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Responding to God's Discipline

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    Responding to God's Discipline

    [SIZE=18px][FONT=verdana]Deuteronomy 8:2; 9:7 "You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not." "Remember, do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD."

    The living God never gives an unneeded command. The apple of His eye, His covenant people were prone to forget... forget the purposes He had for the wilderness wandering, forget their disobedience and lack of faith that prompted His wrathful discipline. In truth, the various observances, with their procedures and components (such as the elements in the Passover meal), were tools for remembrance, for the teaching of each succeeding generation.

    There is spiritual application here... as we know that a sure sign of sonship is the Father's discipline (Hebrews 12:5, 6), it is inevitable that we who have been born again will have "wilderness" times. Grievous though they are (v. 7), they are meant to (1) serve as proof that we are His, (2) provide a testing of our heart, and (3) produce the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

    During such times, we may lose the sense of His nearness... feel that our praying is unheard... come to wonder if, indeed, we are believers, after all. What is so needed everyday becomes utterly critical in the times of His discipline: perspective. He is moving us from walking by sight to walking by faith... He is widening our willingness to suffer and thank Him at the same time... in short, He is conforming us more and more into the image of His suffering Servant, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Taking God Seriously [/FONT][/SIZE]

    Hey Dr. Mac,

    It's great to see you here! Not sure if you remember me from good ol' Carm. :)

    Thanks for your thoughts on this topic too, something I've been mulling over lately. I'm curious if you see the 'testing' in such contexts in the way that I do, that it's tantamount to God showing us that we're in the right?

    I understand that God, being God, knows the beginning from the end, so His testing wouldn't be with the assumption that He doesn't know before-hand what the result will be. I realize open-theists and others might struggle with that, but I see all the testing in Scripture as being for man's sake, to prove to him that he's seen things correctly, namely that God has done something in his heart so that he can see things aright.

    If you think I'm off-base, please feel free to let me know. I'd love to discuss it as well as the notion of Israel one day returning to the Lord. It'll be a beautiful day. :)

    In Christ,


      The fact that the Church in the desert sinned against God, provoked God to anger in the desert, seems inappropriately dismissed by the OP. The people who sinned didn't just wander in the desert, they were forever banned from the Promised Land. They were not arbitrarily subjected to suffering for self-improvement. The wilderness experience is being barred from the Kingdom of Heaven. Deuteronomy 32:5 "They have acted corruptly toward Him, They are not His children, because of their defect; But are a perverse and crooked generation. "

      The Church itself was disciplined and humbled. The Church should not have tolerated sin among its members (1 Corinthians 5:13). If Moses and Aaron had kicked those sinners out of the church, they would have gotten to go straight to the Promised Land.


        I am one who eagerly yearns for God to teach me and so I love everything he teaches me no matter how small or how big or even how he does it even if it's in his discipline because even in that I learn and I grow in him and I learn more of who he is. I love his rebuke for it teaches me his ways and keeps me on the right path.

          Whatever comes from God for the elect's sakes is good. Whatever comes from God for the non-elect's sakes is also good, for it is all righteous judgement from the righteous Judge, whether it be on Israel or the church.

          The day will come, I know, when the church and Israel will become one church, true, but it hasn't happened yet.

          Punishment is for the non-elect; chastisement is for the elect's sake. One is everlasting, one teaches us and helps us to be more Godly.
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