And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children, My son, despise not you the chastening of the Lord…
Whom He loves, He loves so much that He will not let them abide in the lower parts of their nature. He will rout them out; He will drive them up. Whom He loves He means to make more of. He means to ennoble them. A king ennobles a man by putting a crown on his head: but God ennobles men by putting dispositions in their hearts. Whom He loves He chastens and scourges. That is very severe. A man may be chastised with small whips, but no man is scourged except with cord, laid on with soldiers' hands. It is a horrible operation. God both chastens and scourges men, and all because He loves them. Wonderful love that is! and yet it is just your love. You have not a child whose body is worth more to you than his mind. No child of yours ever told a lie under circumstances of great baseness, that you did not feel rising against him an utter indignation, not because you hated the child, but because you loved him. All your identification with the child pleads for punishment. You said, "It is my child, and he is not worthy of me; and he shall be worthy of me." As I was reading, "For they" — that is, our parents — "verily, for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure." Great pleasure they had in it, if they felt as I did! I would rather be whipped any time than whip my children. And when my father used to say, "Henry, I do not want to do it," I used to say to myself, "What under heaven do you do it for then?" I did not want to be whipped; and if he did not want to whip me, it seemed to me a very unnecessary ceremony! But when I became a father, I felt that nothing in the world was more true. When I had children to bring up, they so far inherited my nature that they deserved to be whipped often, and they got their deserts! It was true that I would rather have taken five blows than to have given one; and yet I put it on to them. And I remembered the precept, "What your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Do not you know what that is? Are you not familiar with both sides of the experience? Paul says, "We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He" — God — "for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Here is the end that God is driving at continually, by such a grand sympathy, by such a tender personal connection with us, by such a constant interference and meddling with all that belongs to us, that we shall not be thralled in lusts and the lower parts of our nature, and depart from His will, and inherit the final remuneration; but that we shall escape, and go up and be made partakers of the Divine nature.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: