ORIGIN AND OBJECT OF GOD’S CHASTISEMENT
Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.
When trouble comes our way we are apt to overlook this blessed fact. If we had no chastening we might well inquire whether we are children of God. This passage (5:11) is very explicit: if we are without chastisement we are bastards, not sons. Of course, the ungodly have plenty of trouble, and the way of the transgressor is hard, but the affliction of the unrighteous is not the chastisement of the Father. They are not His sons.
In this day of light and loose and lunatic notions of childrearing, of course discipline does not mean much. But God has not been converted to the new pattern. Verse 9 says, “We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us and we gave them reverence.” Alas, too many fathers have not corrected, and too many children have no reverence for fathers or for God. But the obedient Christian accepts God’s discipline, seeks to learn its lessons, and gains the peaceable fruit of righteousness. God’s purpose is that we might be partakers of His holiness. Surely that is worth all it costs.
But never forget this: God’s chastening originates in His love. Because we are partakers of the Divine nature, His children, He disciplines us in order that we might be partakers of His holiness.