“And it shall come to pass in that day, That the remnant of Israel, and such as have escaped of the house of Jacob, will never again depend on him who defeated them, but will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God.”
Israel was facing the threat of annihilation. Years of wandering from the Word and ways of God had led them to the brink of destruction, as Assyria mounted their troops in preparation for an all out attack upon them. As bleak as things appeared, God gave a wonderful promise regarding how this judgment would impact the people. Those who walked through this discipline would one day return, having learned to no longer depend upon men, but upon the Lord.
The discipline of God is never without purpose. He does not chasten us with outbursts of wrath but with a calculated approach designed to win us back to Himself. Twice we read of the purpose of His chastening:
“For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.”
“For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”
When we wander from the Lord and begin to travel down a path that will lead to our own destruction, the love of God will force His hand to reach out and draw us back. Sometimes, this hand has to come in the form of discipline. Sometimes, this hand delivers the consequences of our actions, but always, this hand is designed to win us back to God, while removing the things that once led us away.
If you are in the midst of difficulties caused by turning from His way, and living according to your own way, perhaps it is time to change direction. The first step is to stop. Stop walking down a path that God cannot bless and will bring His correction. The second step is to turn. Turn around and begin to take strides toward what you know to be pleasing to Him.
Do not despise the chastening of the Lord, it is an expression of His love. He is jealous for you, always desiring what is best for you, both for now and for eternity.