At first blush your reaction to this topic might be negative, but follow along as we take a look at Chastisement and see how it really is in the long run a positive action by God on our behalf. Really! You need this information!
Websters 1828 Dictionary Online
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There are many references in the Bible to chastisement, chastening, etc. It is a very important subject for the Christian to understand.
1. What is Chastisement?
According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, to chastise, is “To correct by punishing”. The Christian’s chastening has been referred to as spiritual spankings. There are times when God deems it necessary to correct His children in such a manner to get their attention. In such cases God pulls out a spiritual rod and gives His child a spiritual spanking.
These punishments may come in different forms for different occasions for different people. That is to say God does not always chasten the same way.
God told David that if Solomon were to “commit iniquity” then He would “chasten him with the rod of men” (II Sam. 7:14).
Job 33:19 refers to another type of chastisement saying, “He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:”
In still another case, God told Jeremiah to inform Israel of the following “All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.” Jeremiah 30:14
By definition, chastisement includes “pain inflicted for punishment and correction” (Webster’s 1828). Each of these examples shows an illustration of this definition.
2. Why Does God Chasten?
God chastens us for our own good. Heb. 12:9-10 makes this abundantly clear. He chastens us “for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.”
God does not punish His children because He gets some sadistic pleasure out of it (Lam. 3:31-33). He does it to correct us when we are going astray and to cause us to lead a godly life.
In Psalm 23:4, David said “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” This Psalm is referred to as The Shepherd’s Psalm for obvious reasons (see Psalm 23:1). The picture is a sheep going astray from the fold and away from the shepherd where there is danger. He might fall off a cliff, or get attacked by a wild beast, or encounter some other dangerous situation outside of the shepherd’s watch care. For the sheep’s own good, the shepherd pulls out the rod and directs him back into the fold. This is what God must sometimes do to His own sheep to protect them from the enemy (I Peter 5:8).
As mentioned before, Heb. 12:10 also says that God chastens “that we might be partakers of his holiness.” This truth is compre-hended in the very word chasten; for the root of that word is “chaste”, which is to be pure.
Chastisement may not be pleasant at first, but we are ultimately better off for it. See Heb. 12:11 & Psalm 94:12-13.
3. Who Gets Chastened?
Every born again, child of God receives chastening at some time or another (Hebrews 12:6). It is possible that sometime you will get chastened even when you are not going greatly astray.
God does this to help perfect you and even to bless you more abundantly in the end.
When God allowed the devil to trouble Job, Job was “perfect and upright”; but God did two things for Job with this chastening.
First, He got rid of that last bit of self-righteousness to which Job was clinging (Job 27:6; 35:2; 40:6-8; 42:6); and second, He blessed him twice as much in the end (Job 42:10).
If you are saved, you can also expect to be chastened when you go astray. People that go on and on in their sin with no chastisement are not sons of God (Heb. 12:7-8). If you are a child of God, you will experience chastening. He chastens those He loves, because He loves them (Heb. 12:6a).
4. How to Minimize Chastisement
Let’s face it, even if it’s for our own good, nobody really likes a good whipping. It is clear, that no matter what, we who are saved, will be chastened; but you can minimize the amount of whipping you need by being a good Christian. The less you do wrong, the less God needs to whip you.
Moreover, even when you do wrong, if you catch yourself, you might be able to avoid a spiritual spanking. See I Cor. 11:31-32. The key is to judge yourself guilty before God judges you for your sin. Repent of your wrongdoing and confess it to God as sin. You will not always avoid punishment, but if you do not do so, you will certainly be punished.
In the same context were those who had not confessed their sin, and in such condition, improperly partook of the Lord’s supper. When the Lord’s supper is given in a church service, it is extremely important that you have things right between you and God before partaking.
Those that did not do so in I Cor. 11 paid an awful price. See
I Cor 11:28-29 and then see v. 31-32 again in their context.
I John 1:9 teaches the child of God to confess his sins to the Father in heaven (God). Once you are saved, though it is not necessary to do this to maintain your salvation, it is necessary to do this in order to maintain close fellowship with your heavenly Father.
Beware of those who tell you that once you are saved you don’t need to confess your sins! This is a dangerous practice and a quick way to mess up your fellowship with God and incur unnecessary chastisement. See also Prov. 28:13.
If you would minimize chastisement, own up to your sin and plead with God for His mercy. See Psalm 38:1-8, 18 & Psalm 6:1-2
5. How to Handle Chastisement
Three times the Bible tells us to “despise not” the chastening of the Lord. Let’s look at each of those passages. Job 5:17-18; Prov 3:11-12; Heb. 12:5-6.
In addition, the passage in Job tells us we’re happy when God corrects us; the one in Proverbs tells us not to be weary of His correction; and the one in Hebrews tells us not to faint when we are rebuked of Him.
Since we know in the end chastisement is good for us, we should try to see it through God’s eyes and handle it with an eye toward the blessings to come. Toward the end of the passage about chastisement in Hebrews 12, verses 11-13 make this abundantly clear.
Hebrews 12:7 uses the word “endure” to tell us how we are to deal with chastening. Chastening is to be endured. Watch how James ties this whole thing together in James 5:11, “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”
Speaking to the church at Laodicea in Revelation chapter 3, Jesus said in verse 19, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” One of the Lord’s last messages to the church includes the idea of chastening.
Your chastening may come along with a rebuke. That’s because of the corrective nature of chastisement. This process, as outlined in Rev. 3:19, is properly complete, when the Christian regains his zeal and repents and gets things right.
If the child of God does not properly respond, it may well lead to more chastisement as the Lord continues to try to bring about the desired result of bringing the Christian back into a right relationship with Himself.
Such, chastisement from the Lord can become severe Ps. 118:18
If you don’t respond to that, eventually God might chasten you unto death… Or leave you in a condition where you’ll wish He had.
The fact that sometimes the chastening leads to death was evident in
I Cor. 11:30.
Job 34:31 says, “Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more”. That verse shows the proper response to chastening.
Let the Christian also remember that upon salvation, he became the property of the Lord. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I Cor. 6:19-20 If we defile this temple we incur God’s judgment upon us (I Cor. 3:16-17).
Sometimes it takes chastisement to get our attention. Isaiah 26:16 says, “LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.”
Seek to live so that God has your attention without having to chasten you, but when chastisement comes, respond by drawing close to God and correcting anything that needs correction in your life, and then stay close to Him!
1. According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary,
to chastise is to ________ by _________.
2. According to Heb. 12:10, God chastens
us for what two specific reasons?
3. Who gets chastened?
4. According to Heb. 12:5-7, we are not to
________ the chastening of the Lord, but
rather we are to _________ it.
5. Memorize Hebrews 12:11