Prayer for the day
God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of the ram’s-horn. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is King of all the earth; sing praises with all your skill. God reigns over the nations; God sits upon his holy throne.
Scripture for the day
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Discipline. It’s not a particularly popular word, yet in the book of Hebrews, discipline is embraced as a beautiful thing, as a gift from our Heavenly Father, who disciplines for the purpose of our betterment, and not simply as an angry father. This discipline, writes the author, comes from love for His creation, and is proof of the love of the Father, who does not simply leave us to the folly of our ways, but disciplines in order that we might learn to turn away from folly and toward the God who creates, saves, reconciles, and yes, disciplines.
This was a hard lesson to learn for the people of God in the First Testament. God continually says that the reason He punishes and disciplines His people is to bring them back, to teach them who He is. The phrase used in Ezekiel is “so that they may know that I am the LORD.”
The discipline of God for the people of Israel, then, is to prove to them that God is who God says He is, that God will do what God says He will do, and that they are to be His people and follow His laws. Discipline is a form of pedagogy, of teaching. The true folly of discipline, then is to fail to heed it.
The one who heeds the discipline of the Lord, we’re told, will harvest righteousness and peace. May your harvest be plentiful!