GOD DISCIPLINES US, LIKEWISE PARENTS DISCIPLINE THEIR CHILDREN

The world has moved far from God’s instruction on raising children. God tells us to discipline our children corporeally, yet never without proper instruction of the righteous behaviour we need to exhibit. In much the same way, the Lord disciplines the one He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights (Proverbs 3:12).

Folly is bound within the heart of a child, yet the rod of discipline will drive it from them (Proverbs 22:15). He who withholds the rod hates his son, but the one who disciplines him diligently loves him (Proverbs 13:24).

In Hebrews 12:6 we find the same principle carries through; the Lord disciplines those whom He loves and scourges His own children. The two terms here are synonymous with the examples above from the book of Proverbs, in that the usage of παιδεύω (discipline) and μαστιγόω (scourge) carries both the corporal and instructional component. Again, παιδεύω carries with it the idea that instruction is rooted intrinsically in how to live in a proper manner before God and man. The usage of μαστιγόω here is a bit more violent than most Evangelicals would like, but it literally means to “beat, whip, or flog” physically. In essence then, what the author of Hebrews is telling us is that God will punish our disobedience in rather harsh ways. He will “use the rod” just as the loving father in the book of Proverbs instructs. Like before, it is a “both/and” proposition rather than an “either/or” one. Both components are present and designed to work with an explicitly good purpose in mind, which is that those trained by discipline will experience the harvest of righteousness and peace yielded by and through it at a later time

“For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:10-11

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