Tag Archives: Christian

Whippings and the Image in the Mirror

Whippings…are they legal? Are whippings recommended or permissible for parents to administer to their children? The topic of whipping is trending today in newscasts and social media. Whippings are nothing new particularly for the black community who often grew up under the whipping belt or switch. Many parents in the black community believed that sparing the rod by withholding a good whipping spoiled the child and they had scripture to prove it.

Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. Pro 19:18

There is no doubt that a parent can be abusive in administering corporal punishment and certainly discipline should not be done in an unreasonable manner. But there are some people who are appalled that whipping is done at all. They were not reared with this kind of correction and believe it to be inhumane. Prisons are full of criminals and children that got no correction at home but yet we debate the use of proper corporal punishment while crimes by children have greatly risen from homes without proper discipline.

In the black community, parents believed strongly in corporal punishment and, to make things all the worst, parents would tell the misbehaving child to go get his own switch off the tree outside. And if he did not get a sufficient switch then the parent would go get a proper one off the tree. Many of us learned quickly not to misbehave from mere mention of a switch or a parent’s look that promised a good whipping when we got home. We grew up knowing to do right or we would receive punishment. Teachers, neighbors or other children would report our wrongdoings and we would be dealt with when we got home. But within this generation are many children and adults who were not reared with this fear of punishment for doing wrong. Too many children were consoled with treats as reward if they would just do right or stop misbehaving. Some children are routinely sent to their room or a privilege taken away as punishment for misbehaving. There are many ways of correcting children. Modern instructors believe that corporal punishment is improper. Certainly not all methods are effective and we still debate today about the right way to get misbehaving children to comply. It is true that balance and proper instruction is needed in administering discipline to a child and not all children can be disciplined with the same method.

While we debate whether or not to use corporal punishment for misbehaving children, God has never changed His word or His practice of correcting His children. God believes in the whip. After all the Holy Spirit recorded this instruction for all posterity: “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Pro 19:18). The whip referred to here evidently was severe enough to cause pain and crying. God has used the whip through the ages to discipline Israel and the nations of the world.

I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 2Sa 7:14

A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back. Pro 26:3

O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Psa 38:1

And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them. Eze 4:13

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Rev 3:19

And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt: And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. Jer 24:8-9

The principles of the bible are timeless and given by an Omniscient God who Fathered the first children and disciplined them through several methods. Scripture reveal that God uses various methods of disciplining His children. One of the ways God show adults their sin is through their children. If we look closely we can see our own bad habits and sins in children’s behavior because they are like their parents, the very image. A looking glass shows us our own image so we can see ourselves the way others see us. We look in the mirror to correct a hair out of place or clothes in disarray. Other things can be a mirror for us besides children. Other people committing our personal sin can be a mirror that can sometimes cause us unknowingly to judge our sin as well. David condemned himself by looking at such a mirror supplied by God.

And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; …Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. 2Sa 12:5-7, 9-14

These scriptures reveal that God use mirror imagery to reveal sin. In this example, the sinner was told the crime and punishment during the discipline as a teaching process.

God still uses the whip on individuals and nations to discipline bad behavior. We see God using the whip today but many do not recognize it because they do not understand or believe in use of the whip or use of corporal punishment. When people believe they are good, they cannot fathom being disciplined. God is whipping our nation and parts of the world today but America does not understand she is being whipped. She wonders what is going on because she is hurting but is not use to being whipped. The African American population, of all people, should understand but many black people are not paying attention to world events or are unconcerned. A great deal of Caucasian parents did not practice corporal punishment with their children and cannot easily recognize or understand these signs. But nevertheless America is being whipped to bring about correction. While America has refused Christian guidelines for moral behavior, they are, nevertheless, polling each other in society over what is acceptable or ethical behavior. Here is what God’s word has to say about this practice.

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. 2Co 10:12-13

When a child is disciplined they are usually told the reason and given a chance to repent. Because many people cannot hear God speaking, He is telling America its reason for being whipped through the visual pictures brought about by various reporting through the media. People are debating punishment in the news without realizing it. They are debating how to punish wrongdoing or fight back. The worst thing one can do when being whipped by a parent is to talk back, argue the punishment or fight back which usually brings twice the punishment. It is important to be careful what is said while under judgment.

