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discipline or chastening was the provision of the daily manna, the marvelous preservation
of clothing, and the care of the wanderers" feet.
"The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity. Blessed is the man
whom Thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of Thy law" (Psa. 94: 11, 12).
"We are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world"
(I Cor. 11: 32).
Here is another comfort: chastening is not condemnation. Chastening is for sons,
condemnation for the unbelieving world. Man's thoughts are vain; he needs a two-fold
treatment, chastening to remove folly, teaching to supply the needed instruction.
Chastening is not only the work of the Father, for Christ Himself says to the
Laodicean church: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and
repent" (Rev. 3: 19).
The apostle puts the matter of this chastening before the reader in a variety of ways.
First, the attitude of mind toward it. Do not despise it. Do not faint when rebuked.
Perhaps "despise" is too strong a word. Rather, what is meant is to hold lightly, to have
very little concern about it. That is one attitude to be avoided. There is the opposite
extreme, however, that is, of magnifying the chastening endured, and so "fainting" at the
rebuke. This also is wrong. We have to remember that the chastening has to do with us
"as sons" (Heb. 12: 5-7). It comes to us from One Who loves us (Heb. 12: 6). To be
without chastening is to be without proof of sonship. The little gutter child, unkempt,
uncorrected, uncared for, is free from the discipline, restraint, training, care and
correction that loving fatherhood imposes, but who, knowing the truth, would exchange
the "discipline" of the one for the "liberty" of the other?
The apostle proceeds to reason from the lesser to the greater. We have had fathers in
this life whose discipline was brief, and, as far as they knew, right. But it was sometimes
in error, yet we held them in respect. God is the Father of our spirits; His discipline is
never at fault, and it tends to life. Shall we not then much rather render submission to
The object that the Lord has in view all this time is revealed in Heb. 12: 10: "That we
might be partakers of His holiness." Holiness is the atmosphere of Hebrews, as
righteousness is of Romans. The sanctification of believers is entirely outside their own
deeds or endeavours. They are sanctified by the blood of Him Who suffered "without the
gate" (Heb. 13: 12). If they are called upon to go unto Him without the camp, bearing
His reproach (Heb. 13: 13), it is but manifesting in act and character what has been
already accomplished. The going without the camp will never sanctify, but it may
"By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ
once for all" (Heb. 10: 10).
"For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified" (Heb. 10: 14).