"Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord, the man you teach from your law;" Psalm 94:12
Does this verse feel like an oxymoron? "Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord,".
If you're like me, you hate being disciplined. You hate the idea of being disciplined. Yet we all applaud well disciplined people. "Wow! Your kids are so well behaved." "That team plays a discipline style of basketball." We appreciate the idea that well disciplined individuals and groups are better off than undisciplined individuals and groups; so, why don't we appreciate the Lord's discipline?
When I think of discipline, I think of getting a spanked or grounded. When I think of discipline, I think of punishment. But my fiance Christine made an excellent point a few weeks ago while we were reading Hebrews 12. She said that discipline does not necessarily equal punishment.
Discipline does not necessarily equal punishment.
With this in mind Psalm 94:12 makes a lot more sense. "Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord, the man you teach from your law;" See, this isn't a sentence with two main points, it is one thought.
A parent can discipline a child not to play in the street by simply saying, "Don't play in the street." Parents don't wait for their children to frolic in traffic and then beat them to teach them not to play in the street. Parents discipline their children through their teaching and through their lifestyle.
God is no different. When God is teaching us His law He is disciplining us. Now, does God also punish us? Absolutely, but as a wise Father that is not His first resort in discipline. God teaches us His law to discipline us for our good.
Look at the next verse. "... you grant him relief from days of trouble, till a pit is dug for the wicked." Psalm 94:13.
See, God disciplines us through His law in order to keep us from trouble. And much more than that, he will dig a pit from the wicked. God will destroy wickedness because our trouble doesn't just come from our own wickedness. Our trouble can also come from living in a wicked, unrighteous world. God disciplines us now to help remove us from trouble and He will soon rise up against wickedness to remove us from every trouble once and for all.
"Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord, the man you teach from your law; you grant him relief from days of trouble, till a pit is dug for the wicked." Psalm 94:12-13
Embrace the discipline from God's Word before you endure unnecessary days of trouble and punishment. Do yourself a favor and live your life according to God's Word today.