Proverbs 3: 11 & 12
11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor detest His correction;
12 For whom the LORD loves He corrects,Just as a father, the son in whom he delights.
The online dictionary defines chasten as: 1. To correct by punishment or reproof; take to task, 2. To restrain or subdue, 3. To rid of excess; refine or purify. This goes along with the Bible verses in the book of Malachi 3: 2 & 3 that we looked at in the last post. Those verses say that Christ will be “like a refiner’s fire, and like launderers’ soap.” They speak of the way that silver is thrown into a fire to be melted down in a heat that is high enough to melt the silver away from the dross (other material in the raw stone). Here is verse 3 again, for it speaks for itself:
3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;He will purify the sons of Levi, (and us too…)
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the LORD
An offering in righteousness.
Last month, in verse 30 of Chapter 1 of Proverbs, we discussed how people often “got ticked” (angry, mad) when God “spanks” them, though He says that He disciplines all those that He loves, just as a parent will discipline a child that they love so that the child will learn the right things to do in this life (ways of righteousness). The verses in Hebrews that I posted there, I will post here, so you don’t have to hunt for them and because, in God’s words, they cover the points made in today’s Proverb verses:
Hebrews 12:5-11 (NIV)
5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
This past weekend, I endured one of those spankings, and it WAS NOT PLEASANT, but hopefully, it will help me remember to THINK before I SPEAK next time, for that is one area where the Lord still has a lot of work to do in my life. I am so glad that He counts me as His child and loves me enough to discipline me to make me better.
Not only did I have to endure the spanking, but afterwords, He also spoke words of comfort to me and words of forgiveness and to be forgiving through a book I’ve been reading called “Dawn of Liberty” by Michael Phillips. This is the fourth book in a series I would HIGHLY recommend to people who like to read excellent Christian “fiction” (but that is packed with the truth of God and His word). These books, also called the Secret of the Rose Series, have everything… Romance, suspense, mystery, intrigue, AND are packed with Christian truths as the characters learn about themselves and God that begins in Germany in the 1930’s and goes through the 1990’s.
It would be too long, to try to put the few pages that I “happened” to be reading RIGHT when I needed to hear a word from God, but they were talking about a child and father that had major issues, and about God’s discipline in their lives that would lead them to forgiveness and back into a loving relationship, and the subject was exactly what today’s proverbs were about… Funny how the Lord works things out to make them become REAL in our lives.