Knowing firsthand the temptation and seduction of power and wealth, Solomon frequently urged his son to humble his heart and accept instruction and correction. He taught his son that, although reproof causes temporal sorrow, it couldn’t be compared to the sorrow and destiny of those who reject chastisement—death.
Proverbs 15:10 – “Correction [instruction; chastisement] is grievous [bad; distressing; grief; sorrow] unto him that forsaketh [abandons; leave behinds] the way [the way and path of the righteous]: and he that hateth [loathes or abhors] reproof [rebuke; chastisement; correction] shall die [destroyed; lose one’s life].”
If you believe God is Omniscient, Omnipotent and Sovereign, you must also accept that God is providentially working out His will and plan for your life that is both good and for His glory (Romans 8:28-29). That principle being true, you must also believe that God has providentially placed in your life men and women who occupy places of authority and bear the responsibility to teach and correct those in their charge (2 Timothy 4:2). Correction and chastisement is not something we enjoy; however, it is our response to reproof that is critical for our well-being. A self-willed spirit hates correction and its end is sorrow and often premature death (15:10b).
Proverbs 15:11 – “Hell [grave; place of the dead; place of punishment for the lost and reward for the righteous] and destruction [final judgment; eternal punishment in the Lake of fire] are before the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-existing God]: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?”
My love of history and study of ancestry has given cause for me to walk through many cemeteries where I have observed great monuments to the honored dead and unmarked, abandoned graves of those long forgotten by all but God. Though forgotten by man, the eternal souls of the dead are ever before the Lord (15:11a). Hell, rather than a place of “soul annihilation”, is a place of consciousness (Luke 16:20-31).
Proverbs 15:11b reminds us that God is the judge of the thoughts, motives and desires of men. The knowledge of God’s omniscience should stir reverential fear in the heart of all men.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked [perverse; corrupt]: who can know it [understand]? 10 I the LORD search [examine] the heart, I try the reins [lit. kidneys; figurative of the mind], even to give every man according to his ways [road; course of life], and according to the fruit of his doings [acts; works].”