“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2Tim. 2:16
I believe most would agree that reproof is a blessing in disguise. But without reproof of the spirit or deed, there is no correction leading to righteousness.
“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.” Heb. 12:5,6.
His regal stature, enhanced by squared shoulders, bespoke of his courage. In today’s terms, the man was a hunk with his ruddy good looks, strength of character and a softness that would melt a woman’s heart.
Israel’s greatest king, David, now stood idly on his balcony while he sent his armies to battle. He set himself up to prove true the saying, “Idle hands are the devil’s playground.” And so it was. After sleeping with the wife of one of his soldiers, David ordered her husband murdered by battle. Then he married the woman.
You can read the whole account in 2Samuel 11. Chapter 12 tells us of another brave man of God who delivered God’s reproof to David.
“And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul…and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight…And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.” 2Sam. 12:7-14.
David’s confession and forgiveness is recorded in Psalm 51. It illustrates the correction received and the righteousness restored. If you would like to know how David felt carrying his burden of sin read Psalm 38 before going to 51. Then you will know the blessing of reproof.
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin…Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me…The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Ps. 51:1,2,10,17.
All of God’s children are subjected to his reproof. It is evidence He is our Father and He is leading us into righteousness. No, it’s not fun but it is necessary.
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Heb. 12:11.
If you face the reproof of God’s word in your heart, follow David’s example and you will discover the blessing of reproof for your heavenly Father will:
“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation: and uphold me with thy free spirit….O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” Ps. 51:12,15.
And as the saying goes, “The sooner the better.”
Just for fun: Those who enjoy writing, pretend David is the main character in your novel List three characteristics you will be sure to include in a character profile. Then take a minute and write it out. If you would like to leave it in comments, it might be interesting to see the different descriptions.
Let me know if you like this added feature or if it takes away from the message. I’m thinking of occasionally including a writing exercise dealing with characters, settings, etc. in future blogs. What do you think?