Deuteronomy 8:5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.
One of the most difficult experience a child of God will ever experience is chastisement. I remember when I was a boy, if I do something foolish or if I fail to do my duty at home that he requires, I would face the consequences. During that time that I am undergoing correction and punishment, I felt pain, resentment, and tears flowed in my eyes. Looking back now, I understand that my father is doing that for a purpose: to make me a better man. Have he not done it, I wonder where would I be. The same way, if we do not obey the Lord, He will chastise or punish us. Today we are going to take a look on the scriptural teaching about Chastisement
A. My American Heritage Talking Dictionary defines Chastening as : to correct by punishment or reproof
B. The Hebrew word translated “chasten” (Pr. 22:15) is translated “discipline” (Job 36:10), “doctrine” (Jer. 10:8), “instruction” (Pr. 8:33), and “rebuke” (Hos 5:2).
C. The Greek word for chasten, paideia, is translated “learned” (Acts 7:22), “taught” (Ac 22:3), “instruct” (2Tim. 2:25), “nurture” (Eph. 6:4), “punish” (Luk. 23:16), and “teach” (Tit. 2:12). Thus the Bible doctrine of chastening incorporates the entire realm of child training-instructing and guiding in the right way and correcting the erring one. (Way of Life Encyclopaedia by David Cloud)
To fully explain to you about this topic, I would use as , the Life of Samson as an example. For me, he was the “superman” in the Bible. He killed a lion with his bare hands, killed thirty Philistines who had plotted against him, killed thousands of his enemies using a jawbone of an ass, and destroyed the city gates of Gaza.
But just as Superman was vulnerable to Kryptonite, Samson has a weakness. When it comes to women, his super strength fades away. He was not defeated by strong army or special group of men, but by the wiles of a deceitful and sensuous woman.
II. God’s purpose in Chastening
A. God wants us to repent. 2 Corinthians 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
By having a sexual encounter to a harlot (Judges 16:1) and then living in sin with Delilah (Judges 16:4). His Nazarite vow was broken. He was tricked by Delilah. His enemies cut his hair, took his eyes or blinded him, (vs. 21), bound him with fetters of brass, and made him grind in the prison house. In his pitiful state, he repented, his hair grow again. Note that his hair was only an outward symbol of his inward commitment to God. Samson’s superhuman strength was not because of his long hair but in the presence of the Almighty God in his life (v. 20).
B. He wants to restore our fellowship to Him. 1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and
heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our
fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
It was written that Samson judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years (Judges 15:20). I would say that he probably ruled righteously and by faith (Heb. 11:32-34). During this time, he was in fellowship with the Lord. The fellowship however was broken in the events in early Chapter 16. However, the fellowship was restored in v. 22 up in the same chapter.
C. God wants us to be humble. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 And lest I should be exalted above
measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in
the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above
measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And
he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in
weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power
of Christ may rest upon me.
The real cause of Samson’s physical power is God and God alone. Not in himself nor on his hair. His previous victories against his enemies made him believe in himself and to see himself only (Judges 15:14-17). God allowed Samson’s enemies to overpower him and defeat him so he would learn that without the all-powerful God, he is nothing. This is a clear picture of chastisement, correction, discipline, and instruction. In tragic and painful times he learned this. To teach us to depend on Him, God sometimes removes our “source of strength” like money, influence, health, possessions, etc., suddenly and without a warning. Like what He did to Samson.
D. God wants to make us better servants. 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved
brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
In his lonely, sad, and exhausting stay in the prison, God’s grace begins to shine. His hair started growing, his strength slowly increased, above all his renewed fellowship with the God of Israel became more intimate. Humbled and completely dependent on God his thoughts and heart now
only belongs to God. The rest of the story, most of you if not all knew the final ending. He slew more Philistines at his death more than they which he slew in his life (v. 30).
Samson just like other heroes of the Bible such as King David, King Hezekiah, etc.,
committed mistake, sinned, punished, repented and back to fellowship with the
Lord. Are you being chastised also? Get back to the LORD, call upon Him. He is
waiting for you. For those who are not yet saved, repent and received Christ as your
personal Saviour. Tomorrow may be too late.