The Chastening of the Lord
11My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD;
1. Chastening: discipline, chastening, correction
a. The term refers to a type of correction that leads to education.
b. Used in Lev.26:18 – “punish”. But note the PURPOSE of the punishment:
• Vs.19 – Break the pride of your power
• Vs.20 – Demonstrate the vanity of trusting in your own strength—the vanity of independence from God.
• Vs.23 – To reform our ways—correct us—straighten us out…
c. Deut.8:1-5 – The wilderness experience was a 40 year period of chastening—as a Father does with his son.
• Vs. 2 – chastening is designed to humble man; and prove to us what we are like.
• It is a teaching tool…
• Vs. 3 – the chastening was designed to teach man that He needs God’s Word more than earthly goods…
• Vs. 5 – They were to know and consider in their hearts, the significance of the fact that Jehovah was disciplining them! (Do you know that? Do we consider it? Life is God’s university.)
• When the 40 years of chastisement were over, God wanted them to CONSIDER what had happened. Ponder what God did… that they might learn the lesson and not forget it!
• A loving father will chasten his son his whole life through. (Not endless spankings—but endless lessons to be learned…)
• God chastens us to keep us humble… to keep us obedient (vs. 2c) and to teach us our need for Him and His word.
• These are lessons we will never stop learning and relearning in this life.
2.) There are several illustrations of this truth in the Bible:
a. God is a Husbandman who prunes His vine branches (John 15)
b. God is a Father who corrects His sons
c. God is a Potter who removes the lumps from the clay
d. God is a Refiner who seeks to remove the dross from the metal
e. God is a Builder who has to cut, chip away at, and polish the stones He uses in the building.
3. Lessons from the illustrations. They all teach similar truths.
a. We all have need of endless correction… none are sinless.
b. God is the Teacher…Craftsman… we have a good Teacher.
c. God’s purpose is to change us and improve us—not hurt us.
d. The chastisement DOES hurt… but it is good for us. (Ps. 39:10-11)
e. The work will never be finished in this life.
4. Despise – refuse; reject; resist; it does not refer to a passive, inner “hatred”… but rather implies an active resistance.
a. It makes no spiritual sense to resist God working in us.
b. He is changing us—and making us more like Himself.
c. It is silly for the branch to resist the work of the Husbandman—His purpose is to make the branch MORE fruitful!
d. It is silly for the clay to resist the Potter. He is transforming a useless piece of clay into a masterpiece of craftsmanship that displays the glory of the Craftsman!
e. It is silly for the gold to resist the Refiner. The Refiner is purifying the gold… removing the dirt and dross… making it more valuable.
f. Yet, we DO resist.
• We get mad when things don’t go our way—when we should rejoice, knowing that the trial of your faith worketh patience!
• We get frustrated at our failures and foibles, when we should rejoice—realizing that when we recognize our weakness, then are we strong!
• God sometimes sends health problems, poverty, rejection, and failure our way so that we will lean on HIM—and not on our own understanding and strength.
• These trials and difficulties are often the chastening of the Lord… to humble us… keep us dependent… strong.
• And dare we resist?
5. Solomon exhorts his son (and us!) NOT to resist the work God wants to do in his life.
a. Jer.2: 30 – that was the problem in Judah. God was chastening them, but they refused to respond! (Cf. Jer.5:3; 7:28; 17:23)
b. Judah’s behavior is a warning to us. She refused the chastisement of the Lord—and the result was the Babylon captivity! 70 years in exile!
c. One way or another, God knows how to MAKE us respond to Him. If we refuse to respond to the lesser forms of chastisement, He knows how to heat up the oven.
Neither be weary of his correction:
1. Be weary: abhor, weary, loath, distressed, vex, grieved
a. The term refers to a deep emotional reaction issuing in a repulsion of the object.
b. The word is used to describe God’s feelings toward the ungodliness among the Canaanites… and to describe His feelings toward idolatry.
c. Num. 21:5 – It was used to describe Israel’s feelings towards the prolonged feeding upon the manna. They loathed it! They were tired of it… sick of it… They didn’t want it any more.
d. That seems to be the meaning of the term in Prov. 3: 11.
• We are warned NOT to grow sick and tired of the Lord’s chastening.
• We should expect it the rest of our lives.
• Trials and troubles CAN seem to linger on an on… difficulties and disappointments and discouragements never seem to end…
• We CAN even begin to hate it… loath chastening.
• But isn’t that the way children behave? They loath the punishment they receive.
• Rarely does a child really appreciate being chastened by his parents.
• Too often they complain, murmur, chafe, resist, and hate it.
• Thus, they are not learning the lesson… and may need to experience the chastening for a LONGER period of time… or more severe discipline.
• Rather than loath it, we should see it as an example of the love of God. He is reminding us that we belong to Him! He chastens out of love.
2. Job began to FAINT at God’s chastening. (Job 6:1-10)
a. He began a morbid brooding over his situation… dwelt upon it.
b. Even so much he wanted to die. (He was not the only godly man who ever had such thoughts! So did Elijah!)
c. Job became weary of His chastening.
d. David too became weary of God’s chastening. (Ps. 38:1-8)
e. Perhaps you have been there too. It is GOOD to be brought low by the Lord. It is DANGEROUS to brood over it… or to REFUSE to be comforted, like Rachel … and like Asaph (Ps. 77:2)
3. Solomon tells his son neither to RESIST the chastening of the Lord… nor to RESENT it. Instead, he should learn to appreciate it.
12For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
1. In verse 12, Solomon gives his son the REASON why he should not resist but appreciate the chastening of the Lord: it is a sign that the Lord loves you!
a. Can’t you just envision this father telling this to his son.
b. No doubt Solomon wanted his son to realize that whatever chastening he received from him was an expression of love too!
2. When a father corrects his son, it is for the GOOD of his son… and an expression of the father’s love.
a. The same is true of a coach. A good coach will constantly be pointing out picky little things that his players are doing wrong… that need to change. But he does so for their good and the good of the team!
b. A good piano teacher will be constantly correcting a student…
c. The student, or athlete or son who understands this… and responds positively is going to excel.
d. It is never easy to be criticized or corrected. But it is a mark of wisdom to be mature enough to take it.
e. Solomon is REASONING with his son. He wants his son to respond properly to the correction of the Lord. Knowing WHY God chastens will make a positive response easier.
3. You young children—it is hard to be chastened by your parents, isn’t it. But did you know that it is just as hard for your parents to receive correction from the Lord?
a. Even when you grow up and are no longer under the authority of your parents, chastening never ends… correction never ends.
b. Solomon wanted his son to know that. But now, it is no longer DAD who is doing the chastening. It now comes directly from the Lord!
4. We need to know that chastening is GOOD for us.
a. Heb.12:10 – for our profit… that we might again be a partaker of his holiness!
b. Heb.12:11 – Afterward, it yields fruit… and fruit results in joy. (Like the husbandman pruning and bringing forth much fruit!)
c. Heb.12:12-14 – If God chastens, benefit from it! Don’t grow weary of it… discouraged… but say THANK YOU LORD and get on in your pursuit of good things!
d. Prov. 3: 13 – HAPPY is the man that finds wisdom—even this wisdom!
e. Solomon wanted his son to learn what the Psalmist learned…that it is GOOD to be afflicted by the Lord!
• Psalm 119:67 –to become obedient to His Word!
• Psalm 119:71 – to learn His statutes more deeply!
• Psalm 119:75 – learn of God’s faithfulness to us!