Have you ever been disciplined by God’s tough love? It’s never fun. It’s you suffering the full consequences of your own selfish choices. It usually goes something like this: you make a series of bad mistakes, you pray to God that you don’t have to suffer the consequences of your own bad decisions. God, in his discipline, allows you to suffer the result of your choices.
Many times we can become angry at the cruelty of God. Isn’t he the God of mercy? Isn’t he loving? Yes and yes. But sometimes his love comes in the form of discipline. Judah in Jeremiah 46 is beginning to feel the full weight of their selfish choices. They have rejected God, and so God scattered them to the surrounding nations in exile. And now God is beginning to judge and destroy the nations where Judah has scattered. It seems as if God is unrelenting in his punishment of Judah’s sinfulness. This is the discipline, the tough love, of God.
28 Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant,
for I am with you,” declares the Lord.
“Though I completely destroy all the nations
among which I scatter you,
I will not completely destroy you.
I will discipline you but only in due measure;
I will not let you go entirely unpunished.” Jeremiah 46:28
Maybe your spouse went through their threats and filed divorce papers. Maybe your boss found out and you lost your job. Maybe the economy went south and your big gamble blew up in your face.
We can get angry at God for not bailing us out of the consequences of our own choices, but that anger would be better directed at ourselves. Judah faced the tough love, the discipline of God for her rebellious ways. Have you ever been there? Have you ever experienced the tough love of God? How did you respond to his discipline? How are you responding?
PRAYER: God, even though I don’t like it, I thank you that you love me enough to discipline me, for my good and for your glory.