Friday, October 17, 2014

Understanding the chastening the of the Lord

who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.         1 Peter 2:24

We've been studying the finished work of healing as of late. In the last article I revealed the truth that God doesn't teach us with sickness. Some will renounce this because we read about the chastening of the Lord in God's Word. 

So what is the chastening of the Lord? Is it God placing destruction in our path to get our attention? Is it God place obstructions to success in our life to make us change? Is it tragic circumstances? Just how does God chasten us? Let's examine the Scriptures.

 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?He said,

“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,

    and don’t give up when he corrects you.

For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
    and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?  For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. Hebrews 12:5-11
First, lets define the word chasten. The original Greek word Paideia is defined as tutorage, that is education or training, by implication disciplinary correction. So the word simply means to train or instruct. Some may think well, training or teaching is accomplished by affliction or illness or tragic circumstances.

From instruction to affliction is a huge leap! Nowhere does the word imply anything remotely close to affliction or destruction. The problem is we read into a word in Scripture what we reason it should mean. When we do this we lose the true intent of a word and form ideas and philosophies apart from the Scripture. 

When Jesus, the Word made flesh, walked the Earth why do we not see Him "chastening" Israel with plagues or famine? Many of the religious leadership were steeped in self effort and proclaiming their traditions over the Word of God. It is true that many times Jesus taught the Law in its purest form. Absolute perfection that no man could ever achieve. Yet Jesus rebuked the teachers of the Law. Why? Because they through traditions watered down the obligations of the Law. The made the Law something any Jew could achieve with the right offering and effort. So with all this rebellion to God's intent to show men the need of a Savior why didn't Jesus visit famine and pestilence on Israel? 

To understand the chastening of the Lord we must first understand that character of God. He is good all the time. He is a good Father. 
The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him. Nahum 1:7
God is always good. So if He is good He is not sending evil to correct you. Nowhere in Scripture is it recorded where God sent sickness to His people to train them. In the Old Covenant God had no intercessor no one to mediate between God and man. The price had not been paid yet. So when Israel broke the Covenant the Lord had no other choice but to remove His protecting hand. In the New Covenant Jesus is our mediator and great High Priest. He also bore all the penalty of our sins. So bad days and disasters are not the result of "God getting you". 

If you read the passage in Hebrews 12 it states clearly how God instructs. It states as Earthly fathers disciplined or corrected us in the flesh (the rod, or loss of privileges) God, the Father of our spirits disciplines us in spirit. How so? With His Word! 
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
His Word coming forth through the ministry gifts, by daily devotions, and by the Spirit leading us into all truth brings about the correction we all need to grow. 

We need not accept sickness, or tragic circumstances as signs God is mad at us. We need not think God is trying to get our attention through illness or financial hardships. When we miss it or are not walking according to our true righteous nature He will quicken us with His Word to get us on the right track. It's never accomplished though condemnation or feelings that we are lost forever. It is not brought about by evil or tragic life events. We can trust in Him fully. He is forever good.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I pray the Lord bless you and keep you. I trust this has blessed you. I pray you consider sharing this with others. 

photo by David Castillo Dominici/courtesy of

No comments: