Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
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.
In verse 9 God continued to direct the apostle Paul to talk of the importance of chastisement. God tells us here that children still respect their fathers even though their fathers corrected them. God reminds those who are truly Christians that they need to appreciate His chastening. There can be no rebellion toward God from His children. Lost people can rebel, but not those who are truly saved. They need to learn to appreciate the love of God and they have been given life by Him.
In verse 10 we see that fathers chasten their children for earthly benefits. Notice that the chastening is only for a few days. As children grow up and show responsibility, there is less need for chastening. Godly parents look forward to seeing their children live responsibly.
We are hearing more and more in the news of irresponsible young women who go missing. They like to go to the bars and flirt with men and after they are drunk or even slipped something in their drink, they head off with some man or men. They may go missing for some time before they are found. The news will sometimes bring one or both of the parents on to plead for the safety of their child. They will talk of how responsible their daughter is. Some of those daughters have children, but seemingly no husband. However, they are “good people”. I feel sorry for those parents and those young women. That tragedy could all be avoided if the parents were saved and raised their children in a godly manner, and if the children would listen to their parents and be saved. The idea that children need to “sow their wild oats” comes from the devil, not from God. It is a blessing for a young person who does not get into the world and “experience the night life”. It is the rebel who gets into the world who misses out on God’s blessings. The young person who gets saved and serves the Lord receives great blessings.
God looks beyond this life and He chastens His children for that which is eternal. The things of this earth do not last. This earth will be destroyed one day. However, God’s blessings are eternal. When we walk with the Lord as we ought to we can be partakers of His holiness. It is a blessing to be able to place your head on the pillow at night and know that all is well between you and God. There is great joy in knowing there is no sin in the way. There is nothing out of place with you and God.
I John 1 talks of the blessing of fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. That is a great blessing that the world does not know, nor does it understand. The only way to enjoy that close fellowship is when there is no sin in the way. As we have noted in the past, every Christian will sin. God knows that better than we do. God also provides the way for His child to be forgiven when they sin. No true Christian can live in sin. That is why God chastens His children. They cannot continue on in sin. It is contrary to the new nature.
In this present age, many religions have redefined sin. Some talk of “white lies” as compared to more serious lies. That is just a human distinction. It carries no weight with God. Fornication is a common sin today and it is happening among professing Christians and it is acceptable. Adultery is far too common among professing Christians. Many professing Christians think that social drinking is acceptable as well as other forms of drug abuse. God has not changed His mind. There are many professing Christians who will be quite shocked when they die and realize they chose to be deceived. They chose to believe a lie, when in their heart they knew they were not right. They also could see from God’s Word that they were not right. As we have noted before, too many professing Christians are not convinced that God actually means what He says, nor do they believe that we have an accurate account of what God has said.
What those people are saying is that God is a liar. God has told us several times that His Word is pure and He has preserved it.
Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
These are just a couple of examples of many verses that declare that God’s Word is true and trustworthy. The wise person humbly submits to God and believes that He is right and that He has given us His Word. We can know the truth and the truth will make us free. We can have the assurance of salvation when we know God’s forgiveness and walk with Him according to His Word.
In verse 11 we see that God acknowledges that chastening is not pleasant in the moment. God does not take pleasure in chastening His child. He also does not take pleasure in seeing His child sin. He loves His child and He knows that His gift of eternal life gives His child all the tools needed to live righteously. What is needed is for the true child of God to “put on the new man”. God knows everyone of His children will need chastening along the way to help him or her to grow into that new man that He has created them to be in salvation.
Chastening brings shame, and sometimes pain. We do not like to be corrected. We do not want to be told we are wrong. However, for the true child of God, as he or she reflects on God’s chastening and why they were chastened, they come to appreciate God’s care for them.
God says that His chastening will bring about the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them that are exercised thereby.
Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
A wise child will benefit from a father’s chastening. The true child of God will benefit from the chastening of the Lord. It will produce that holiness that is required of God. The true child of God wants God’s blessing and he also can have God’s blessing because God will help him to be able to receive that blessing. That is part of the beauty of being a child of God. He equips His children to be able to meet His holy standard. He provides everything that is needed for His children to be able to know His peace and joy. Sometimes we need to be chastened to get us to see the importance of listening to Him more closely. As we grow in Him we come to see the blessing of listening more quickly than before.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.