Exhortation

Chastisement in the Life of the Believer

June 27, 2014

In a previous post on patience, I mentioned how God allows trials and tribulations to come into the lives of believers to produce patience in them. But one of the key things that I didn’t directly cover in that post was the fact that not only will bad things come into believer’s lives to produce patience, but also that bad things will come into their lives as discipline, or correction for sin. And really the first thing that the Christian needs to do when bad things come their way is to examine themselves, and ask the Lord to show them any unrepented sin in their lives.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
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?
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Hebrews 12:5-11

He says in verse 6, every son, and in verse 8, that all are partakers. All Christians will be be corrected by the Lord.

Why?

Because Christians still have the old sin nature, and they still sin, and God hates sin, and he wants his children to be holy, to be clean from sin, so he chastises them when they sin.

Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.
Deuteronomy 8:5

I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
II Samuel 7:14

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Proverbs 3:11-12

So Christians need to be ever conscious and always examining their own lives to see if sin is present, and to repent of it. And again, they shouldn’t be angry or upset with the Lord when correction comes their way. He is the believer’s father and he is teaching his children to do right.

But I want to move on and show you something that grabbed my heart when the Lord showed it to me.

And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.
II Kings 20:13

The Lord had just healed Hezekiah of a fatal disease, and sent these men to test Hezekiah. Unfortunately, Hezekiah sinned by pridefully showing them all the riches and goods that God had given him.

And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD.
Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.
II Kings 20:16-17

Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzibah.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
II Kings 21:1-2

Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his father Manasseh did.
II Kings 21:19-20

Josiah was the next King, and did good. and God postponed the judgement in his days.

Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.
II Kings 23:31-32

Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.
II Kings 23:36-37

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother’s name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done.
II Kings 24:8-9

Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.
II Kings 24:18-19

And so God gave them chance after chance after chance. He showed them mercy upon mercy, and finally, he passed judgment upon his people.

And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem:
And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man’s house burnt he with fire.
And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.
II Kings 25:8-10

Bad, bad things happened to them. But this statement cut my heart.

If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you.
Jeremiah 42:10

God is so merciful. Here he was talking to the few people that were left in Judah right after Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed Jerusalem and carried Judah off to Babylon. He said “I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you.” Now there is no mention of this remnant of people actually turning back to the Lord and repenting of their sin, but still, God’s love was so strong for his people, that he offered them mercy anyway.

I thank God for second chances. In my own life, I spent the first 11 years of my life as a Christian in failure, sin, and lack of knowledge. God disciplined me for that.

My back began to hurt when I was in high school, and to this day I still have a back problem. Right after college, God allowed me to spend four months with barely enough food to live on, and in despair because I couldn’t find a job. I lost at least 20 pounds during this time of my life.

And yet, just as he showed mercy to his people then, he showed mercy to me, and gave me a job, even before I turned back to him. And now that I have turned back to him, and committed my life to him, he has allowed me to serve him, and what a tremendous blessing it has been!

This is God’s heart toward his people, and how awesome it is!

What about you? Do you know him as your personal savior? If not, please read this…

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