The Misconception of God’s Punishment
Punishment is translated from the original Hebrew word Paqad #6485, its root meaning is, “to attend to.” Paqad is most often translated as; numbered, counted, take note, the sum, call to account, charge, visit, appoint, concerned, take care, punish and the list goes on…
With these broad definitions in mind, how do you picture a loving father training his child. What does the father do first to get the attention of his rebellious child? Secondly, how does he correct his child’s potentially harmful, or offensive behavior?
Even in human terms, a loving father is considered to be Patient/Long Suffering, yet Just/Fair in his discipline/punishment. The consequence of a child’s deliberate misbehavior is equally difficult/painful for both the parent and the child.
A parent who mistakenly avoids these painful consequences, for wrong behavior, may be surprised when their child refuses to submit to any authority; including their teachers, law enforcement officers and most importantly, their Creator.
The love between a parent and a child is usually innate, giving us a natural desire to train them, as difficult as it may be, to do what is right and to turn from doing wrong.
God, on the other hand, is not human. He Is Good, He Is Righteous, He Is Merciful, and He Is Steadfast/Unfailing/Faithful Love. He doesn’t lose control of His Anger or have a need to vent His wrath on His rebellious Children.
Our Creator knows exactly how to get our attention and He knows how to humble our puffed up human nature. Like a child we also learn by the consequences that await us when we stray off the path of Life.
No loving, human, father would refuse to correct his child from running into oncoming traffic. How much more can we trust our Heavenly Fathers Life-saving correction?
Understanding the reason for our difficult times/trials/tests is how we are able to count them all Joy, because they are producing steadfastness/endurance/perseverance in us, and making us Whole/Mature/Complete, James 1:2,3.
So next time you see the word, “Punishment,” in your Biblical translation look at it through the eyes of a grateful child who has obediently grown to discern the path that leads to death from the Path that leads to Life, Proverbs 12:28.