Is God spanking you?

If God is disciplining you it is a sign that He loves you.

October 17

I have heard Israel saying, 'You disciplined me severely, but I deserved it. I was like a calf that needed to be trained for the yoke and plow. Turn me again to you and restore me, for you alone are the LORD my God.’

Jeremiah 31:18

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Is God spanking you?

The nation of Israel had been conquered and much of the population taken into exile. God allowed this for a purpose; He was training His people to follow Him and Him alone. The people had been guilty of idol worship and were following any pagan practice that appealed to them. God had warned continuously that if they did not stop that He was going to drive them from the land. God used the Babylonians, a fierce and vicious people to fulfill this warning.

Today’s verse is a prophesy of a time when the nation of Israel will turn away from the idols that they have been worshipping and turn back to God. They will acknowledge that God had to discipline them so that they would be trained to follow God. Throughout much of today’s reading are the prophesies about the punishment that God inflicted upon Babylon. How can we tell the difference between God’s discipline and His punishment?

As with most things about God, it is a matter of the heart. The nation of Israel knew the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They had just taken their eyes off of Him and turned them to worthless, lifeless idols. The Babylonians did not know God, nor did they desire to. The Babylonians were a proud and arrogant people. God disciplines His children and punishes those that will not turn back to Him.

There will probably be times in all of our lives when we are being disobedient or rebellious against God. If we are, we will feel God’s hand heavy upon us. It is at times like that, that we might feel that God is punishing us. Punishment is the act of inflicting pain as a result of some offense. Discipline is the act of inflicting pain for the purpose of correction. Scripture is quite clear; God punishes those who will not turn to Him and disciplines those who will.

When we feel God’s hand heavy upon us we need to turn to Him and ask Him to reveal where we may be disobedient or rebellious. We need to ask God to reveal to us how He is trying to train us to follow Him more closely. If God is disciplining you it is a sign that He loves you. Allow His discipline to draw you closer to Him. We cannot fight God’s discipline; but must embrace it as the training that we need so that we can be more like His Son Jesus.

God doesn’t want to discipline us. He would much rather we never wander from the path that He desires us to walk. But we like sheep have gone astray. We will wander, and God will correct us. Welcome His correction and respond quickly to it. Jesus, help us to respond more quickly to Your staff so that You don’t need to use the rod.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:
Read: Jeremiah 30:1-31:26; 1 Timothy 2:1-15; Psalm 87:1-7; Proverbs 25:18-19

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