Some people are looking in the mirror at their own behavior through the lives of others but not recognizing themselves because they have no righteous standard by which to judge. We are observing our nation go through a costly and time-consuming process of trying to improve on God’s plan for mankind. The Ten Commandments and the Word of God provided in the Old and New Testaments were planned as instruction to provide mirror imagery that would allow judgment of our own actions. This biblical resource answers the questions that people are still asking:
• What standard really measures what is moral and what is not?
• Is a man’s home his own personal kingdom allowing him to do what he wants?
• Are all people equal?
• Are women less valuable than men?
• Were women intended to be a mere tool for man’s pleasure?
• Is it okay to profit from other’s labor without proper compensation?
• Is wife beating a family matter?
• Is police brutality sanctioned as proper authority?
• What can be done about political corruption?
• What is the proper use of guns?
• Why are teenagers and adults committing suicide?
• What is the worth of the unborn life?
• Should the rich make the rules and lord over the poor?
• Do we owe respect to people in authority?

So while we look at this issue of whipping, we must admit that whippings were intended to be used by parents toward children as discipline and judgment for unrighteous behavior that would bring the child back to right behavior. Consider for yourself: After many years of practicing your particular type of discipline, has it proven to be successful for producing righteous, mature adults, ready for society. We do not agree as a nation about what is righteous behavior so it may take a while for many to see themselves through the mirrors presented before them. Let’s still hope and pray that we as individuals and nation realize the imagery in the mirror and correct bad behavior.

Written: September 19, 2014

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QUESTIONING THE AUTHORITY OF GOD

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament  sheweth his handywork.  Psa 19:1

There are many different interpretations of who God is and what name He or “she” should be called.  The more people you talk to the more variety of ways you find about people’s beliefs about God.  Some people insist that God is male while others insist that God is female.  Some people believe God is only a spirit that never came in the flesh body of Jesus Christ. Some people call God Allah, some Jehovah, some Buddha, or various other names for pagan gods and some call Him Lord or Jesus.  There is so much confusion in the area of religious faith even among professing Christians. Some Christians are changing long-held beliefs and teachings about who God is in order to follow the world’s beliefs. History reveals that there have always been times of dissension from the faith as people threw off religious restraints to follow the world into the fleeting pleasures of sin.

One sure thing is that if you diligently seek God, you will find Him (Mat 7:7; Psa 91:15; Act 17:27).  The One True God, who is Sovereign over the world, wants to be found even though He is ever so close to each of us, directing our lives into that discovery. Jesus is today revealing Himself to people who are Muslims, Buddhists, spiritualists, atheists and agnostics. Someone said concerning man’s faith in difficult situations: “There are no atheists in a foxhole”.  There is an inner knowing in every person that realizes there is a God.  God is the Creator Who gives every man the breathe of life and He has declared through Apostle Paul’s writings His efforts to reach to every soul:

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Rom 1:19-21

From the native Indian and African tribes, who believed in spirits; to the erroneous Gnostics Christians, who were spiritualists; to today’s debate about the names, forms and person of God’s Messenger; there have been constant controversies in belief about God.  Religious wars have been fought between Christians and Muslims during the 10th through 12th centuries A.D Crusades and religious disagreement still exists.  But even those, like Saul (Act 9:5) who  resist the Christian faith, are still being led to the discovery of who God is in Jesus Christ and will to know Him eventually as Judge or Lord.

