Proverbs 3:11-12

Proverbs 3:11-12 "My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth."
In a chapter warning against the dangers of self-sufficiency, Solomon wisely addressed the correction of the Lord.  Correction is necessary where there is a mistake.  Even though self-sufficiency is often viewed in the eyes of man as a quality of strength, it is a mistake in the eyes of God.  There is a thin line between being self-sufficient and being responsible.  The self-sufficient do not acknowledge God in all their ways and often in none of their ways.  Where there is little to no need for acknowledging God, there will be little to no need for trusting God.  The person who lives life failing to acknowledge God in all his ways is making a mistake.  The person who lives life failing to trust God with all his heart is making a mistake.  These are mistakes that make the correction of the Lord necessary.

The two verses preceding these verses confront the financial dangers of being self-sufficient.  The self-sufficient do not recognize the urgent necessity to make God the greatest factor in their financial equation.  The self-sufficient see themselves as the greatest factor in their financial equation.  Such a person views work ethic, networking, money management and intelligence as the means of achieving financial success.  This self-sufficient person fails to acknowledge God as the greatest factor for financial success, given the fact that He can promote or demote, heal or hurt, bless or curse.  The failure to acknowledge and ultimately trust God with finances will deter a person from honoring God with those finances.  This is a grave mistake that makes the correction of the Lord necessary.

Given his upbringing, Solomon knew that his son would be vulnerable to the mistakes that come with being successful.  Given the training, education and resources he received, Rehoboam was set up by his father to be responsible and successful.  As a result, it was more likely that Rehoboam would struggle with the moral challenges of success in the palace rather than with the moral pitfalls of survival on the streets.  All men are vulnerable to mistakes but not all men will struggle with the same kind of mistakes.  Self-sufficiency is a mistake that needs to be corrected just as idolatry is a mistake that needs to be corrected.  

The chastening of the Lord isn’t reserved just for the prodigal who is wasting his substance on prostitutes and booze.  The chastening of the Lord isn’t reserved just for the backslidden believer who is frequenting the casino.  It isn’t reserved just for the bitter Christian who has forsaken the Lord’s house and the flock of God.  The chastening of the Lord is reserved for any child of God who needs to be corrected for any mistake.  Sitting in a church pew doesn’t exempt anyone from the chastening hand of God.  In fact, many Christians don’t recognize the chastening of the Lord because they are sitting in the pew but unknowingly sitting with a self-sufficient spirit.  God corrects mistakes that aren’t being corrected and He does this through chastening.  Some mistakes aren’t corrected because there isn’t a desire to correct them while other mistakes aren’t corrected because the mistakes aren’t seen as mistakes.  Self-sufficiency is commonly a mistake that isn’t seen as a mistake.  Therefore, the chastening of the Lord is needed.

Because of his upbringing and because of the subtleties of self-sufficiency, Solomon suspected that his son would need the chastening of the Lord on many occasions throughout his life.  It was for this reason that he counseled his son not to despise it or to get weary of it.  To help him not get angry about the chastening of the Lord, Solomon told his son WHY God chastens people.  God chastens the people He loves – not the people He loathes.  God corrects the people He delights in – not the people He detests.  God doesn’t discipline people because of anger – He disciplines people because of love.  God doesn’t correct people out of duty – He corrects people out of delight.  God doesn’t correct people in order to be right – He corrects people so that they can be right.

If we are to succeed in life, we need to correct our mistakes.  But because we so easily can deceive ourselves into thinking our mistakes aren’t mistakes, we need the correction of the Lord.  We need it often and we need it always.  If we fail to realize WHY God is correcting us, then we will get weary of His correction.  If we get weary of His correction, then we will eventually resist His correction.  Such a resistance will make our mistakes permanent and our failure imminent.  

If we are to succeed in life, we need to allow God to correct the mistakes that we fail to correct.  Fortunately for us, He loves us enough to help us make those corrections.  Fortunately for us, we have a Heavenly Father Who delights in us enough to put Himself in a position where we may not delight in Him because of His correction.  We should never despise the chastening of God because it is a manifestation of the love of God.  We should never be weary of the chastening of the Lord because it is His way of blessing us by correcting us.  

Psalms 94:12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD.”

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