The Mystery of Divine Chastening

Walterick Printing Co. Fort Dodge, Iowa

To
Aggie and Harry
and
all their fellow-sufferers,
patient in tribulation,
cheerful in spirit,
serving the Lord.

The Foreword

“The law of average eventually catches up with each one of us,” said a nurse to a friend who entered the hospital for an operation. “Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward,” declared Eliphaz the Temanite. “We all have our troubles, for in life we are in the midst of death,” asserts the man of the street. Such is the cold stoical comfort of human reasoning.

The child of God is not immune to affliction, but in this he has available the strength of his Great High Priest, the knowledge of the Divine Revelation, and the understanding of the purposes of Infinite Love. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:28-29).

That all Christians do not appropriate such excellent provision is very obvious for there are many who faint in the day of adversity. The lack of the knowledge of God’s dealings with His children leaves them submerged in distress or crushed by despair.

For his own profit and consolation each saint should acquire some understanding of the alchemy of grace that transmutes every trial into all good. The process of this transmutation may seem very difficult to the immature, but hidden in the Holy Scriptures lies the procedure by which our Heavenly Father, through these changes, develops in His own that good, the image of Christ, This work He will carry on until all stand in glory physically, morally, and regally like Christ.

It is only befitting that the Spirit of Grace should minister through the gifts to the Church biblical instruction which deals with God’s love for, and His training of, His children. This booklet contains such instruction, and one is grateful to David Kirk for the thorough and methodical manner in which he has treated the subject, “The Mystery of Divine Chastening.”

This treatise has been perused carefully with pleasure and with profit. The contents have been a blessing, consequently, I would recommend, that it not be read merely in a cursory way, but that it be studied intensively and prayerfully, and that each reference to the Scriptures be examined thoughtfully.

May the instruction so excellently presented result in the dissemination of true knowledge that will enlighten the ignorant, console the confused, strengthen the sorrowing, pacify the perplexed, and stabilize the spiritual experience of those who are exercised thereby.

Now may the God of Patience and of Consolation grant His blessing upon the ministry of these pages, may every reader secure benefit from the time spent over them, and may Christ be magnified in the prosperity and adversity, the life and death of every learner in the school of God.

James Gunn
Midland, Ontario.

Author’s Preface

“… My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him; for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth” (Hebrews 12:5, 6).

Ever since the days of Job saints in all ages (and of all ages), in all places and in all circumstances have been asking the question, Why hath the Lord dealt so with me?

“God is love.” Calvary forbids the slightest shade of a shadow of a doubt to cross the mind concerning His love. We sing:

Not for those who ever loved Him
Jesus came to bleed and die;
Pity for the sinner moved Him,
Who that hears it can deny “God is love”?

Why then does He cause grief, allow hearts to bleed, and tears to stain the cheeks? Faith answers thus, “Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight” (Matthew 11:26).

In the pages of this pamphlet we shall examine the subject of Divine Chastening, and shall trace several reasons why the hand of God in affliction is laid upon His saints.

Much of what is written herein has been the author’s oral ministry on the subject. God has been pleased to add His blessing to the messages. In the hope that blessing may come to a larger circle of His people it is put into print. It leaves our hands with an earnest prayer that the God of all comfort will use it to comfort the hearts of His own.

D. Kirk
Hamilton, Canada,
1955.

Chapter One
The Explanation of Chastening.

The word used for chastening and words akin to it in the Scripture come from a Greek word, paideuo„. There are different translations of this word, an examination of which helps us to appreciate the meaning of Divine chastening.

In II Timothy 3:16 we read that the Scriptures have been given to us, and are profitable for “instruction in righteousness.” Here our word is “instruction.” When the Lord Jesus stood before Pilate he (Pilate) sought to appease the Jews by offering to chastise Jesus (Luke 23:22). Chastise Him by scourging. Chastisement may be a painful experience. A derivia-tion of the word is “schoolmaster.” (Gal. 3:24). If we group these three references together we learn that chastening, causing us suffering, becomes the Divine Schoolmaster instructing us in the paths of righteousness. Most of us know what Laban meant when he said, “I have learned by experience.” (Genesis 30:27).