Heavenly Chastisement

Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, that he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. (Job 33:16,17)

Oh, the proud heart of man! Because we are sinners, pride creeps into our lives. But God "withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous..." (Job 36:7). We are in His hands, and we are under His eye continually. We are the objects of His deep and tender and unchanging love, but we are also the subject of His wise and moral government. He doesn't want spoiled brats as His children! God often instructs men through discipline.

Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak. If thou hast any thing to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee. If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom. (Job 33:31-33)

God still wants to do the same thing for believers today. There are three distinct ways in which we may meet the chastening of our Heavenly Father: (1) We can despise it as though His hand and His voice were not in it. We can ignore God. (2) We may faint under it. When we do that, it is real defeat. But what are we to do? (3) We are to be exercised by it so that it will produce the fruit of righteousness in our lives. God does permit trouble to come to His own, and He chastens every son whom He receives.

We need to recognize that God moves in our lives as believers. We get occupied with men and things and circumstances, and we look at them in reference to our lives instead of walking with God. We do not live above our circumstances but under them, and then our circumstances weigh us down. When we let circumstances come between us and God, God is shut out, and as a result of that we lose the sense of His presence. We get to the place where there is worry and distress instead of peace in our souls, and we do not feel His fatherly hand upon us. We become fretful and impatient and irritable and faultfinding. We get far away from God and out of communion with Him. We do not see the hand of God in all our circumstances. All the while He wants to bring us back to Himself in brokenness of heart and humbleness of mind. This is the "end of the Lord," that for which He is striving in your life and in mine.

—From Edited Messages on Job by Dr. J. Vernon McGee