedly.
Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
Mark 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
I hope you have found this helpful.