Disciplined But Not Disowned
Deuteronomy Chapter 2
By Pastor Josh Oestriech
In the first chapter we saw how the children of Israel were detoured into the wilderness due to their disobedience to God's word. The wandering in the wilderness was God chastening and disciplining His people because they chose not to obey and believe.
Now, in chapter 2, we see that even though God had to discipline His people, He didn't (and doesn't today) disown His people. In fact, Proverbs 3:11-12 teaches that we are not to despise the Lord's chastening or correction because "whom the Lord LOVES He corrects." Then we see this expounded on in the New Testament in Hebrews 12. Hebrews says that "if you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening... then you are illegitimate and not sons (vv. 7-8)." Therefore, the discipline and chastening of the Lord is evidence that we are, in fact, one of His children. (See John 1:12-13 on becoming His children.) We see that the discipline of God in our lives doesn't mean that He has cast us off or
disowned us out of disappointment; He is actually validating our adoption as His child through the faith that we have placed in Jesus Christ.
The children of Israel were not cast off by the Lord in their time of chastening in the desert; they were cared for and guided by the Lord though He was correcting them. Deuteronomy 2:7 says, "...He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing." G. Campbell Morgan, put it this way, "This great truth that God never forsakes His people, even when they are bearing the chastisements He imposes as the result of their unbelief, is full of comfort for the hearts of His people for all time."
Now that Israel's time of correction was coming to an end (vs. 14, 16-17), the Lord begins to fulfill His promise to His people. As the people cross the River Arnon the Lord says, "Look, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, King of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to possess it, and engage him in battle. This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the nations under the whole heaven..." (vv. 24-25). Then in verse 36 Moses makes this statement, "the LORD our God delivered all to us."
Not only does God not disown us when we need to be disciplined, He remains faithful to His word to us, cares for us and guides us through the chastening process. And when His chastening has served its purpose, He continues where we left off in our obedience and trust. He is merciful and gracious through it all, and at the heart of His correction is the love of a perfect Father.
Grace and peace.