"Wait, til your father gets home."
I wonder if anyone says these words anymore.
But those of us that are my age or so sure know what they meant, don't we?
We are in trouble. We did something worthy of punishment and dad, the administer of discipline, would be dishing out the punishment. And it was usually in the form of the belt on the backside.
However this punishment is usually prefaced by, "This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you."
Has any child ever believed that?
I am reminded of this as I read God's word this morning. I am reading from the first chapter of the book of Malachi.
God is telling the Israelites that He loves them and they say, "It doesn't feel like love to us. It feels unfair, it feels mean, it feels like punishment, it feels like discipline."
Ok, that is my paraphrase. But it is basically what they are saying.
And God answers, "I would rather not have to punish you, I love you. And it's because I love you that I am not going to allow you to dishonor Me. You are being really disrespectful and disobedient. I have given you many chances. I have told you over and over, yet you keep doing the same things. I won't put up with it any more." Again my paraphrasing.
Have you ever said similar things to children? Was it because of your love and concern for them? Of course it was!
God loves us. He loves us enough to bring punishment upon us.
If you feel like circumstances in your life are feeling like you are being unfairly or unjustly disciplined, maybe it's just loving discipline. Maybe God is trying to get your attention. Maybe He is waiting and wanting you to make better choices.
In the scripture we do not see God letting them go easy. We do not see Him letting them off. His discipline continues until the people turned from their behavior that did not please the Lord.
And even then the consequences of their sin stuck around for years.
The Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:12 ESV)
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:6 ESV)
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:19 ESV)
So be zealous and repent.