God uses the Word of God to appeal to all kinds of people. Here are just a few categories:

  • Scientists – the bible declares the beginning of all things that is being confirmed by science. The accurate accounting of time itself requires the bible confirmation of the day lost when God held up time for a day of battling Israel’s enemy. George Washington Carver, a black scientist, asked God for help and made hundreds of discoveries from the peanut.
  • Poets – David was an avid writer of songs and poetry as inspired by God, as was his son, Solomon, who wrote Proverbs.
  • Intellectuals/Atheists – God answers the questions of skeptics and atheists in Job (Job 38:4), where God ask the question: Where was man when He, God, formed the world? Job’s confrontation by God caused him to shut his mouth from speaking (Job 40:4).
  • Astrology – the book of Matthew shows that the wisdom of the wisest men and  astrological study led them to seek the Christ, who would rule as king of kings and be Supreme Master of all possible wisdom. The wisdom of the bible still explains the mystery of the heavens and discusses past and future movements of the stars and moon.
  • Experts in Anatomy – God not only made the first man but also performed the first operation and discussed the physique, diseases and cures for the body before modern medicine and technology.
  • Psychiatrists –the causes of a deranged mind and the cure as well as the knowledge of developing and keeping a healthy mind are clearly explained in Scripture (Is 26:3).
  • Architects – Jesus, known as the Chief Corner Stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone and a sure foundation instructs throughout Scripture the building a sure house.
  • The Rich or Impoverish – Job the richest man of his time described God as He who gives and takes away. Satan is actually the thief, but God is the gracious Giver of wealth.
  • Men of Strength or Weakness – the examples of Samson and Gideon show that God can use either weak or strong men because the source of the power is God, who works through men.
  • Athletes and Artists – the strongest man (Samson) and wisest man (Solomon) were given strength by God, as were all the men gifted in workmanship for building the Temple.
  • Sexual Perverts – In Romans One, God challenged mankind about their original gender, sexual purpose and their end through rebellion.
  • Idolaters and False Prophets – were put to the test by God through the leadership of Moses and Elijah to settle issue of who is really God.  False gods were overthrown by God.
  • Power Brokers – God proved His supreme power by destruction of earth by flood, with the exception of eight people who trusted God and God promise destruction by fire in the end (Rev 9:18).

Regardless of the challenge or question, God has already answered it in His written word for everyone from the pauper to the King.  And because the end of the earth has already been written even before it occurs, we know that God will have the final word.  When asking the question:  Who is he, God has chosen to answer through what He does in the elements by fire, water; clouds; whirlwind; through His voice speaking in the mountain, bush or sky; through His prophets; the Word and finally through Jesus Christ.  He declares that “I AM that I AM” (Exo 3:14).  God is whatever we need Him to be at any time.  God is our Father, but promises to be a husband to the barren, our friend, our healer, our deliverer, etc.   Jesus calls believers His brethren.  God is:

  • El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
  • El Elyon (The Most High God)
  • Adonai (Lord, Master)
  • Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah)
  • Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner)
  • Jehovah-Raah or Ro’i (The Lord My Shepherd)
  • Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals)
  • Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
  • Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
  • El Olam (The Everlasting God)
  • Elohim (God) The Lord, Yahweh the God of Israel in contrast to false gods of other nations
  • Qanna (Jealous)
  • Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
  • Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)
  • Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)
  • Theos: Greek word translated “God.”
  • Kurios: Greek word translated “Lord.”
  • Despotes: Greek word translated “Master.”
  • Father: God becomes our personal Father, revelation through faith in Christ

The Word of God declares who God is but God is willing to prove Himself to anyone who personally challenges His authority as He did with the Old Testament King Nebuchadnezzar:

The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: Dan 4:30-34 

God proved Himself to idolatrous Israel through His prophet Elijah:

And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. 1Ki 18:36-39

Christians believe by faith what God has said about Himself in His Word and we accept the authority of what He has said.  This faith gives to the Christian righteous standing with God that unbelievers do not have.  Unbelievers may insist on proof of God but that proof is before them every day in the majesty of God’s earth while their harden hearts refuse to believe.  Yet the Long-Suffering Lord is willing to show up to win every soul.   He has spoken for Himself through the prophets of the Old and the New Testaments:

Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. Isa 44:6-7 

Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. Joh 10:25-30

The question is not really about God, who needs not validation, but rather about man’s choosing to believe the God that IS.  If a man is without a harden heart, he can be persuaded by faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  Salvation will come from the drawing of the Lord and the Holy Spirit’s personal dealings with man to convict him.  “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is…” (Heb 11:6).  Jesus spoke very clearly on our choice to believe:

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. Joh 3:17-21

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Joh 3:16