When God Spanks Us

When God Spanks Us
From the September 5th reading
Has God ever taken you behind the wood shed? Is His discipline really for our good?
READ: Ezekiel 28:24-26
Ezekiel 28:24
‘No longer will the people of Israel have malicious neighbors who are painful briers and sharp thorns. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign LORD. (NIV)
  • God used the Assyrians and the Babylonians to remove all of Israel’s enemies and warring neighbors
  • While punishing Israel He was also setting the way for their return
  • They could return in peace


  • We can trust God and His justice
  • Even when we are disciplined He is thinking and planning for our good.
  • God is sovereign and always finds a way to bring about His will (the removal of all the ungodly from the Promise Land)
The nation of Israel had failed from its earliest beginnings. God had sent them into the Promise Land and had commanded them to subdue it. They were to remove all of the foreign nations from the land so that they would never be a stumbling block to this young nation. But, they had failed, and these uncircumcised nations would remain to be a constant temptation to them. Eventually Israel did fall to their ways of life and worship, and began to commit idolatry towards their false gods. As punishment for their idolatry and rebellion against Him, God used Assyria and later Babylon to remove the Israelites from the land. But what is so interesting about all of this is that after God had finished disciplining His chosen nation, He turned His attention to the surrounding nations. All of the nations that Israel had failed to remove and committed adultery with (see Isaiah and Jeremiah), God would now use Babylon to remove them from the face of the earth. God would pave the way for Israel to eventually return to the land in peace.
The message found in this historical event is that even though God was punishing the nation of Israel He still had a plan for their redemption. He never gave up on them. In fact, in His Sovereignty He had a divine plan for them all along. He knew from the beginning that they would rebel as a nation, and He knew that they would never truly repent. He knew and planned for their punishment by establishing and drawing these two northern kingdoms to take them into exile. And He used these foreigners to clear the way for Israel’s eventual return.
God does the same in our own lives. We rebel again and again, and God has to discipline us one way or another. Proverbs 3:11-12 tells us “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” God many times has to take us behind the proverbial wood shed to spank us. But know this – God does it because He is a loving Father, and because He has a plan to redeem us.
Ezekiel 28:26 says, “They will live there in safety and will build houses and plant vineyards; they will live in safety when I inflict punishment on all their neighbors who maligned them. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God.’” After disciplining Israel for her countless years of rebellion He would return a remnant to the land in safety. They would return to find all of their malicious neighbors gone. They would live for many years in peace so that they could rebuild their land and even their temple.
One commentary said, “Restored to her land, Israel will enjoy God’s blessings, including safety and prosperity. This promise, made through Ezekiel, has never been literally fulfilled; it awaits fulfillment in the millennial kingdom.”[i] In other words there are parts of this promise that are yet to be fulfilled. The nation of Israel has repeatedly rebelled against God, ultimately in their refusal to accept their promised Messiah. The fulfillment of their true redemption is yet to be realized in His Second Coming and during the Millennium.
But what was true for the nation of Israel is true for us today. God still disciplines His followers, and uses events and situations to bring us back into His grace. But even during these difficult times He has a plan.
Whatever your situation know that God always has a plan. He is always working together things for our good, for those that love Him. Hebrews 12:10 says, “They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.”
God always has a plan, and even during our times of rebellion we can not stop its eventuality. God will bring about His will and His glory no matter what. The cool thing is that He is always working in our lives and He never gives up on us! So don’t you ever give up on Him!
Pray that God will work out your circumstances for His good. Pray that He will use difficulties and even times of discipline to draw you closer to Him and to be more like Christ.
Each week’s Monday Motivation is taken from the reading schedule found in the Life Journal. If you are ready for the next step in your discipleship, then order yours today or see me for a copy.
If you would like help in growing in your faith, or if you would like to know how to have faith in Him, then please contact us at (928)636-2949 or email me at pastorguy@cvgrace.com
[i] Dyer, C. H. (1985). Ezekiel. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, pp. 1284–1285). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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