Hebrews 12:5 In-depth Study

My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.

Hebrews 12:5-6 ESV

We are not to make light of God’s discipline.

NJKV says do not despise the chastening of the Lord.

It is possible to despise the correction of God in our lives. We can ignore God’s loving instruction. We can refuse to heed His voice.

What happens to us when we despise the discipline of God?

Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed –without remedy. Proverbs 29:1

But if they do not listen, they perish by the sword and die without knowledge. Job 36:12

If a man refuses and despises the discipline of God, he will be destroyed.

We are not to be weary when He reproves us.

Some translations say… do not lose courage, do not be discouraged or faint …

When God corrects us, we are to make sure we don’t faint or grow weary of his discipline.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves.

The word discipline in Greek means to instruct, to provide guidance, correct, and cultivate towards maturity. When God disciplines us it’s with the intent of helping us become mature.

God disciplines us because He loves us.

For he disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he receives.

We are told that God is treating you as sons for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If we are left without discipline, in which we all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Hebrews 12: 7-8

We will despise and grow weary of His discipline if we do not understand that God loves us. Because He loves us He trains and instructs us into maturity. Otherwise, we would be illegitimate sons.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. Psalm 103:13

He doesn’t discipline us in anger but in compassion and love.

Those whom I [dearly and tenderly love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten[I discipline and instruct them]. Revelation 3:19 AMP

Discipline will feel very different to us when we are convinced that God is a father who dearly and tenderly loves us.

He disciplines us perfectly.

Besides, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. Hebrews 12:9-10

The writer of Hebrews compares God with our earthly fathers. Our earthly fathers disciplined us according to what seemed best to them. And because they weren’t perfect sometimes their discipline wasn’t good or beneficial to us.

But God is a perfect father. Every discipline is for our good and has the sole purpose of helping us share in His holiness.

I’m reminded of a verse in Jeremiah. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

These were the words God gave to the Israelites when they found themselves in captivity because God was disciplining them.

Their circumstances felt evil. They didn’t feel like anything good could come out of it. It didn’t feel like something a good father would orchestrate for them. But God as a perfect father knew the perfect situation to put them in to produce holiness in them.

His plans for us are good even when we can’t see them. His plan is to prosper us not to bring us harm. He has our future in mind even when we don’t and He disciplines us for the good things He has in store for us.

Discipline produces righteousness in us.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

We have to remember that the goal of discipline is that God may produce righteousness in us. His goal is that we may bear the image of His Son. It’s not so we can be cozy and comfortable. It’s so we can be a great representation of Him on earth. We cannot represent Him without looking like Him.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:29

He allows us to go through things with the foreknowledge that we’ll look like His son afterward.

How does God discipline us?

We are not to confuse cold-hearted punishment with the discipline of God. A loving father would never throw his child in the fire or in the middle of a highway just to teach him a lesson.

But he would allow him to go through the consequences of his disobedience so he can learn to heed his voice.

He would allow him to go through a season where things don’t work out the way he thought they would so he can learn to wait and trust in him. He would also lovingly put him in an uncomfortable situation to help him grow and become mature.

There are some things we go through in this life just because we live in a fallen world.

Sickness is not God’s discipline; it’s sometimes, a product of living in a fallen world. It’s also an attack of the enemy. We lose sight of God as a good father when we attribute evil to Him.

Death or loss of a loved one is not God’s discipline; it’s the work of the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).

Accidents aren’t the discipline of a good father but the works of the enemy seeking to destroy god’s children.

We will go through some hard things in this life because we have an enemy who hates us and looks for a way to destroy us.

God doesn’t promise us a life free of trouble but a life that overcomes.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

It’s in these things that God gives us the promise that He will work them for our good. Even the things He didn’t orchestrate He will turn them for our good and help us overcome. Romans 8:28

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