Monday, May 4, 2009
How does God Discipline?
20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” 21 So David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the LORD. 22 And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.” 23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death. (II Samuel 6:20-23)
In our housechurch gathering yesterday, the question was asked, "How does God discipline His children these days?" There are those churchmen who refute the notion that God uses calamities as a means of disciplining His children. Yet, the plain reading of Scripture points to these events as being, from time-to-time, used by God as an expression of His Fatherly displeasure. In this instance, it was childlessness for Michal, in the case of Miriam it was leprosy (equated by God with spitting in the face), in the case of David it was the death of the child that was the result of David's adultery.
I have heard it said that such events are Old Testament only, and the God of the New Testament does not deal with His people in the same way these days. Yet, God says of Himself, "I am the Lord and I change not." Elsewhere it says of Jesus Christ, that He is the same "yesterday, today and forever."
The Bible is one seamless Word, and the God of the Bible is One Eternal God. God behaves today as He has always behaved, and His Fatherly grace and displeasure is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
So, how does God discipline His children these days? The answer is simple, the same as He has always done. Read the Bible, count the ways God disciplines, and see if there are not those in our churches who are experiencing such rebukes from the Lord. Why does He discipline us in such manner? Because our hearts are hard, and we need severe discipline to be turned towards our Holy, Heavenly Father. When our will is crossed, and the hardness of our hearts is reduced to tears, and we can find no other comfort in earthly things, it is then that we call upon the Name of the Lord with the kind of desperation that God looks for in us; the kind of desperation that will wait upon the good hand of the Lord.