God's Chastenings Part 2

  1. V. God’s chastenings/punishments are never excessive (JOB 34:23) and are measured out according to His perfect judgment. JER 30:11; 21:14.

    1. Considering His holiness is such that one bite of forbidden fruit merited death and separation from Himself (GEN 2:17) and a date with the lake of fire, we should be most thankful that He even bothers to chasten us.

      1. In fact, if He were to punish us to within one millimeter of hellfire for even a “little” sin, He could not be faulted.

      2. Unless you understand His utter purity and holiness, this will make no sense to you. HAB 1:13; JOB 15:15.

      3. He is not obliged to show offenders mercy at all, for if He were thus obliged, it would not be an act of mercy (Forbearance and compassion shown by one person to another who is in his power and who has no claim to receive kindness; kind and compassionate treatment in a case where severity is merited or expected).

        1. We owed God everything. He owed us nothing.

        2. Our saving reward is according to grace, not debt. ROM 4:4.

      4. But He knows our frame and deals pitifully with us. PSA 78:38-39; 103:13-14.

      5. Truly, He punishes us less than our sins require. JOB 11:6; EZR 9:13.

      6. The experience of Job teaches us our place and our patience. JOB 42:1-6; JAM 5:10-11.

      7. Appropriate prayers: PSA 38:1; JER 10:24

    2. He punishes men for their own sins, not those of another. PRO 5:22; EZE 18:20.

      1. The one exception to this purchased our redemption. 2CO 5:21.

      2. Sometimes the righteous are dragged along in a punishment, but not destroyed. God knows how to distinguish between them. NUM 26:65; REV 2:20-24.

    3. He punishes according to one’s knowledge. LUK 12:47-48.

    4. He judges according to circumstances and ability. MAR 14:8; 2CO 8:12; JAM 3:1.

      1. He is reasonable in His burdens. ct/w MAT 23:4.

      2. One saint may be chastened for the same lack of duty for which another is not chastened. The difference: circumstances and abilities.

      3. This is a comfort to those who are legitimately restrained from fulfilling their regular duties for God.

      4. The same cannot be said for those who have ability but don’t use it for invalid reasons. LUK 14:18 c/w MAT 25:24-26.

        1. NOTE: Genuine fear should not forbid duty; how much less false fear?

        2. “Those will justly lose their comfort in real fears that excuse themselves in sin with pretended fears.” (Matthew Henry)

    5. He holds N.T. believers to a higher standard than Israel of old. HEB 2:1-3; 10:28-29; 12:25.

  2. VI. Our tendency is to stray from God in favor of a foolish independence. ISA 53:6; 1PE 2:25.

    1. We may even tend to conclude that our decision to go from God was a wise one, and circumstances seem to tell us that. JON 1:3.

    2. Our demand for better than what God has provided us may even be met. PSA 78:27-29.

    3. God may during our prosperous straying warn us but we hear not. JER 22:21.

    4. He may stymie us to prevent disaster. HOS 2:6-7.

    5. He may up the pressure to help us get the message. AMO 4:9.

    6. Dulled by current forbearance, we falsely conclude destruction will not come. JER 8:7; ECC 8:11; ROM 2:5-6.

    7. But it shall come if we outrun a space of repentance (2CH 36:16) and the lesson will be harsher than was necessary to reform us. 2CH 33:10-13; PSA 78:34.

    8. God will withdraw from us until we are humbled enough to acknowledge our error and His justice. HOS 5:15.

    9. The wise will heed the first afflictions when going astray instead of listening to their lusts and misinterpreting God’s forbearance. PSA 119:67.

    10. NOTE: Do not con yourself into thinking, “I know I will sting for it, but it’s worth it.” No man hardens himself against God and prospers in such a barter. JOB 9:4.

      1. You may assume that your intended sin is “minor” so God will deal easily with you. But this assumes too much. Every sin is worthy of death and hell. ROM 6:23.

      2. Sins of ignorance may be afforded leniency but presumptous sins otherwise. NUM 15:27-30; HEB 10:26-27.

      3. Remember Ananias and Sapphira. ACT 5:1-11

    11. Neither default to vain thoughts like, “But I am one of God’s elect, so what does it matter? If He slays me for what I’m doing, I’ll be in heaven.”

      1. You may be deluded. Genuine believers are zealous of good works, not just zealous about liberty and heaven. TIT 2:11-14.

      2. Faith without works is dead. JAM 2:20.

      3. The first work is always repentance. HEB 6:1.

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