We all sin against God. Even the righteous people do. Humans are prone to error but it doesn’t mean that God just let it pass and just understand our weaknesses.
God is not only a God of love. Actually, He is love. He is also rich in mercy and forgiveness. But He is also a God of justice, and He brings justice to everyone by punishing the wrong doers, even to His servants.
LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. (Psalms 6: 1) God doesn’t ignore not only our good works, He also sees the mistakes we continue to make before His sight and God loves to discipline His servants.
He loves to correct the mistakes we do and make sure that we do not make the same mistakes again by continually reminding us. God also punishes us as a form of discipline. Those who do not want to do His will are also punished. (Collosians 3: 6) Because of such things God’s anger will come upon those who do not obey him.
And there are many who sin against God because of their transgressions against His laws and commands, and they do not escape God’s punishments and discipline. We sin when we transgress against His laws. (1 John 3: 4) Whoever sins is guilty of breaking God’s law, because sin is a breaking of the law.
God knows we are prone to commit mistakes and errors.
Thus, God continues to remind us and gives us chance to repent, change our ways and turn to Him. God doesn’t immediately punish us. He patiently waits for our repentance.
Bu the Bible says, there are people who continuously and constantly sin against God. And this is one of the things that can provoke God into anger. (Hebrews 3: 10) And so I was angry with those people and said, ‘They are always disloyal and refuse to obey my commands.’
And if this will continue, that is, if these people continue to sin against God without remorse at all, then their sins will bring God’s wrath to them. (Pro. 29 : 1) A man who hardens his neck when reproved shall be suddenly broken, and there will be no healing.
There are many stories in the Bible that tell us how God discipline people. They were written for us so we could learn from their mistakes.
The Punishment for Nadab and Abihu - (Lev 10:1-2) Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, each took his fire pan, put live coals in it, added incense, and presented it to the LORD. But this fire was not holy, because the LORD had not commanded them to present it. Suddenly the LORD sent fire, and it burned them to death there in the presence of the LORD.
God Punished Uzzah - We read here the story of Uzzah who was punished by God because of irreverence. They were not allowed to touch the ark of the covenant. (2 Sam. 6:6-7) As they came to the threshing place of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out and took hold of the Covenant Box. At once the LORD God became angry with Uzzah and killed him because of his irreverence. Uzzah died there beside the Covenant Box.
Israel was also punished – Many times that the people of Israel turned back against the Lord God, and because of their actions, they were also disciplined by God. (2 Chronicles 36: 11-16) Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years. He sinned against the LORD and did not listen humbly to the prophet Jeremiah, who spoke the word of the LORD. Zedekiah rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had forced him to swear in God’s name that he would be loyal. He stubbornly refused to repent and return to the LORD, the God of Israel. In addition, the leaders of Judah, the priests, and the people followed the sinful example of the nations around them in worshiping idols, and so they defiled the Temple, which the LORD himself had made holy. The LORD, the God of their ancestors, had continued to send prophets to warn his people, because he wanted to spare them and the Temple. But they made fun of God’s messengers, ignoring his words and laughing at his prophets, until at last the LORD’s anger against his people was so great that there was no escape.
The Punishment for Ananias and Sapphira - (Act 5:1-10) But there was a man named Ananias, who with his wife Sapphira sold some property that belonged to them. But with his wife’s agreement he kept part of the money for himself and turned the rest over to the apostles.
Peter said to him, “Ananias, why did you let Satan take control of you and make you lie to the Holy Spirit by keeping part of the money you received for the property? Before you sold the property, it belonged to you; and after you sold it, the money was yours. Why, then, did you decide to do such a thing? You have not lied to people—you have lied to God!”
As soon as Ananias heard this, he fell down dead; and all who heard about it were terrified. The young men came in, wrapped up his body, carried him out, and buried him. About three hours later his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in.
Peter asked her, “Tell me, was this the full amount you and your husband received for your property?” “Yes,” she answered, “the full amount.” Peter said to her, “Why did you and your husband decide to put the Lord’s Spirit to the test? The men who buried your husband are at the door right now, and they will carry you out too!”
At once she fell down at his feet and died. The young men came in and saw that she was dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
The punishment for Jannes at Jambres - (II Tim. 3 : 8 – 9) As Jannes and Jambres were opposed to Moses, so also these people are opposed to the truth—people whose minds do not function and who are failures in the faith. But they will not get very far, because everyone will see how stupid they are. That is just what happened to Jannes and Jambres.
