If Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, Ethan the Ezrahite may have been a close second. Never heard of him? Me either! Yet, in describing David’s son, the writer of 1 Kings pointed out that Solomon was wiser than all other men, including Ethan the Ezrahite (1 Kings 4:31). So, when Ethan speaks, people should listen!
And Ethan spoke, just once, as the author of Psalm 89, a song about the unwavering love of God. Surprisingly, at least to some of us, Ethan’s song not only covered God’s mighty power and continuous provision for Israel, it mentioned God’s correction.
As Dad, I always had difficulty convincing my girls that my correction was for their good, and not an indication that I ceased to love them. They were kids, and let’s face it, no correction at the time seems pleasant (Hebrews 12:11). God understands that, so as the loving Father He is, He had Ethan give us this reminder:
I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging; but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. (Psalm 89:32-33)
We’re tempted to see words like “punish, rod, and flogging” and think God’s going to beat the tar out of us. But, “punish” here is a word that simply means “to visit or attend to.” If we step out of line, God will attend to that – He won’t overlook it. He’ll use whatever means necessary, sometimes just a gentle nudge to place us back on the right path. Other times, our greater stubbornness may lead to greater correction.
However, regardless of the means He uses to bring us back, He “attends to us” with an everlasting love. There will never, ever, ever be a time when He fails to love us, or be faithful to us – even in the midst of our failures and times of being corrected.
Going through a time of discipline or other difficulty? Remember, He never withholds His love – ever! –Dave
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