5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
The word “despise” means to hold with little account, stubbornly resist authority. Some Christians regard God’s discipline on their souls with little concern. For a believer to grow, it is essential to highly regard what God is doing in our lives. The process is exceedingly valuable for the person who wants to grow.
The word “chastening” means discipline or training. It carries the idea of education with implications of (1) range of instruction, (2) guidance, (3) reproof, and (4) correction. God is interested in helping us make the correct choices.
The word “chastening” occurs in various forms seven times in Hebrews 12:5–11. Correction emphasizes the development of the child of God. Nothing enters the life of the believer without the permissive will of God. The problems we face do not come by chance. They are necessary to the plan of God.
Disregard for God’s Word is the cause of divine discipline.
God has a serious problem when believers ignore His Word. If the rejection of His revelation to man persists, then He will act by divine discipline. This section of Hebrews 12 shows the Christian how to respond to discipline. Implacable reversionism away from God’s Word is a difficult problem to break. It takes serious action on God’s part to get the believer’s attention. The purpose is not punishment but the restoration of the Christian to fellowship with God.
When we lightly regard the Word of God—that is, God speaking to us—we often come under divine discipline. If we do not come to grips with the idea that we are under God’s discipline, then we disregard God’s voice to us (Job 6:24). We care more about the difficult problem than what God does with us. We can develop callousness in our souls if we continue in this attitude. God may have to soften our souls through pressure or duress in this case.