Posted by: arieliondotcom | January 7, 2012

Teaching by Taking

It is amazing how thick-headed and hardhearted human beings can be, not only toward each other and ourselves, but to GOD. The Bible is full of explanations any parent should (hopefully) recognize from disciplining their own children. The best way to cure a spoiled brat who has everything is to take away what they prize most until they learn obedience and appreciation for the loving parent who gave and what they took for granted and ruined in their wantonness.

Too much freedom? Confine them to a room or a “time out” in the corner. Insolence & refusal to obey? Privileges, playthings or friends denied. Flaunting safety rules? Physical discipline to remind that the sting on the bottom from a hand is better than the pain of serious injury or death.

We know all this and practice it as parents all over the world. But we’re too stubborn to see that we learned our parenting skills from GOD the Father Himself. Yet we act like thick-headed, hard-hearted toddlers toward Him.

This is what happened with Israel. A people called apart from all other people, set apart to dedicate themselves to GOD, they instead took advantage of His mercy and spurned His affection. The result, as Isaiah explains in chapters 1-5, is that GOD disciplined them. He taught them obedience by taking away all the blessings He had given: peace, pleasure, comfort, country, even His Presence, if necessary, to show that they could not live without Him and they could not live with Him without holiness. But all the while He swore by Himself that He would not give up until they returned to Him.

In the Gospel we learn that GOD enlarged His people to anyone on earth who took Him at His Word. And that Word is Jesus Christ, the Word in flesh; every promise and character trait of GOD demonstrated in love to Israel in the Old Testament and now wrapped in flesh. He poured out His Life and Blood to show He there are no limits to what He will do to win our will to live. And if a Christian, having eternal life, does not live the life they were called to, He may discipline them with physical death so their eternal life is not tarnished by leading others astray.

And He’s not done yet. He will return to take His own Home to the Father and to show remaining Israel that He is the promised Messiah, though He must remove mountains, allow them to suffer loss and fear, and slay their enemies Himself to do it.

The LORD has determined to bring His people Israel back to Himself, no matter what it takes or what He must take away to do it. Isaiah 1-5

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