BIBLE READING: HEBREWS 12
5 …….My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Some of my strongest memories of fear in my childhood were not tripping accidents, barking dogs, or public embarrassment. My greatest fears always involved knowing when my dad got home that I was going to get a spanking. We did not have “time out” at my house, we had “lights out”. LOL. It really used to inflict the fear of God upon me. There is nothing worse than knowing no matter what you do or how well you behave moving forward, there is a payment due for your actions. No one likes to be chastened. I can recall as a child thinking to myself that I would never spank my child if I became a parent. That sure has changed. I realize now that I love my children too much not to chasten them. If I didn’t care, I would not discipline. Deep down, a child knows that his parents care and love them when they consistently and compassionately chasten their children.
This passage says that we should not despise the chastening that the Lord performs on us when we have strayed, and it says that we should not “faint when thou art rebuked of Him”. Why would we faint?
1. BECAUSE IT HURTS
Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:
2. BECAUSE IT CAN BE CONFUSING
Hebrews 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
“In your minds”. There are times when we don’t agree that we are being chastened, and sometimes don’t fully understand why. We can begin to think God doesn’t love us, or that God is just angry with us, etc. Chastening can be confusing unless we see it for what it is. It’s a sign of God’s love and parenting.
3. BECAUSE IT CONFRONTS OUR PRIDE
Hebrews 12:1 Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
Chastening helps us to understand what sin, or “weight” needs to be eliminated from our lives. Those things that hinder the race that we are to run for the Lord. Our pride does not like being told that we’re wrong, but if you’re like me, I admit that I am wrong a lot.
4. BECAUSE IT REMINDS US WHO IS IN CHARGE
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
“Rather be in subjection unto the Father”. It is a reminder to us to submit. You and I can fight against the chastening if we wish to, but we will only find out after a long, hard, needless struggle that God’s in charge and we are not. If God may be chastening you right now, a little piece of advice, go ahead and submit to Him and get things right with Him. Because “afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby“.