Responding to Discipline

Israel, return to the Lord your God,
for you have stumbled in your iniquity.
Take words of repentance with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him: “Forgive all our iniquity
and accept what is good,
so that we may repay you
with praise from our lips.
Assyria will not save us,
we will not ride on horses,
and we will no longer proclaim, ‘Our gods!’
to the work of our hands.
For the fatherless receives compassion in you.”

I will heal their apostasy;
I will freely love them,
for my anger will have turned from him.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like the lily
and take root like the cedars of Lebanon.
His new branches will spread,
and his splendor will be like the olive tree,
his fragrance, like the forest of Lebanon.
The people will return and live beneath his shade.
They will grow grain
and blossom like the vine.
His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.

Ephraim, why should I have anything more
to do with idols?
It is I who answer and watch over him.
I am like a flourishing pine tree;
your fruit comes from me.


Hosea 14:1-9

Any good parent understands what the goal of discipline is. It’s not to beat a child down to the point that they never rise up again. It is to create consequences to help children understand the seriousness of their disobedience. The goal in the end, though, is the see the child change their ways and be better in the long-run from the experience.

In the same way, the book of Hosea closes with a call to repentance and a promise of restoration. That was the goal of this whole story. God’s desire was to see Israel leave behind their idols so that He can restore their land back to a prosperous place with a bountiful harvest. God’s heart is always to give good gifts to His children and not to punish them.

When we experience God’s discipline in our lives we need to remember that it is for our growth and to bring better things into our lives. The writer of Hebrews tells us that God disciplines us “for our benefit, so that we can share his holiness. No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Restoration and growth is God’s desire for us.

  • How do you respond when you experience discipline for God?

Published by llongard

I grew up in northeast Wisconsin. After high school, I moved to Minneapolis, MN to attend North Central University and graduated 1992 with a degree in Biblical Studies and Humanities. I spent most of the next fifteen years in the Twin Cities area until my family and I moved to Indiana in 2007. For most of the first seventeen years after college, I was involved in university ministry either as a volunteer, bi-vocational, or full-time campus minister. Through those years, I also worked in the main street marketplace as a retail manager/trainer and as a service representative in the insurance industry. I've also worked in various education roles. Most recently, I have been working on various projects addressing homelessness in Indianapolis and as team lead for Diakonos Community, a Communitas International missional initiative. Through this ministry, we seek to build missional communities in Indianapolis that serve and bring the life of Christ to those on the margins of society. Our strategy is to collaborate with community agencies that serve those in need and share Christ through meaningful relationships. I am blessed with a wonderful wife, three amazing daughters, and two cats (can't forget the cats, LOL). As a family, we enjoy camping, hiking, gardening, and going to the YMCA together. I also enjoy fishing, riding bicycle, and being involved in whatever my daughters are doing. Though I have not lived in the Green Bay area for over 20 years, I am still a major Packer fan.

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