These were all written in the book of God so we could learn. They were punished because they did not followed God’s commands, instead they did what they think is right before their eyes. Some of them were blinded by lusts of this world.
What do we need to learn from these stories?
Paul said that these are all warnings for us. (1Co 10:6) Now, all of this is an example for us, to warn us not to desire evil things, as they did. (1Co 10:11-12) All these things happened to them as examples for others, and they were written down as a warning for us. For we live at a time when the end is about to come. If you think you are standing firm you had better be careful that you do not fall.
What had happened to them can happen to us if we cannot control ourselves.
That’s why, self-examination is very important. It is the best way to find out if we are still in faith or not.
The Bible is clear in saying that the righteous will keep his faith, but the wicked will fall from their wickedness. (Pro 11:5-6) Honesty makes a good person’s life easier, but the wicked will cause their own downfall. Righteousness rescues those who are honest, but those who can’t be trusted are trapped by their own greed.
A righteous person may fall but God will lift him up. (Psa 37:17) because the LORD will take away the strength of the wicked, but protect those who are good. (Psa 37:24) If they fall, they will not stay down, because the LORD will help them up.
God loves His servants. They are His sons and daughters. He doesn’t want them to suffer in the end, and He disciplines them because He loves them. (Pro 3:11-12) My child, when the LORD corrects you, pay close attention and take it as a warning. The LORD corrects those he loves, as parents correct a child of whom they are proud.
How does God discipline His servants?
God is a God of justice. He doesn’t punish people immediately and if He take actions for His servants, He disciplines them with righteousness. (Jer 10:24) Correct your people, LORD, but do not be too hard on us or punish us when you are angry; that would be the end of us
God’s ways are just. He disciplines His people justly. (Psa 19:9) Reverence for the LORD is good; it will continue forever. The judgments of the LORD are just; they are always fair. God’s correction makes us live. (Prov. 6:23) Their instructions are a shining light; their correction can teach you how to live.
Like a father’s love to his sons, God loves us so much that He is willing to put us in pains of disciplines just to make sure we are learning on our mistakes. (Heb. 12 : 5 – 6) Have you forgotten the encouraging words which God speaks to you as his children? “My child, pay attention when the Lord corrects you, and do not be discouraged when he rebukes you. Because the Lord corrects everyone he loves, and punishes everyone he accepts as a child.”
Another reason why God disciplines His servants now is because He doesn’t wants us to take the punishment later. Later punishment will mean we will be included in the judgement of the world in the appointed time. We are disciplined and judged now so that we no longer be judged that day. (1 Co 11:32) But we are judged and punished by the Lord, so that we shall not be condemned together with the world.
What does the Bible say about those who are disobeying God’s commands and laws?
It is everyone’s duty, especially the leaders of the church, ministers, preachers, deacons and deaconesses to remind each other if we walk not according to God’s will.
We can remind each other of the mistakes we are making and tell about the consequences of our present actions. We can use the words of God to remind them, not being authoritative but full of love and compassion. (II Tim. 2 : 25 – 26) Who is gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth. And then they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the Devil, who had caught them and made them obey his will.
(2 Tim 3:16) All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living.
If we need to be strict, then do so. ( Tito 1 : 13) For this reason you must rebuke them sharply, so that they may have a healthy faith. (1 Tim 5: 20) Rebuke publicly all those who commit sins, so that the rest may be afraid.
How should we accept God’s discipline?
(Job 5:17) Indeed, how blessed is the person whom God reproves! So never disrespect the discipline of the Almighty. Blessed are those who experience God’s discipline because this means that God still cares for them. Those who do not experience discipline means God has already let them do their own ways.
So, while we hear the words of God, and the words seem to correct us, we should not turn away from God’s words nor to the preachers preaching His words, neither we do not harden our hearts, but accept it with humility and love in our hearts. (Hebrews 3:15) As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as they did when they provoked me.”
The Bible says that if we do not accept God’s discipline and change our ways, later we will regret its consequences. (Pro 5:11) And you will be full of grief at the end of your life, when your flesh and your body are wasted; (Pro. 5:12-13) And you will say, How was teaching hated by me, and my heart put no value on training; I did not give attention to the voice of my teachers, my ear was not turned to those who were guiding me!
The Bible reminds us, (Heb 12:25) Be careful, then, and do not refuse to hear him who speaks. Those who refused to hear the one who gave the divine message on earth did not escape. How much less shall we escape, then, if we turn away from the one who speaks from heaven! (Psa 94:12) LORD, how happy are those you instruct, the ones to whom you teach your law!