Text: Hebrews 12:5-6; Leviticus 26:28; Isaiah 53:4-5; Psalms 119: 67,71, 75.

1) Does God chastise us with misfortune, sicknesses and diseases?
2) What does the word chastisement actually meant?
3) What About Paul’s Thorn In The Flesh?

1.Does God chastise us with misfortune, sickness and diseases?

Some people teaches today that God will chastise His own children with tragedies, sicknesses and diseases to teach them for falling short of His expectations. And that the more of God you know, the more He will hold you accountable, and the more your punishment. (Will this notion draw you closer or far away from God and anything that will increase your knowledge of Him?). Surely, this will rather make people to leave the Bible or Bible study alone!
Again, they say that the closer you draw to God, the more trials and tribulations you would experience. True or false statements?
This erroneous teaching has its root in an old covenant scripture and not in the new covenant.
Leviticus 26:28 KJV
[28] Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
However, please note carefully that we are no longer under the covenant of law but under the covenant of GRACE. Jesus has already borne all our chastisement and punishment on the cross.
Isaiah 53:4-5 KJV
[4] Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. [5] But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

2. Meaning of the word Chastisement.

Hebrews 12:5-6 KJV
[5] And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: [6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Someone may ask: is this not a clear evidence that God chastens believers in the new covenant?
This is where the confusion came from in the King James translation. Further study of the word translated chasten is Greek paideuo ( Please see Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2000 by Biblesoft). The Greek word paideuo which they translated to chasten actually means “child training”. It does not mean “to punish”.
Pai is where you get the word “paediatrician” (a doctor who specialises in treating children). Deuo means “to teach a child”.
From here, the word paideuo really means child training and not punishment. It connotes child discipline from God as our earthly fathers discipline or trains their children.
Now the question is How Would You Discipline Your Children?
By giving your child a terminal disease to teach him or her a lesson? Or would you force your son or daughter to put his or her hand into the fire until the smell of burning flesh fills the kitchen to teach him or her not to play with fire or touch a gas cooker.
What lesson is there to learn after the person dies from that terminal illness? Sicknesses, diseases and accidents are Not from God! Rather, when you train a child, you give lessons that teach the child things that will benefit him or her in the future. There is no future if the child is dead.

3. What about Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh?

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 KJV
[7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. [8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. [9] And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
The bible passage did not mention the thorn in the flesh was a sickness or diseases.
Thorns in the Bible refers to personalities that harass you.
In English we say things like “a pain in the neck” to describe someone who harasses or irritates us. It is just an idiom of expression and does not refer to an actual pain or disease in our necks.
Numbers 33:55 KJV
[55] But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.
Here the enemies of Israel were described as “thorns” in their sides, and harassment to them.
Paul himself called his thorn in the flesh “a messenger of Satan”. This was clearly in reference to an evil personality who instigated people to attack, gossip and backbite Paul everywhere he went preaching the gospel. That was why God told Paul, My grace is sufficient for you- 2 Corinthians 12:9


Whenever you hear a teaching that puts fear in your heart, you can be sure that what you are hearing is not the gospel, or good news, of Jesus. The good news of Jesus al ways liberates, imparts faith, exalts the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and His perfect love removes every fear.

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