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Re: Good that I was Afflicted

Just a brief look at some verses, here... 

67  Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I have kept Your Word.
71  It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your 
75  I know, O Jehovah, that Your judgments are right, and that in 
faithfulness You have afflicted me.
76  I beseech You, let Your merciful kindness be for my comfort, 
according to Your Word to Your servant.
77  Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live; for Your Law is 
my delight.

Notice four things:  1) Affliction is to keep us on track,  2) to keep 
us in God's Word.  3) God's judgments are right, and  4) God is 

How many times have you done it?  Have you seen somebody else do it?  Is 
it the subject of a sitcom episode?  Mom goes and buys the (proverbial) 
swing set (or whatever) for the kids, with the idea that dad is going to 
put it together. Mom says, "What do the instructions show?" and dad 
says, "Awe, I don't need them...I can put this together in a snap." And 
several hours and a trip to the emergency room later, dad covered in 
bandages and arm in a sling, they come home and they show mom putting 
the thing together, triumphantly patting her hands together as the job 
is successfully finished....because she read the assembly instructions.

What's that saying?  When all else fails, follow the instructions...!

The -easiest- way to live a fulfilled Godly life is to follow the 
instructions of God's Law; God's Word; the Scriptures. In the very 
beginning the Garden of Eden was a paradise of perfection, and Adam and 
Eve were given a most basic and simple instruction, "Don't eat..." of 
that particular tree. But when they sidestepped God's Word, humanity has 
suffered 'affliction' ever-since. 

Why the affliction? Because we like to go the wrong way, like sheep 
going "astray". (Is53:6a)  In olden days, if a sheep was of a mind to 
continually go astray, the shepherd might purposely break one its legs, 
in order to then be able to nurse it back to health, and keep it close 
by. If a horse automatically did what the rider wanted, there would be 
no need for bit, spurs and/or whip. These different forms of 
'affliction' make it possible to guide the horse. Like that electric 
fence...the 'affliction' of the jolt of a spark on the cow's nose when 
it goes and sniffs, lets the cattle know where their boundary is.

If we would always obey God's Word, affliction would not be necessary. 
But we don't always. So, when we stray ("for there is no one who does 
not sin" -1Ki8:46), God gives us a nudge, a prick, a prod, a lash, a 
knock up-side-the-head, etc. Whatever we need, He gives it 'rightly'.

But also, even when we may stray -greatly-, and He knocks the bottom out 
from under us so that we might hit the proverbial "bottom", in order to 
have some sense knocked back into us; He is also full of mercy. He 
always sees to it that "...all things work together for good to those 
who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose...to 
be conformed to the image of His Son..." (~Rom8:28-29)

O.T. worship consisted of animal sacrifices. Sacrifies had to do with 
atonement for sin. Worship did not consist of sitting in a comfortable 
padded pew, swooningly gazing upward, hands held limp upwards, 'feeling' 
all warm and fuzzy. It was a rather messy ordeal as the animals were 
slaughtered, their blood collected and sprinkled here and there on 
various things and people. As often as blood was sprinkled, I've gotta 
think that the priestly attire became rather grotesque-looking with all 
that encrusted dried blood. And the ones on whose behalf the sacrifice 
was made would 'prostrate' themselves on the ground (forget the nicely 
cleaned/primped suit or dress). And the words of their worship music was 
"For He is good, for His mercy is eternal." (2Ch7:3)  Their worship was 
not about "bless me, bless me", but about God's "mercy". Why? Because 
-sins- were being forgiven. And an acknowledgment that "...through 
Jehovah’s kindness (mercy) we are not consumed, because His compassions 
never fail." (La3:22)

80  Let my heart be whole regarding Your Statutes, that I may not be 
2Co 7:10  For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not 
to be regretted

When we submit to God's affliction, our 'shame' is taken away. Modern 
psychology tries to deal with shame by encouraging a person to deny 
their basic sin nature; con them into thinking that they are actually, 
really a 'good' person by nature. That, whatever all this bad stuff is 
that I have; it's not really -my- fault, but is a result of my 
environment; and if I can just tap into my 'original goodness', and 
'forgive myself' for not having seen my own goodness, I can then get rid 
of my shame. (Of course: with most of them, they also go on, continuing 
in their sin; nothing changes. Only...now, they feel good about 
themselves whilst continuing to sin!)

Not hardly!! Sin must be faced squarely; the full blame being assumed. 
(confessing and forsaking the sins -Pr28:13) And then receive God's 
correction and cleansing. Then, and only then, is one's heart "clean" 
and free of guilt.

You know... for many years I've been a people-watcher. One thing I have 
learned about looking at people is to differentiate between their mouths 
and their eyes. A person may be conned into believing modern 
psycho-babel, and think they have been liberated through self-esteem and 
divorce. You might talk with them, and their mouths will have these big 
smiles pasted on, and they will be babbling along about how 'happy' they 
are. But you can look into their eyes and see that their consciences are 
yet in darkness, and the -reality- of their soul is that they are yet 
deeply troubled.  

It is only God's cleansing that can take away that darkness.

Pr 13:24  He who withholds the rod hates his son, but he who loves him 
chastens him promptly.
Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and whips every son 
whom He receives.
Re 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous 
and repent.

Parents who refuse to discipline their children actually -hate- their 
children. They have been conned into believing that they should nurture 
their children with only -positive- 'reinforcement'... seeking to 
nurture that alleged 'original goodness'. They refuse to acknowledge 
that "..in sin did my mother conceive me.." (Ps51:5)  and that 
"Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child..." (Pr22:15a)

Before a parent can rightly guide their child, they must understand this 
core root truth, that children are -inherently- 'bad'. It is called the 
"sin" nature. We didn't ask for it, but we were all born with it, 
inherited from Adam. (Rom5:12)

Something else psychology ignores, is their own researched truths. They 
ignore the fundamental 'keys' they proclaim in their "101" courses of 
"Introduction"; that animal-like creatures behave according to, and are 
trained by both positive -AND- negative stimuli. When they encourage 
certain positive behavior, they 'reward' with positive stimuli; but when 
certain other behavior needs to be curtailed, it is necessary to 
introduce negative stimuli... in other words, 'punish'.

But modern parents refuse to 'punish' their children. This is because 
they refuse to -receive- punishment for their own sin. God rewards 
obedience and punishes sin. But what did that verse say (above)? When 
"foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child" what is the solution? 
Attempt to divert the child into good behavior with -bribes-? No! 

"...the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." (Pr22:15b)

Just as God 'afflicts' the one He loves, drawing the errant one to 
Himself, so, too, the Godly parent 'afflicts' the wayward child...AWAY 
FROM sin, and TOWARDS righteousness...also exercising as God does... 
Mercy. Remember the opening passage: "...it is GOOD for me that I have 
been afflicted..."

"Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; 
nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness 
to those who have been exercised by it." (Heb12:11)

"Behold, blessed is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise 
the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He 
shatters, but His hands heal. He will deliver you in six troubles; yea, 
in seven no evil shall touch you: In famine He shall redeem you from 
death, and in war from the power of the sword. You shall be hidden from 
the scourge of the tongue, and you shall not be afraid of devastation 
when it comes. You shall laugh at devastation and famine, and you shall 
not be afraid of the beasts of the earth. For you shall have a covenant 
with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field shall be at 
peace with you. You shall know that your tent is in peace; you shall 
visit your dwelling and find nothing amiss." (Job5:17-24)


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