Friday, May 04, 2007

Wisdom: From Our Father

My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
-Proverbs 3:11-12

What on earth does this mean to Christians today? In my home congregation, the music director was fond of saying to the day school students “God’s gonna get ya!” when he saw them doing something wrong.

So, is this what the Proverb is saying? When you do bad things, God will cause bad things to happen to you? If that is the case, why do evil people seem to prosper? There is an important distinction to be made in the explanation of this Proverb. What is the difference between punishment and discipline? Between divine retribution and fatherly reproof? This is what the Proverb is presenting us with. There is a huge difference between the divine boogey man who is “gonna get ya” and the loving Father who desires to lead his beloved son in the ways of right living.

And this is where the Gospel is in theis Proverb. It would be easy to focus in on the Law. God will reprove, He will discipline according to His Holy Law. For those whom He loves, who have been called according to His purposes, there is no condemnation in that reproof. There is love abounding in that Fatherly discipline. We are children in whom our Father delights. We are children through Christ Jesus and His work for us on the cross. For this reason, we who are children, do not despise our dear Father for loving us. It is in His love for us that we find our love for Him. All good things, including Fatherly reproof and discipline, come from God.
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OUR FATHER, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever.
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