Blessed is the man whom you chasten, O LORD, and teach him out of your law;…
I. GOD'S CHILDREN ARE UNDER TUITION. Other children may run about, and take holiday; they may wander into the weeds, and gather the flowers, and do very much what. they like; but. God's own children have to go to school. This is a great, privilege for them, although they do not always think so. Children are not. often good judges of what is best. for themselves. Note how this tuition is described in our text; the very first word concerning it is "chastenest." In God's school-house the rod is still extant; with the Lord, chastening is teaching. He does not spoil His children; but chastens them, aye, even unto scourging, as the apostle puts it (Hebrews 12:6). I know that some of us have learnt much from the Lord's chastening rod. For instance, we have learnt the evil of sin. "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy Word." Our chastening teaches us the unsatisfactory nature of worldly things. We can easily become attached to the things which we possess. It is a very difficult thing to handle gold without allowing it to adhere to your fingers; and when it gets into your purse, you need much grace to prevent it getting into your heart. Do we not also learn by affliction our own frailty, and our own impatience? Ah, yes, we find how great our weakness is when first one thing is taken away, and then another. Do we not then learn also the value of prayer? And then how precious the promises become. They shine out like newly-kindled stars when we get into the night of affliction. And oh, how should we ever know the faithfulness of God if it were not for affliction? We might talk about it and theoretically understand it; but to try to prove the greatness of Jehovah's love, and the absolute certainty of His eternal faithfulness — this cometh not except by the way of affliction and trial.
II. GOD'S CHILDREN EDUCATED. "That Thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity," etc. "What!" you ask, "chastened to give us rest? It is usual for chastening to break our rest." Yes, I know that it is so with other chastenings; but in very deed this is the way in which God gives rest to His people. First, we learn to rest in the will of God. Our will is naturally very stubborn; and when we are chastened, at first we kick out, like a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke; but by degrees we feel that we must bear the yoke. We then go a little further, and we feel that we ought to bear it, even though God should lay upon us anything He pleases, and we should feel it very galling. By and by the yoke begins to fit our neck, and we come even to love it. We make advances in our spiritual education when we learn to rest after our afflictions. When any trouble is over, great delights often come to us. It is with us as it was with our Master; He had been with the wild beasts; worse still, He had been tempted of the devil; but angels came, and ministered unto Him. Perhaps there is no happier period of life than the state of convalescence, when the sick man is gradually recovering his former strength after a long illness. So God gives surprising peace to His people when He takes away their troubles, but He also gives them a great measure of peace in their troubles. Thus, for another lesson, we learn to rest in adversity. The Lord chastens us in order that we may learn how to stand fast, and bear up bravely while the trouble is yet upon us.
III. GOD'S CHILDREN ARE STILL DEAR TO HIM (ver. 14). First, "the Lord will not east off His people." When you are put into the furnace, and into the greatest heat that can be obtained, it is that the Lord may take away your dross and purify you for His service. Then, further, the Lord "will not forsake His inheritance."
IV. GOD'S PEOPLE WILL BE RIGHTED IN THE END (ver. 15). Judgment has gone out of the world for a while, though it watcheth and recordeth all things. It is gone partly for our trial and testing, that we may learn to trust an absent God and Saviour. Judgment is also gone away in order that mercy may be extended to the ungodly, that they may live, and that they may turn to God; for He willeth not the death of any, but that they may turn unto Him and live. Judgment has gone up to the throne for a while until the wicked shall have completed the full measure of their sin, "until the pit be digged for the wicked." Do not be in a hurry, child of God; the Lord has timed His absence. "Judgment shall return unto righteousness." You shall hear the trumpet soon. And what then? Judgment shall be welcomed by the godly. When it comes, "all the upright in heart shall follow it." The chariot of righteousness shall lead the way, and all the people of God shall follow it in a glorious procession. Then shall they receive their Lord's commendation, "Well done, good and faithful servants."
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;