Michael Beck

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A parent’s worst nightmare is an out of control child that will make their life miserable.

A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him. (Proverbs 17:25)

He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy. (Proverbs 17:21)

An “out of control” child is one who will not listen to his parents. Their chastisement of him fails to produce submission.

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

Children have one command from God and that is to “mind” their parents. The goal of chastisement is obedience.

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (Colossians 3:20)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:1-4)

nurture > Greek – paideia > KJV – chastening 3, nurture 1, instruction 1, chastisement 1

1) the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body

2) whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, esp. by correcting mistakes and curbing passions.

2a) instruction which aims at increasing virtue

2b) chastisement, chastening, (of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment)

The chastening process is difficult because it crosses the will of a child.

Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again. (Proverbs 19:18,19)

When we have learned an evil way, it becomes a snare to our soul. It will cause us to fall into sin throughout our life.

Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul. (Proverbs 22:25)

Chastening is meant to prevent an evil way from developing.

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (Proverbs 22:15)

Ways such as anger, fear, sloth, covetousness, and pride are “ticking time bombs.” Chastening is meant to bring a child into an awareness of a tendency (i.e., a developing way) that needs to be corrected before it brings them into evil (i.e. trouble.)

The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. (Proverbs 29:15)

Parents are to watch over their children’s souls.

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17)

God is the overseer of the whole earth. He tries and proves the hearts of men so they would know what He knows.

The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright. (Psalm 11:4-7)

It is the tendency of man to overestimate himself. Where he thinks he can; God knows he can’t. Where he thinks he will; God knows he won’t. Where he thinks he’s well; God knows he needs help.

All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. (Proverbs 16:2)

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. (Proverbs 21:2)

pondereth > Hebrew – takan > weighs, measures, estimates, tests, proves – to be made even or right, be adjusted to the standard

God reveals to the wicked their wickedness because He wants it to come to an end through repentance, not destruction. He tries the hearts of the righteous because He wants to establish them in all manner of righteousness and godliness.

Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. (Psalm 7:9)

The Lord sees where we need to change if we are not to run into problems down the road.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (2 Corinthians 12:7)

Obedience must be tested and proven in the face of real temptations.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:13-15)

God tries our obedience in situations where we are able to do wrong in order to fulfill a perceived want.

And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9)

The scripture says God will not allow us to be tempted with more than we can bear. It does not say that God will not allow us to be tempted.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

God would chasten us and cause us to grow by placing us in situations where we are tempted to do unjustly in getting what we want instead of choosing to live by every word that He would speak to us.

And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. (Deuteronomy 8:2,3)

Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. (Deuteronomy 8:5,6)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.