August 6, Saturday

REPOST Today’s AMI Devotional Thought, first posted on August 22, 2015, is provided by Pastor Yohan Lee.  He is a friend of AMI who in the past has served as a staff at several AMI churches.  He is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA).

Spiritual Food for Thought for This Weekend

“Consistently Good, Fair and Just”

2 Kings 10:10-11

Know then that there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of the Lord, which the Lord spoke concerning the house of Ahab, for the Lord has done what he said by his servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu struck down all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, all his great men and his close friends and his priests, until he left him none remaining.

Most parenting experts will tell you that when it comes disciplining our children, the most important thing is to be consistent.  Inconsistency is why I might be the worst parent in the world.  I have two year old boy-girl twins, Jon and Abbie.  My wife and I joke that Jon is “not smart enough to punish.”  For example, if we send Abbie to her room for ill behavior, she cries knowing she’s being punished.  But when we send Jonny in there, he smiles and laughs. (I think he thinks we are playing hide-and-seek.)  At nap time (they share a room), we tell them both to stay in bed, and if they get out they are going to get punished.  Whenever I go in their room because I hear mischief, Abbie is always in her bed, while Jon is always out.  Don’t get me wrong, they are both being troublemakers, but Abbie knows, at least, to stay in bed.  When I tell Jon that he needs to be punished, he looks at me like, “What did I do?”  And when I tell them it is time to get spanked, Abbie runs away in fear, while Jon runs toward me smiling and laughing as if I am going to read him a book.  The truth of the matter is that I find Jon really cute, and when he looks at me and smiles with that blank look on his face, many times, I cannot bring myself to punish that guy (inconsistency).  In my heart of hearts, punishing the lad is not what I want to do.  But I know that good parenting involves disciplining our children, and teaching them that there are consequences for their actions.  

While going through the narrative history of Israel, eventually, we would have to broach the topic of punishment.  Make no mistake about it, Jehu was the Lord’s agent of punishment and judgment on the house of Ahab.  Ahab and Jezebel’s alliance was wicked; as individuals, they were wicked, and as a household they led Israel into further idolatry and evil action.  Their deeds deserved to be punished.  I think when reading the Bible, we often mistake patience with inconsistency.  God is patient, but I wouldn’t say He is inconsistent.  In fact, part of God’s immutable nature is that He remains at all times consistently good, fair, and just.  And when God says that He is going to punish evil, you can be sure that He is not inconsistent like human parents.  

Prayer: Lord, help me to see that justice and discipline are as much a part of Your character as grace and forgiveness. Help me to trust in Your hand even if the results are difficult to understand or terrifying.  Help me to know that You are always good and always sovereign.  Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Samuel 22-23

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