But they will become his slaves so that they may learn the difference between my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries. 2 Chronicles 12:8
Here we find the nation of Judah in a humbling position. King Rehoboam had only been king of Judah for five years, but in that five years he had forsaken the law of the Lord. Because of this unfaithfulness the Lord sends Shishak, King of Egypt to capture the fortified cities of Judah. The Lord then says to King Rehoboam, “You have forsaken me, so I have forsaken you to Shishak”, and what we see next is faith revived, for they humbled themselves and said, “the Lord is righteous”.
It is here that we find our text. Many times we take disobedience lightly, and most people would not like to talk about the times they have been under God’s rod of discipline. In fact, with so much theology pushing for the elusive mountain top experiences, and Christian pop psychology teaching us “How to manage our emotions” or “How to find the champion within” a Christian could feel like quite the failure in many of today churches to realize and admit that the rod of God is actually on them for disobedience.
But we must see this for what it really is. To be under the rod of God is a blessing, because the Lord only disciplines those He loves. In this text we see His discipline has a specific purpose; to teach. There are many things we must be taught by the hand of the Lord. For our hearts are deceitful and prone to wander, but our shepherd knows how to lead us. And when we learn the difference between His service and the service of the prince of this world, we find that His yoke is easy and His burden in light.
There is also the unfortunate fact that many people live their lives based on subjective feelings and do not live according to the Word of God. They feel that they are all right because they get goose bumps during their worship service, but they are living in sin and feel no remorse about it. This is a much worse place to be than under the rod of God’s discipline.
Today, if you find yourself under God’s Rod of discipline, humble yourself, and know that He is righteous. Don’t try to run, for it is God’s love that is dealing with you, and not His condemnation. Praise Him for He is righteous, and if world looks down upon you because you have been brought low, and if some in the church are too busy chasing affluence under the guise of Christianity to understand, remember victory is yours because He is your shepherd. It is God’s grace that teaches us these important lessons, and we know “the broken and contrite He will never turn away.” Praise God, for He disciplines those He loves, we are kept by the power of God, and we will never be lost.