2016-01-24 - Habakkuk
God's Instrument of Discipline
The godless people used by the Lord are the Babylonians. In order to accomplish His will, God first must make this nation a world power. We see constant examples, throughout scripture, where God uses nations and individuals who are not following Him, to accomplish His purposes. Can you think of an example of this you have seen in your own life?
Thee were those among Israel and Judah, who denied the possibility of God acting in this way. “After all God is a loving God. He intends that all will be saved, right?”
“They have spoken falsely of the Lord and have said, ‘He will do nothing; no disaster will come upon us, nor shall we see sword or famine.
They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 5:12; 6:14 ESV).
But this denial is simply self-deceit. The idea that God will not chastise His own, is the epitome of arrogance. This is true, whether one is talking about Israel and Judah …
“The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the earth, swooping down like the eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand, a hard-faced nation who shall not respect the old or show mercy to the young.
Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts: “Because you have spoken this word, behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them. Behold, I am bringing against you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, declares the Lord. It is an enduring nation; it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say. Their quiver is like an open tomb; they are all mighty warriors. They shall eat up your harvest and your food; they shall eat up your sons and your daughters; they shall eat up your flocks and your herds; they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees; your fortified cities in which you trust they shall beat down with the sword.”” (Deuteronomy 28:49–50; Jeremiah 5:14–17 ESV).
“In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:4–11 ESV).
To be continued.
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.
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CFD | January 2016
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