These six words are amongst the most terrifying words I have ever heard. “Wait till your Father gets home!” They were my Mum’s way of letting me know that the time was coming when all wrongs would be made right. Unfortunately for me, the wrongs that were going to be made right were all mine. Dad’s justice was always swift. It was never rushed, it was just swift. Dad came home, he spoke to mum, he called me in, and I experienced justice. The same man who loved me, who provided everything I needed, who fed me and clothed me, also punished me. In fact it was because he loved me that he did punish me. I know that now. I think I always knew that actually. And whilst the analogy is a poor one, it reflects a far greater truth.
Our God who also loves us is the same God who punishes us. If He didn’t punish us He wouldn’t really love us.
Dad never punished the next door neighbour’s kids. He didn’t punish the kids at school. He only ever punished me and my siblings. That’s because he loved us. If you ever find yourself being punished by God, rebuked perhaps because you’ve disobeyed Him and lived to please yourself, take heart. He loves you. David prayed, “let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.” David felt as if his bones were being crushed. Deep down he was experiencing God’s displeasure. God was disciplining his son. Why? Because He loved him. And in desperation and deep contrition, David turned to God in prayer, and God heard him.
What a wonderful and loving God we serve.