"You warned them to return to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, by which a man will live if he obeys them. Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen. For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples. But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.
"Now therefore, O our God, the great, mighty and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes—the hardship that has come upon us, upon our kings and leaders, upon our priests and prophets, upon our fathers and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today. In all that has happened to us, you have been just; you have acted faithfully, while we did wrong. Our kings, our leaders, our priests and our fathers did not follow your law; they did not pay attention to your commands or the warnings you gave them. Even while they were in their kingdom, enjoying your great goodness to them in the spacious and fertile land you gave them, they did not serve you or turn from their evil ways.
"But see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our forefathers so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces. Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress."
Nehemiah 9:29 – 37
As a father I can appreciate Nehemiah's words. I don't take pleasure in disciplining my children... but at the same time... I love them enough to do it. Israel was warned CENTURIES before the exile that rebellion against the Lord's commands carried with it very exact and devastating consequences.
I am so thankful that the Lord deals with the church somewhat different than He did with the nation of Israel. But discipline is disipline and we read in Hebrews 12
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. (verses 7–8)
I don;t know exactly what you are going through, but I do know this:
IF TIMES ARE TOUGH... LEAN HARDER ON JESUS.
One of the reasons God allows us to go through the hard times is to prove His faithfulness.
Until next time: Be blessed... be a blessing.