“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?” Hebrews 12:5-7
As God’s children, we will all experience His discipline in our lives. He corrects His own. The Old Testament gives many examples of God’s chastening toward the nation of Israel. What should be our attitude toward God’s correction?
Our text tells us that we are not to “despise” it. We are not to resent it or disregard it. We know that God is just when He corrects us, and His CHASTISEMENT is evidence of His love. The Scripture before us says, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” Our Father God deeply loves His children, and one way that He manifests His love is through correction. When a parent loves a child, he cannot allow that child to go in the wrong direction without correcting and disciplining the son or daughter. Our love will not allow us to ignore the disobedience of our children. We know that a strong will and rebellion will spell out the ruin of those we love; and because of our love, we chastise them.
God is much more loving and wise than we are. He will not permit us to continue to go in our own way without chastening us. Our text uses three words in describing God’s correction. The word “chasteneth” means “disciplinary correction or instruction.” This has to do with teaching and training, which would include correction. To correct means “to make it right, or get something back to where it should be.”
Another word that is used is “rebuked.” A rebuke is a reprimand, reproof, or being told that we are wrong. God rebukes us in correction, sometimes through another person and often through the Word of God. The text also uses the word “scourgeth,” which is a stronger word meaning “to beat or flog.” These words remind us that God’s CHASTISEMENT will become more severe if we do not respond to Him in repentance. It is unwise to ignore His correction.
None of us enjoy being rebuked or corrected, but it is a comforting reminder that we belong to God. He “dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not.”