“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him.” Hebrews 12:5
Suggested Further Reading: Deuteronomy 8:1-6
What son is there whom the Father chasteneth not? You ministers of God who preach the gospel, is there amongst your ranks one son whom his Father chastens not? Unanimously they reply, “We all have been chastened.” You holy prophets who testified God’s word with the Holy Ghost from heaven, is there one amongst your number whom God chastened not? Abraham, Daniel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Malachi, answer; and unanimously cry, “There is not one among us whom the Father chasteneth not.” You kings, you chosen ones, you Davids and you Solomons, is there one in your high and lofty ranks who has escaped chastisement? Answer David! Were you not obliged to cross the brook Kedron in the darkness? Answer Hezekiah! Did you not spread the letter before the Lord? Answer Jehoshaphat! Did you not have the cross when the ships were broken that were sent to Tarshish for gold? Oh starry host above, translated out of the reach of the trials of this world, is there one amongst you whom the Father chastened not? Not one; there is not one in heaven whose back was unscarred by the chastening rod, if he attained to the age when he needed it. The infant alone escapes, flying at once from his mother’s breast to heaven. There is one whom I will ask, the Son of God, the Son par excellence, the chief of all the family. Son of God Incarnate, did you escape the rod? Son without sin, were you a Son without punishment? Were you chastised? Hark! The hosts of earth and heaven reply—the church militant and triumphant answer: “The chastisement of our peace was even upon him; he suffered; he bore the cross; he endured the curse as well as any of us; yea, more, he endured ten thousand-fold more chastisement than any of us can by any possibility endure.”
For meditation: Christians have different gifts and different callings, but this is something shared by all. How do you react when God disciplines you? Does the experience leave you dismissive, discouraged or (as God intends) disciplined?
Sermon no. 48 28 October (1855)