10 A rebuke impresses a discerning person
more than a hundred lashes a fool.
11 Evildoers foster rebellion against God;
the messenger of death will be sent against them.
It is never enjoyable to be rebuked, but how does it compare to the lashes of a whip? In the midst of such pains there is often a lesson to be learned; an opportunity which the discerning person embraces. Neither of these people are exempt from pain – though the fool suffers more for his obstinance – the important thing is how they respond to it. Swallow your pride when you are rebuked, find the opportunity and make the most of it. Being teachable will save you a lot of trouble.
“Evildoers foster rebellion against God; the messenger of death will be sent against them.” Though the inherent consequences of evil are a deterrent in their own right, there are even greater consequences for those who persist in their rebellion. The Lord’s dispatch of his messenger is more than an act of punishing evildoers, it also deliverance for their victims. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is an example of this, we must not forget that the Lord’s involvement was in response to the outcry against them and the grievousness of their sin.