The most valuable correction we need comes from God
Job received gentle correction from God like a loving parent for a confused, hurting child. God doesn’t browbeat His children!
Job was spouting bravado: “Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come to His seat! I would present my case before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments” (Job 23:4). But all he could muster in God’s presence was “Well, shut my mouth!” [Job 40:4, RSV (Robert Standard Version)].
Because Job responded to God’s correction, God was able to continue on in Job 40 which meant more growth for Job!
As the Matthew Henry Commentary put it so well: “Those who daily receive what they have heard from God, and profit by it, shall hear more from Him “not to catch at comfort too soon!” God comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable!
Our loving Father corrects every son or daughter He loves “for our profit” and deserves more respect than we give human fathers (Heb. 12:5-11). I didn’t want to trouble my Dad!
Jeroboam vs. David
Jeroboam is rated in the Bible as being worse than 14 kings who were evil. In contrast, David is called more righteous than five other good kings. The chief difference between the two standard-setting leaders is spelled out in 1 Kings 13:33: Jeroboam didn’t repent like David did.
The prophets decry a nation that “has not obeyed His voice, she has not received correction; she has not trusted in the Lord, she has not drawn near to her God” (Zeph. 3:2). And a “nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished” (Jer. 7:28).
God’s people are warned about being Laodicean, which is a challenge because that will be the proclivity of the Church at the end time: “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference” (Rev. 3:15-19).
Yes, to be Philadelphian overcomers (Rev. 3:12) we must not only not hide, not only heed, but
We must seek
It’s time to examine ourselves (1 Cor. 11:28). When does Paul say to do this: the time before we “eat of the bread and drink of the cup”—before the Passover service (March 29 this year) and the Days of Unleavened Bread (March 31 through April 6). We do this seeking not to end up feeling so broken and worthless that we don’t want to take the Passover but to “examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5) and then eat and drink.
“For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged” (1 Cor. 11:31).
A few years ago a minister gave a sermon that has impacted me to ask God each year during this exam time: What’s the one thing you hate about me the most? What’s the one thing I most need to change? Something salacious? He spoke on humility. Safe topic! But hey, maybe the correct answer for us all because Satan’s downfall: pride!
Seek correction through extra Bible study
“All Scripture is … profitable for … reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16).
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable” (Heb. 4:12-13).
We can ask God to show us any secret or presumptuous sins (Psa. 19:12-13). These secrets might be obvious to all but us!
In the Bible we read about all the extraordinary details God wrote about building His tabernacle and temples. He wanted all the furnishings just so. He has standards! Shouldn’t we want to actively seek God’s instructions—yes correction— about how He wants us as His temples to be! (1 Cor. 6:19). We probably need to throw out more than money changers!
“So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die” (Jer. 10:24, New Living Translation).
It’s goodness, one of those nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, that leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). So we should repent and ask for it daily!
We need God’s mercy & Jesus Christ’s sacrifice more this year than ever. We need to discern His body and blood and renew our new covenant commitment. We need to be reconciled with our brothers and sisters before we bring our gift to the altar. We need to be totally yielded to God and His purposes. We need to be committed to finishing the Work God has given us as His Church. We need to become a new creation in God’s hands.
We should claim “eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality” (v. 7).