God’s Good Discipline

This post is part of the Series "A Biblical Perspective of God's Judgment and Discipline"

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The curses of the Mosaic covenant result in what we can call the discipline of the covenant. While the discipline of the Mosaic covenant is unique to Israel, Israel’s story reveals God’s nature and His character. Therefore, God’s discipline of Israel instructs us in the knowledge of God.

God’s discipline was not unique to Israel nor did it end with Jesus’ first coming. Paul warned the Gentiles that Jesus’ first coming has intensified God’s judgment of the nations and set the stage for a coming day of judgment unlike any other day:

“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30–31 NASB)

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. (Romans 2:5 NASB)

God’s judgment in the Old Testament was not limited to Israel. God also spoke severe words of judgment to the nations, often as a warning to them about resisting His redemptive purpose for Israel.[1]God warned the nations to not take advantage of Israel’s discipline by trying to seize her inheritance. Edom in particular tried to take advantage of God’s judgment and, as a result, came under severe judgment:

“Will I not on that day, declares the Lord, destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of Mount Esau? . . . But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress. . . . For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. . . . The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau stubble; they shall burn them and consume them, and there shall be no survivor for the house of Esau, for the Lord has spoken.” (Obadiah 8, 12, 15, 18)

Because God’s discipline plays a significant role in how He relates to Israel and the nations, we need to lay a basic foundation for how we approach the subject.That is what we will do next.

[1]           See Isaiah 34; Joel 3; Zechariah 14.

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