Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2021 Hebrews 12:6.

Hebrews 12:6.     ​For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Oh mih people, is J’ouvert morning! So we sing: ‘Mas, mas! Play mas! Mas in yuh mas! Play mas! Ole mas!’ Yes it’s Carnival Monday in T&T, time for plenty fete, much wining and drinking, plenty pretty costume and half-naked women too as Carnival rolls around for 2021. But yuh know what? Unfortunately, because of the Covid-19 virus, there’ll be no official carnival this year. Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? And the Police are adamant that they will have no nonsense in the streets, no fetes and liming or any such gatherings. 

According to the newspapers, one high ranking Police official said there must be no paint, powder or mud on the streets… What? So how yuh going to play ole mas eh? (smile) No drunken sailor awash in baby powder; no jab-jab, no red-devil all painted up, blowing His whistle ‘pay the devil;’ no pan on the avenue either? The police officer also claimed that some foolish people are planning to come out for J’ouvert, but those who intend to “test the waters”, they will “drown”. 

Tough words from Babylon. I certainly wouldn’t want to test them, but it is a given fact that some brave, or foolish Trinidadian (take yuh pick) going to ‘test them waters.’ Some die hard fanatic going to claim: ‘No mas! Deh crazy?’ And then come out to prove their point. Make no doubt about it, the police will be busy, because Trinbagonians won’t take their lack of mas very easy and polite. When coming to their carnival, T&T has never been known to be the quiet, obedient type, so my bet is that they going to give Babylon a run for their money. (smile) 

And I searched for a while to find a scripture that could be used in this scenario. Finally, the Lord led me to this one about His discipline. From the author of Hebrews, who quotes Cousin Sol from Proverbs 3:11-12. ‘Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.’ (Heb. 12:4-6) 

Yes precious people, the Lord is a disciplinarian, and there’s nothing wrong with that, as the scholars explain. ‘12:6. Whom the Lord LOVETH, he chasteneth: God’s principle of disciplining His own people is completely congruous (in agreement or harmony) with human practices. This quotation from Proverbs 3:12, stating God’s practice, corresponds to the commands God gave to fathers. “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly)” (Prov. 13:24; cf.22:15, 23:13). LOVE and corporal punishment are not incongruous (incompatible); they are two complimentary and necessary aspects of training.’ 

Ah friends, all of that is oh so true! But unfortunately, our world has gotten so soft and fearful that many of us refused to discipline our children, consequently we have ended up with a lot of undisciplined, entitled, rowdy, selfish, unmannerly children in this generation. And please remember that chastening doesn’t mean abuse, or even necessarily corporal punishment, but it certainly means holding children accountable and finding some useful punishment in cases of gross disobedience. 

Hear how the author of Hebrews continues. ‘If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then ye are bastards (illegitimate) and not sons.’ (Heb. 12:7-8) Oh, we have certainly bastardized a lot of our children by not chastening them for whatever mistaken reasons. 

‘Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence (respect): shall we not much rather be into subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure (what seemed best to them); but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.’ (Heb. 12:9-10) 

Yes my brethren, we respected those earthly fathers who disciplined us according to their timetable, so why won’t we accept God’s discipline eh, which is meant for our betterment, so that we can be partakers of his holiness? That’s a very good question? And the answer might just be that we are naturally rebellious and don’t like to be disciplined. But hear this last verse which sets the table right. ‘Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ (Heb. 12:11) 

And that does bring the matter to a head: chastening never seems good when it happens, but it’s always useful in the future. In hindsight, many of us parents would now admit that the chastening we received in our youth was indeed beneficial in our older years, so why did we spare the rod and spoil our own children eh? And why are we also disobedient to God eh when He only has good things planned for us? I don’t have answers to those questions, but I do know that the first requirement to fix any of them is going to God in prayer and baring our souls before Him. 

So let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now we just have to wait and see the Lord’s response, while being obedient and patient. Much LOVE!

…disobedience…ALWAYS has…negative consequences… 

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