9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?
Verse 9 shows the proper filial response to God’s discipline.
“Furthermore” explains further the implications of divine discipline.
we have had human fathers who corrected us,
The “fathers” here are our physical fathers from human birth. Our human fathers made it a custom to discipline us (customary imperfect).
and we paid them respect.
A disciplined child pays “respect” to his parents. Our earthly parents had the right to discipline us because of the relationship we had with them.
Shall we not much more readily
The words “much more” point to a contrast; it is a contrast between human and divine discipline. Christians need to readily prepare for God’s discipline.
be [allow self to be] in subjection to the Father of spirits
The words “Father of spirits” refers to the transcendence of God and His implied authority (Nu 16:22; 27:16). God is a spiritual being. The sheer majesty of God Himself demands that we subject our lives to Him. “Subjection” implies the resigning of our wills to Him. It indicates that we know God’s dealings with us are just (Ge 18:25; Ps 103:10; 119:75; 130:3).
The Christian ought to allow himself or herself to be subject to the will of God (passive voice).
Spiritual submissiveness to the transcendent God is life preserving and productive. Those who submit to God live spiritually. God always has our highest welfare in view. “Live” here does not refer to having eternal life. Instead, it refers to the abundant life. This is the triumphant life over problems Christians face.
Having a spirit of submission to God’s discipline will cause the believer to grow.
The Christian should humbly submit to the providential hand of God because He treats us as a Father.
The child of God should never resent God’s discipline. The proper reaction should be submissiveness to the sovereignty of God upon his actions. If we truly understand who God is, then we will much more submit to the grandeur of who He is (Ps 119:71).
It is often difficult to see God’s purpose in disciplining us. The reason is that He is infinite, and we are finite. No Christian has the capacity to comprehend God’s universal plan for our lives. When we discipline young children, they do not grasp the long-term development that they need. They only see the immediate problem they face.
God sovereignly cares for believers (1 Pe 5:7).