Joel 2:32

And it shall come to pass that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

Thought for the Day:  God loves and punishes us just as we love and discipline children.

Years ago, my husband and I participated in a Bible Study at our church. We studied the early books of the Bible where it seemed that God punished the people often and harshly. I remember there was an ongoing word that kept appearing in our reading and then every time we read about another situation where God punished the people there was a reaction by those in the class to repeat it in an almost humorous way. When punishment happened, there were several who would say, “SMITE!”, with a little laughing undertone. Each time I heard it, I cringed. During that early time in my Christian walk, I imagined being the person that punishment happened to and it was harsh. As I read my scripture this morning, I read about one of those times that brought the memories of that Bible Study back to me. But this time, I read it in a different way. Yes, the punishment was harsh and it seemed that there was a lot of “SMITE” in the reading, but in my Christian journey as I am now a mother of two, I realize that a lot of the punishment given was in relation to protection. God was punishing his children as we discipline our children today. He was protecting them from something that could harm them.

Today, as I travel my Christian journey, I realized that I look to God differently than I did when I was young. At one point I was fearful of God fearful as I was with my Daddy as I was growing up, that I would disappoint him in some way. But now, I realize more fully, that God is with me all the time and loves me. Now, instead of being fearful that I am going to disappoint God, I try to listen for Him to lead me in the first place. If I strive to follow God as I go through my day, I am less likely to disappoint the God I love.

Prayer:   Father, thank you for leading us through our faith to make new realizations about our relationship with you. You love us as we love our children and you lead us through our days if we will only listen and follow you. Amen.



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