Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Going to school is something most people want to get out of as soon as possible. Kids love summer vacation; school discipline is hard, but "commencement" is great--class work is finished. But does God have a "class" where school discipline continues?
In Psalm 25 David prays several times that he may be a student in the Lord's "class": "teach me Your paths," "show me," "lead me," he prays over and over. We probably don't know if he was old or young when he wrote this Psalm, but the inspired picture we get in the Bible is Good News--there is never a graduation out of the Lord's school. You are always a student, a learner, and He never expels you from His "university," but of course you are always free to "quit school" if you wish.
There is always a temptation to "quit" because as our Teacher the Lord exercises discipline, which our carnal hearts don't like. "Do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens" (Heb. 12:5, 6).
It's not that He is a severe Schoolmaster, but His tuition appears that way to us, for "no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" (vs. 11). In fact, if the discipline or chastening has ceased and you think you have clear sailing, one of two things has happened: either you are indeed ready for translation (way ahead of almost everybody else), or you are in real trouble, for "if you are without chastening, ... then you are illegitimate and not sons" (vs. 8).
The writer of Psalm 73 felt at times that the Lord's discipline was too severe. "I have been ... chastened every morning" (vs. 14), waking up each new day to renewed "grief" and "vexation" (vs. 21). It seemed that the Holy Spirit would never get through "convicting" him of sin (which is His "first grade" tuition, John 16:8). Would he as a student in the "school of Christ" never get out of that "first grade"? Other "students" seemed to be spared that "discipline." Life for them was fun and games. "It was too painful for me--until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end" (Psalm 73:16, 17).
Something special is happening right now in the "sanctuary"--the Day of Atonement. Yes! Better stay in school!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: May 28, 2000.
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