Proverbs 3:11-12 – “My son, despise not [do not reject; refuse] the chastening [instruction; correction; discipline; restraint] of the LORD [Self-existent, Eternal God]; neither be weary [abhor; loathe; be grieved] of His correction [reproof; rebuke; punishment]: 12 For whom the LORD loveth He correcteth [reproves; chastens; judges; convicts]; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth [accepts; favors; pleased].”
Lesson: The first characteristic of a spiritually minded man is he accepts the chastening of the Lord (3:11-12).
Solomon teaches his son a lesson every sincere Christian needs to grasp–the LORD our God, like a loving Father, corrects, reproves, judges and chastens His spiritual child like a loving earthly father corrects and disciplines his son or daughter. What a great truth Solomon teaches his son in these verses!
The natural, unregenerate sinner despises correction and resents the authority that would curb his appetite for sin and its temporal pleasures [an example is the prodigal son’s demand for his inheritance and departure from his loving father – Luke 15:11-13].
That is not to say that the chastening and correction of God is pleasant, enjoyable or something we look forward to with glee; however, it is the chastening of the Lord that affirms we are His children and He loves us. The writer of Hebrews taught the same truth in Hebrews 12.
Hebrews 12:6 – “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth [corrects and disciplines], and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth [and cherishes].”
Hebrews 12:11 – “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
No Old Testament saint exemplifies the right attitude toward chastening more than the patriarch Job. Job suffered the loss of everything men treasure in this earthly life. He lost his sons, daughters, property, possessions and health. His wife scorned him and his friends misjudged him; however, Job’s heart turned to God and out of his suffering came some of the most profound truths concerning trials and suffering in the Bible.
Job 5:17-18 – “Behold, happy [fortunate] is the man whom God correcteth [chastens; reproves; corrects]: therefore despise not [reject; have disdain for] thou the chastening of the Almighty: 18 For He maketh sore [wounds], and bindeth up [wraps up; reins in]: He woundeth [smites], and His hands make whole [heals; restores.”
Job 23:10-12 – “But He knoweth [is attentive to] the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold [pure and luminous]. 11 My foot hath held His steps, His way have I kept, and not declined [turned from]. 12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed [treasured in my heart] the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”
The right attitude of a son or daughter to their parent’s discipline and correction is to accept it as an act of love. The right attitude of a child of God toward trials and afflictions is to accept them as a testimony of God’s care for you—He loves you!
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith