“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
“It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:5-12
As I was studying the Day of the Lord for my Old Testament Survey class a thought came to mind. When I would do something to get me into trouble, which wasn’t rare, my dad would do the right thing and discipline me. Most of the time this came in the form of a belt, or a soul wrenching stare and convicting voice that said, “Now explain to me why you did this?”. After he would point out what I did wrong, and ask me if I’d rather be grounded or take a whooping. I would regretfully ask, “Well Chance’s dad didn’t get on to him, or Luigi’s mom didn’t get on to him” (I used fictional names to protect the innocent) He would gently refute back that he wasn’t their dad. HE was my dad, and I was HIS son. My eyes are filling with tears as I remember how grateful I am for a dad who loved his son enough to discipline, and correct him. I was also showed a lot of mercy! If you are a born-again Bible believing (OT&NT) Christian then you should be so grateful for God bringing discipline, and correction to His children.
As my dad pointed out that he wasn’t the parental father to my other friends God did the same throughout the OT especially in the books of the Minor Prophets. He knew what His plans were, and those plans were good for His people. God may have been the father to the Assyrians, and Babylonians in the aspect of creating them, but He didn’t make a covenant to be there father. We see this evidenced in the lack of repentance on their part. Though the Lord used them as instruments of mercy to bring His own people back to Himself; the ungodly nations delayed punishment was not the concern of the covenant people of God. Instead they needed to listen to Him, and turn to seek Him for restoration of their hearts, and their land. If we are Gods people then we should not worry about when other people will receive their due punishment even if it is done against us. Will God not take care of His own when harm is rising against them? (Romans 12:19) Will God not watch over the righteous and protect the righteous? (Psalm 32:10) Is He not right in the way He restores His people? (Hebrews 12:5-12) Since He is the best Father He knows how to teach and instruct us in the way we should go. (Psalm 32:8) How will we respond to the Lord when He tells us to go this way, or stop doing something that harms us? Will we turn our heads and pout because we didn’t get what we wanted? Will we be like the Assyrians or Babylonians who refuse to listen Him? Remember even some of the people of Judah and Jerusalem turned their ear to the God appointed prophets when they said, “Seek the Lord and live”. (Amos 5:4)
Keep your eyes ahead not looking to the left or to the right. You may get distracted by people that are not getting what you think they deserve, but what matters is that God calls you His. If He calls you His and not the person who is living it up partying on Instagram or making a fool of themselves on some other social media outlet praise Him for His grace on you despite your depraved mind, and heart of stone. Who’s concern is that in the end? Did the Babylonians answer to Israel or to Yahweh? When God calls us sons and daughters He is calling us to look to Him as Father. Looking to Him is not fussing about others, but in fear understanding “Father knows”. Be grateful today that He is concerned about you. If you are caught in sin, or if your joy seems to be fading because the things of this world distract you from ultimate joy in Him. Don’t pout, but praise Yahweh that He is slow to anger! He is not a father who will remain in frustration because you repented. (Psalm 32:6) He is slow to anger with you.
“Return to theLord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.”(Joel 2:13)
Look on others with the same grace He looks at you with. Pray for the restoration of those not yet His sons and daughters. Do not be envious of them as though your Father doesn’t give you treasures, and satisfaction in Him. Jesus Christ fulfilled what we could not. His life satisfied what ours could not. His blood continues to cleanse us, and if we walk in Him we will look to Him. Gaze upon God, and do not let your ways keep you from following His.
In Him who is able,