Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Jeremiah 46

When Israel decides to go to Egypt, Egypt becomes the target of God’s attentions. This oracle predicts how God will deal with that nation – how each part of the army will be defeated, how Babylon will come against her, how her complacent citizens will be destroyed.

God’s dealings with Egypt come about partly at least, to discipline and correct Israel and bring her back into a right relationship with Him. For this chapter of dire predictions ends with reassurance: "But do not fear, O My servant Jacob and do not be dismayed, O Israel! For behold I will save you from afar....I will rightly correct you."

correct, yasar (yah-sar); Strong’s 3256: to chasten, correct, instruct, reform. The discipline and correction necessary for moral training.

Deut. 8:5: "As a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you." Here the word implies the disciplining action as a parent disciplines a child.

Proverbs 29:19 "A servant will not be corrected by mere words." Here the implication is that sometimes a tongue lashing isn’t enough.

I Kings 12:11 "...my father chastised you with whips but I will chastise you with scourges (points or barbs, lit. scorpions)." Correction can include physical pain.

1 Chronicles 15:22 "Chenaniah, leader of the Levites was instructor in charge of the music because he was skilful." Here the correction involves the discipline of the teaching / learning of musical technique.

Some thoughts:

1. God’s dealings with His own are always no-nonsense. He doesn’t pamper them or play games. He is truly our example in tough love.

(Tough love: n. The use of strict disciplinary measures and limitations on freedoms or privileges, as by a parent or guardian, as a means of fostering responsibility and expressing care or concern. [from the Free Online Dictionary].)

2. God is active on the large scale (as in nations) as well as in individual lives to bring people into right relations with Him.

3. I think of my prodigal and wonder, what kind of correction it will take to bring him back. When will the correction of words need to be ratcheted up to become the correction of chastisement?

4. In my own life I need to understand and cooperate with the long process of correction as it’s pictured in the teaching of musical technique. It took years for me to learn to play the piano. I spent hours perfecting scales, arpeggios and four-note chords in order to train my hands to play difficult music well. So then, why should I be surprised when the circumstances of life show me how much I still need to work on patience, trust, obedience, self-control...etc. etc.

Lord, I thank You for Your correction in my life and the life of my family. I’m happy that you don’t relent when we cry ‘Enough!’ Keep correcting us, Lord, for we want to become everything You have in mind for us.

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