Sunday, September 21, 2008

God's chastening, part 1 of 3

The bible is clear that God will chasten His children.
Hebrews 12:5
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:

Lets look at the definition of
chasten as it pertains to the Word:

1) the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body
2) whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, esp. by correcting mistakes and curbing passions.
a) instruction which aims at increasing virtue
b) chastisement, chastening, (of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment)

WOW! That's a lot more than what we commonly think when we consider chastening, isn't it? Lets go further into this verse to the phrase "...
when thou art rebuked ..."

1) to convict, refute, confute
a) generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted
b) by conviction to bring to the light, to expose

2) to find fault with, correct
a) by word

1) to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove

2) to call to account, show one his fault, demand an explanation
b) by deed

1) to chasten, to punish

How does God do this?
I believe He uses His Word, for one. I also believe he allows us to suffer consequences from our sin. If we are not in His will, then we are possibly in sin, are we not? If we do not keep our word to someone because we think we have a better idea for a situation, we are bound to suffer the consequences of not keeping our Word. The bible says we reap what we sow! Lets go further into this passage to verse 6:

6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Lets examine "...
he chasteneth ...":

1) to train children
a) to be instructed or taught or learn
b) to cause one to learn

2) to chastise
a) to chastise or castigate with words, to correct

1) of those who are moulding the character of others by reproof and admonition
b) of God

1) to chasten by the affliction of evils and calamities
c) to chastise with blows, to scourge

1) of a father punishing his son
2) of a judge ordering one to be scourged

From here we can gather that God will chastise with either words (be it from a loved one, or from His Word), or actions- 'by the affliction of evils and calamities'. Being chastised from anyone never feels good, so lets not fool ourselves in thinking that evils or calamities will not fall upon us. I do however believe that God can bring upon good during chastisement. This leads to my continual thought: "What is God trying to show me (or teach me) through this situation?". Food for thought!

What about "...
every ..."? Oh this is a good one. I often see the mindset that unless you are suffering from some type of persecution or calamity all the time, you are not a "good Christian", but this verse appears to dispel that mindset. Lets look:

1) individually
a) each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything
2) collectively
a) some of all types

side note: "... 'The whole world is gone after him.' Did all the world go after
Christ? 'Then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in Jordan.' Was all
Judea, or all Jerusalem baptized in Jordan? 'Ye are of God, little children',
and 'the whole world lieth in the wicked one.' Does 'the whole world' there mean
everybody? If so, how was it, then, that there were some who were 'of God?' The
words 'world' and 'all' are used in some seven or eight senses in Scripture; and
it is very rarely that 'all' means all persons, taken individually. The words
are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of all sorts—some
Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted his redemption
to either Jew or Gentile." (Charles H. Spurgeon, Particular Redemption, A
Sermon, 28 Feb 1858).

Okay we're learning here! Lets go deeper ... "... son ..."- this was a LONG definition, so I'm going to put the first part here and if you want to read the rest, go on to the page, okay?

1) a son
a) rarely used for the young of animals
b) generally used of the offspring of men
c) in a restricted sense, the male offspring (one born by a father and of a mother)
d) in a wider sense, a descendant, one of the posterity of any one,
1) the children of Israel
2) sons of Abraham
e)) used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower
1) a pupil

Does this mean that God only chastises men? No, women are not excluded from God's chastisement. I know when the Lord first started dealing with me about my role as a wife in our home, I was receiving some rough chastisement, the Lord sure gave me a great big spiritual spanking, and I knew it! Women depend on God just as a man, therefore, women are not exempt from God's chastisement. But looking further, this word also encompasses the following definition:

3) those whose character God, as a loving father, shapes by chastisements (Heb. 12:5-8)
d) those who revere God as their father, the pious worshippers of God, those who in character and life resemble God, those who are governed by the Spirit of God, repose the same calm and joyful trust in God which children do in their parents (Rom. 8:14, Gal. 3:26 ), and hereafter in the blessedness and glory of the life eternal will openly wear this dignity of the sons of God. Term used preeminently of Jesus Christ, as enjoying the supreme love of God, united to him in affectionate intimacy, privy to his saving councils, obedient to the Father's will in all his acts

Lets move on to "...
he receiveth ..."

1) to receive, take up, take upon one's self
2) to admit i.e. not to reject, to accept, receive
a) of a son: to acknowledge as one's own

When we are born again, we are adopted into the family of God:
Romans 8:15
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

The reason we need salvation to begin with is because sin separates us from God, he is a Holy God. When we are born again, a bridge is made between us and Him, and he receives us to himself. We become His, he adopts us. I like to say we become "spiritual Jews" ;o)

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful Bible study Wendy. I sure don't enjoy the chastening part one tiny bit.

    I remember a great teaching I received once about is given for two reasons, to correct or to direct.

    I have received my fair share for both reasons.

    But what we're going through we're growing through!

    Merry Christmas!