How God punishes and disciplines His children II

Greetings to you, dear friends!Grace and peace to you from Father God and our Lord Jesus Christ! Yesterday we started talking about how God punishes and disciplines His children. We established that: 
  1. God uses His Word – the Bible – to correct and discipline us.
  1. God also disciplines us through the people that have been given spiritual authority over us.
 Today we will discuss one more way God uses to correct us. 
  1. God often disciplines us through our finances.
 Finances play a major role in our life, so the Bible has a lot to say on the subject. Financial difficulties can be one of the disciplinary techniques God uses to encourage us get back on the right track. The following scriptures is an illustration of this thought: 
«”Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, „Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in our panelled houses, and his temple to lie in ruins?” Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: „Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” Thus says the LORD of hosts: „Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the LORD. „You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the LORD of hosts. „Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you run to his own house. Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labour of your hands”» (Haggai, 1:2-11).
 The passage above describes an economic and financial crisis experienced by God’s people. It was a disciplinary technique God used to correct how God’s people were treating God’s house at the time. Everyone was busy with building and setting up their own houses, while God’s house and His work was being neglected. God’s people knew quite well what was written in God’s word; they were told to love the Lord with their whole heart, strength and understanding. Yet this knowledge did not affect the priorities of God’s people, and God had to change such wrong attitude. In order to change the situation and discipline His people God allowed this financial crisis. They sowed a lot and expected a great harvest, but harvested little. The money they earned was worthless; it felt like they were putting it in a purse with holes in it. Drought and other natural disasters were causing different financial and economical loses. God disciplined His people so that He would draw them near to Himself, straighten out their priorities and values. That is what Proverbs talk about: 
 «Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honoured» (Proverbs, 13:18).
 We can see once again that financial difficulties in the lives of these people were not sent by God; they were the result of them rejecting the teaching and instruction of the Lord. The good news is that as soon as they repented and began working on God’s house (made Him a priority in their lives), God began blessing them to much greater extent that ever before: 
«So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of King Darius» (Haggai, 1:14-15).
 Tomorrow we will see what the result of God’s discipline and their repentance was. May God bless and strengthen every one of you in your daily walk! Pastor Rufus Ajiboye

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