As mentioned before, God created Man as His sons. He desires to walk with Man and discipline or disciple him into His Likeness – to be just like Him. We are created to bear His Name and share His Glory. It was the constant theme of His message to the people He chose to be His. Let’s take a look at it.
Adam was created as a son of God. God put him in the Garden of Eden and gave him charge over everything. He gave him wisdom and understanding to name everything and rule everything. Then He would walk with Him and fellowship with him, teaching him everything until the day Adam fell.
From Abraham to Israelites
God called Abraham out of the Chaldeans in Babylon and promised him a land and a hope that his decedents would become numerous. (Gen. 15)
In his old age, God blessed Abraham and Sarah with a son, Isaac. Isaac was gentle, godly and obedient, and in many ways, shadowed our Lord Jesus Christ. However, he was not good at disciplining his twin sons. The first-born, Esau, became a ruthless and violent man, indulged himself in hunting games, and seldom ever paid attention to things passed unto him from his father, things in the heart of God. Later, for a bowl of soup, he was foolish enough to sell his birthright to his younger brother Jacob. In the story, Jacob was a “mother’s boy” when he was young. He was quiet and ambitious, and discontent with the fact he was inferior to His brother born just before him. Later, such an ambition, encouraged by his mother, lured him to cheat off the blessing Isaac intended for Esau.
Jacob fled away at the threat of Esau, and married Leah and Rachel in the land of his mother. Again, he failed to discipline his sons. They brought constant pain to him. Joseph, his favorite, was even sold into slavery by his own brothers. Only Judah seemed to care about the loss and sorrow of his father. Many years later, Joseph was reunited with his family and the brothers reconciled with one another. Then he was elevated to a position second only to Pharaoh in Egypt, and was thus able to provide refuge and shelter for his family in a time of famine.
After 400 hundred years, Joseph was forgotten and the rulers of Egypt became uneasy with the great increase in population of the Israelites in the land. They began to enslave them and tried hard to stop their increase. Moses was born in such a time, only to be raised in the court of Egypt as a prince. God ordained his path. He then became a shepherd in an alien land only to be called to come back to Egypt and deliver his people out of the cruelty of slavery. For 40 years, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, and a generation passed away because they refused to yield to the discipline of God and invoked Him into anger. Moses himself was excluded from going into the Promised Land as well. Facing it at this side of the Jordan, he declared the commands of God to a new generation of Israelites. He touched the essence of the Law:
Deut 8:1-5 [NIV]
1Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. 2Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.
This is _Part 3_ in the series Disciplined by the Father and Self-Discipline. To continue with this series, click on Pt 4. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series, Pt 1 and Pt 2.
Photo credit: stenaceii