Also read about the importance of not criticizing, complaining or being divisive withing the church body … and … when and how it’s right to disagree.
Job 27 & 28
To Spank or Not to Spank?
What is your source of truth?
“Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.”
As with other areas of thought, psychologists say one thing and God’s Word says another. We must each answer the question, “What is your source of truth?”
That was God’s question to Adam and Eve.
God had said, “Don’t eat the fruit for if you do you will surely die.” Then Satan came along and said, “You will not surely die, but you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The passage goes on to say that their eyes were opened and they saw that “they were naked.” God’s question to them was, “Who told you that you were naked?” In other words, what or who is your source of truth?
Of course, we must remember that Scripture is to be interpreted in light of other Scripture. Ephesians 6.4 says, “… do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” We must have the right heart attitude when we discipline our children. God does not want us to discipline our children in a way that would injure them, neither are we to do it in anger.
This passage is talking about “loving” physical discipline used when appropriate. Discipline that hurts enough to make an impression, but not so much as to do bodily harm. It should be done in love, with the best interest of the child in mind, and should include loving instruction in helping the child come to genuine repentance.
The “rod” might be a wooden spoon for a younger child or a small flat paddle for one a little older. Again, something that will sting and bring tears, but not anything that would do real harm.
I’ve heard many of the arguments against spanking. Number one among them is that they will just learn to hit, too. But when discipline is administered lovingly on the backside with a “honey-I-love-you-too-much-to-let-you-go-your-own-way” attitude, even a young child knows the difference between a spanking and hitting in anger.
There are a number of good books on the subject of child discipline from a biblical perspective. I’ll include some links at the bottom.
Today’s Other Readings:
The Secret Things Belong to the LORD
In chapter 28 Job talks about the precious things in life which men will work so hard to dig out of the earth—gold, silver, precious stones. Then in verse 12 he says:
“But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?”
The Bible teaches that the wisdom of God—that is—that measure of wisdom which He gives to men and women must be dug out, too. But there is, also, a wisdom that remains with God.
Verse 13, “Man does not know its value, nor is it found in the land of the living.”
Deuteronomy 29.29 says:
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
God doesn’t always see fit to explain everything He does to us! There are things and truths and reasons which we will not know until we get to heaven, if then. But there are things that we can understand and those things are revealed to us through His Word.
It is our responsibility to read and study the Word and seek to understand. It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to illumine our hearts. So if you struggle to understand something pray and ask Him to open your eyes that you might see wondrous things from His law (Ps. 119.18).
But in the end, if there is something going on in your life that you fail to understand,
trust Him and remember that the secret things belong to Him.
Job concludes this section with:
“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding” (v.28).
We must “trust and obey, trust and obey, trust and obey; there is no other way,” as the old hymn says.
Lord, give us a hunger and thirst for Your Word. And as we read, study and meditate on Your truths open the eyes of our hearts that we may behold wonderful things from Your law. As we encounter those circumstances in our lives which make no sense to us and we are tempted to think, “It’s not fair—You are withholding something good from me or allowing something that I don’t deserve and don’t want,” help us to trust in You and Your character. In Jesus name … amen.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an “It’s Not Fair!” attitude, I would highly recommend a book entitled It’s Not Fair!: Finding Hope When Times Are Tough
by Wayne Mack. It will help you understand the character of God. And the more we know Him, the easier it is to trust Him.
The Lord Reigns!
“The Lord reigns …” (v. 1). Have you ever thought about what that means? One definition of the word “reign” says, “the fact of being the dominant or controlling power or factor in something.” In the case of God, He is the dominant and controlling power in everything!
Another definition says, “to be the main or most noticeable feature of a situation, place, or period of time.” Again when we extend that definition to God, He is the main and most noticeable feature of every situation, place and period of time. He is evident in creation (Rom. 1). His is the hand guiding everything. Time and history are counted based on the life of His Son. “History” is “His-Story.” He was the Creator and He will be the One to Whom every knee will someday bow. It’s all about Him! The Lord reigns!
Whining, Complaining, Criticizing, and Being Divisive
“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple” (vv. 17-18).
Paul warned us that if we find ourselves in the company of those who complain and criticize, and through their words or actions bring division in the church, we need to “avoid them.” If you hang out with whiners and complainers and those who always look at the negative, it won’t be long before you are thinking and acting like them.
“Do not be deceived. ‘Evil company corrupts good habits’” (1 Cor. 15.33).
And when their whining, complaining, criticizing, or any other behavior brings division, it’s even more dangerous. Titus 3.10-11 says:
“If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them” (NLT).
If we find ourselves around someone who is critical or divisive, we must lovingly encourage them to pray and trust God, and when appropriate suggest they address their concerns with leadership. But if they continue we must have nothing else to do with them and we certainly don’t want to be one of them!
Note: While it is important to understand these truths about divisiveness, there are times when we must lovingly disagree (Gal. 2.11), but we need to do so biblically. First, we need to pray and study the Word for ourselves. We need to be sure that our concerns are not over preference issues, but are genuinely doctrinal.
Even then, we aren’t to gossip or merely complain and criticize. We need to sit down with our leaders and discuss the issues lovingly and respectfully.
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