At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
Judgments are prepared for scorners,Proverbs 19:29
and stripes for the back of fools.
Scripture does not just teach us particular things, but also what might be called a general outlook. If we pay attention to what the Word says as we read it, we will start to notice certain common patterns or themes. There is a biblical worldview that is shared by all the authors of Scripture, and they share that outlook regardless of what particular issue they may be addressing. Over time, that background set of assumptions starts to settle in the minds of those who are in the Word regularly and who are being “transformed” by the renewal of their minds (Rom. 12:1-2).
For example, we are told in the passage cited above that scorners are having judgments prepared for them, and that fools are having stripes stored up for them. And the great Solomon says this as though it were a good thing. He doesn’t seem to mind it. It seems fitting to him somehow.
But a modern progressive would object to this strongly, because one of the tenets of the progressive faith is that dialog and talk should be able to solve all our problems. Progressive parents try to reason with an obstreperous two-year-old boy. Progressive law enforcement wants to spend a lot of time talking about the root causes of crime. Progressive diplomats want to negotiate with terrorist states. And they all want to do these things because, according to their deeply held vision, violence solves nothing. Force solves nothing.
This collides with what Solomon tells us here. Fools and scorners cannot be reasoned with. They could not follow the argument, and wouldn’t want to even if they could do it. But they can respond to judgments and stripes. That is something they are capable of figuring out. Put another way, according to Scripture, deterrence works. “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil” (Eccl. 8:11, ESV). And flipped around the other way, the absence of deterrence also has an impact on society.
And this means, in its turn, that all those in authority (parents, teachers, magistrates, cops, and so on) need to be prepared for the times when they insist, and enforce that insistence, even though the person who is being forced to behave doesn’t agree. Not only do they not agree, but they don’t believe you have sought strongly enough to persuade them. Like the peasant in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, they think you are oppressing them.