Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Word Study: Discipline and Correction

Proverbs 3:11 - 12: "My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction; For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he
delighteth." (KJV)

The Hebrew word for "chastening" in verse 11 is muwcar (pronounced moo-sawr). It means "chastisement, warning, instruction, discipline, and rebuke" (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance).

In verse 12, the Hebrew word for "correcteth" is yakach (pronounced yaw-kahh) and it means "chasten, correct, rebuke."

My son stood there, arms crossed with a defiant look on his face. "No!" he yelled.

"Excuse me? You don't tell me no," I said sternly.

"No!" he shouted again.

"Get in the corner," I said, trying to maintain my sense of calm.


I picked him up, as he started kicking and screaming, and placed him in the corner. If only he would listen to me and do what I say, life would be easier.

Then God reminded me of the many times I've thrown a tantrum and screamed "No!" Yes, if only I would listen to God and do what He says, then my life would be easier.

I want my children to grow up with a sense of right and wrong. I want them to respect my authority as a parent. I have only the best interests of my children at heart. This is true for God as well. He is our Abba - our Heavenly Father - who knows what is best for us. Yet, there are times I still refuse to listen and go my own way, which only leads to trouble.

Another part of verse 11 may be hard to take - "neither be weary of his correction." In essence, do not despise his correction, ignore it, or complain about it. I like the following explanation:

"...we must not be weary of it, for he knows our frame, both what we need and what we can bear. A fatherly correction comes not from his vindictive justice as a Judge, but his wise affection of a Father."*

His discipline comes from the heart of a parent, not a judge, and for that I am grateful. If his discipline came from the heart of a judge, then I would receive justice - which would be separation from God and mostly likely death. But since his discipline comes from the heart of a parent, then I am shown grace and compassion.

Next time my son throws a tantrum, I'm sure I'll be reminded of God's grace through discipline. I'll also thank him for loving me as his child.

* Matthew Henry's Commentary, copyright 1961 Zondervan


Melyssa said...

Amen (in all respects!)

Robbie Iobst said...

I LOVE this line: "His discipline comes from the heart of a parent, not a judge." Amen! This is really profound. Thank you, Jo. I need to really believe this.

Denise Miller Holmes said...

I wish I could love His correction! Thanks for the lesson, Jo.