Proverbs 3:12

Proverbs 3:12 - because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.

Proverbs 3:12 | NIV | Other Versions | Context

Brief

I googled the word ‘discipline’, and out came this – the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience. Using punishment to correct disobedience. It’s a training. Are you disciplined? Do you discipline yourselves? Do you follow any rules of codes of behaviours actively, in which you train yourself by using punishment to correct disobedience? Well, and I thought that project re-Ver(sing) Verses was a disciplined act. Not really, because I don’t punish myself if I miss a day of study. It takes a big person to be truly self-disciplined. Throughout the Bible, we see many instances of God disciplining his people. Indeed, there are also many verses that explicitly tell us that God disciplines. In this study we will examine the disciplinarian in the Lord, and more importantly, why does he bother to discipline us.

Analysis

because the Lord disciplines – in the prior verse the writer implores ‘the son’, or his readers, not to despise the Lord’s discipline or resent his rebuke [Prov 3:11], and in this verse, he offers a reason. Now, why is discipline and rebuke hateful? It is, isn’t it? Nobody in his right mind would enjoy being punished – No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it [Heb 12:11|Article]. Right from the very beginning, when the Lord banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and cursed Cain for his murder of Abel, he was already disciplining us. Perhaps he wouldn’t have had to discipline if mankind hadn’t sinned. But we did.

those he loves – there, the reason. He disciplines because he loves. He bothers to because he loves. When God disciplines us, he does it out of loving kindness – nothing is taken away from his love for us. And because he loves us, we can know for sure that his discipline for us – no matter how cruel it seems, is for our good and not our bad – Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty [Job 5:17]. Even if it seems like we will never get out of it, deliverance will come, because God loves us. Instead of rejecting his discipline, or running away from his rebuke, we need to learn to accept and bear the discipline of God in repentance as well.

as a father the son he delights in –  in Hebrews 12 the idea of a father disciplining his son was brought up, albeit in harsher tones and more realistic settings – If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. A father will discipline his son. Or rather, a responsible father ought to discipline his sons. Today, many fathers fail to, and even in the Bible we see examples like Samuel, who was praised and excellent in every way except for the disciplining of his sons. This father-son analogy is perhaps very appropriate. Would you bother trying to punish the child of a stranger if he gets into a fight in the streets? Yeah, maybe you will give a scolding or two, but would you be grounding him, making him do chores at home, forcing him to apologise to whoever he has hurt, and prohibit him from watching all that action anime for a month? No, even if you can, you wouldn’t, because it’s simply not your responsibility; it is none of your business. And not all fathers discipline their sons. Some simply don’t care. Some discipline the eldest but allow the youngest to do whatever they want.

While mortal fathers often have limitations that vary, God is not restricted by humanly limitations. He loves us as his children, and therefore he will definitely discipline us. His discipline is not a sign of his cruelty or his lack of concern for us, but rather,not the contrary, his discipline is completely out of love and out of the desire to give us the very best.

And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you
because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. [Heb 12:5-8]

Conclusion

It may at times be hard to identify what is God’s discipline, because he does appear in front of us and discipline us personally. Many times, it is through others that we are disciplined. Often, we see it as consequences of our actions, and we don’t even think about God. We probably ought to, because God allowed for it to happen, and he will discipline us for he loves us and wants the best for us. Sometimes it may seem as if we will never be able to fully atone for what we’ve done; or that the consequences of our mistakes are too heavy to bear, but in times like those remember – God loves us as a father loves his child. God disciplines us as a Father disciplines his child. Hence, let us turn to God, hope in God, hand on, and come out of it a better person.

God bless,
Z.

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