Resisting Unto Blood, Despising Not, Fainting Not
“Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” Hebrews 12:4-7
This, on the face of it, is a strong Word of correction and exhortation. This comes in contrast to the previous statement, which was to consider Him who endured the cross and it’s shame. In that process Jesus sweat blood in agony of the trial He would have to face.
“And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:44
In striving against sin Jesus sweat blood. So the Word to the Hebrews and to us in this passage is saying here that whatever our temptations may be they have resulted in us having to sweat blood in order to resist them. And we have not considered the loving act of God’s chastening, His disciplining us for the God of our souls. And that discipline is not one of flesh with sickness, disease and suffering put on us to teach us anything, Jesus came to rid us of those things forever.
Yes, the people of Old did endure physical hardships and even death for disobedience in order for God to make His will known to them through the prophets. In the days of OLD, God spoke to the people through miracles, signs and wonders performed by the prophets. But in our time God speaks to us by His Word. The Word of God can cut through us like a two-edged sword.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” Hebrews 1:1-2
When the Word is in its proper place in our lives, (in our hearts) it directs, corrects, disciplines, and humbles us, all of which can be the chastening of the Lord because we are His sons and He loves us, yet none of these things come outside of His Word because the intent of chastening is that we should learn and grow in spiritual maturity through them.
Further, it is His intent that we will endure His chastening to become fully disciplined and strong in His Word so that we do not fall into or be overcome by sin. I felt the sting of corporal punishment as a child and I thank God for parents who loved me enough to do so for my benefit and it worked. I learned obedience through the things I suffered as a child. Afterward, when I became a teenager all that I needed to hear was their words. They could get my attention and penetrate my heart in greater depth than any spanking. Through physical and emotional discomfort for a moment I learned discipline for a lifetime.
Thank God for loving parents who cared enough to chasten me when I was wrong so that I would learn from my heart to do what was right. Thank God for His Word that chastens me so that I learn to be obedient to His Word and by it in the Holy Spirit gain eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.
If we despise the time of chastening and faint when we are rebuked then we are not sons. If the Word of correction cannot penetrate our hearts and bring us to shame when we are corrected by it then we are not of His household. To resist God is the way of the devil. But we are of God and our light affliction for a moment is preparing us for a far more exceeding great reward.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18