Jehovah-Mekkeh – The Lord Who Strikes (Disciplines) You
Out and about, you will see a variety of parenting styles as you observe moms and dads interact with their offspring.
Sometimes it’s merely humorous. I always laugh when I hear the parent of a wee one who can barely toddle stand at a distance repeatedly insisting that the little child, whose attention has been arrested by some shiny object, “Come here!” One ignored request need only be followed by the action of swooping them up and carrying them along, demonstrating that, “come here!” is non-negotiable.
Other times, it is heartbreaking, such as the time I witnessed a two-year-old being violently slapped and berated for the shocking sin of nose-picking. Screaming, smacking, ignoring dangerous or rude behavior–you will see it all and it makes you shudder.
Every now and then, however, you see the results of proper discipline: a well-behaved child whose missteps are corrected with just a look from an attentive parent. You sense the love and respect between the two. Or maybe you don’t even notice them because they are calm and peaceful—nothing to draw your gaze at all.
Scripture calls God our Father and tells us that He disciplines His children. Discipline involves more than punishment, though we often think only of God’s discipline as punishment and wrath. But it is much more than that.
A good parent begins by teaching what is expected. When you cross the street with a preschooler, you instruct them to look both ways and wait until no cars are coming. You stay with them, holding their hand, and practicing together many times before they are left to judge the safety for themselves. Discipline may include scolding when they start to cross without looking or snatching them back from danger causing upset and tears, but a parent would not teach the child a lesson by standing by and allowing them to be crushed by oncoming traffic if they do not obey the traffic rules.
God has given us His law and shown us His righteous standard. He has given the Holy Spirit to those who accept Him to stay beside us, guiding us and fortifying our self-control. He gives grace, mercy, and forgiveness for failure, but He never stops teaching, correcting, or expecting our best.
Love is the key to discipline. It is not easy to train a child. It would be easier let a kid eat junk food, watch TV, and forget about manners and homework, but in the long run, everyone would be miserable! It is for love that our parents teach and correct us. Discipline does sometimes require punishment– not to satisfy the anger of the parent, but to make obedience a more attractive option for the child’s sake.
Hebrews 12:5-11 reminds us that God’s discipline is a sign of His Big Love and proves that we are His children. It’s not fun at the time, but when you are living a life a peace and blessing, it is well worth it!
What do these verses so you about the nature of God?