From Thomas Watson, "The Comforting Rod," brought to my attention by Blueridge Baptist
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten." Revelation 3:19
God's afflicting rod has comfort in it--as it is a token of the special favor He bears towards us. We think that God cannot favor us--unless He pampers us in His lap. Yet He loves and favors us--when He gives us the bitter drink of affliction. God's chastening rod and God's love both stand together. The rod is a token of God's love. It is no love in God, to let men go on in sin--and never smite. Is it love to your child--to let him run into the water and drown? To be without the rod of God's discipline--is a sign of a bastard child, a mark of reprobation. "But if you are without chastisement, then you are bastards, and not sons." Hebrews 12:8. God's rod whips us to heaven!
If God will let any fall upon the rock of ruin, then He will allow them to go on in sin and not correct them. "I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom." Hosea 4:14. Take notice:God spares the rod--in anger! God's hand is heaviest--when it is lightest! God punishes most--when He does not punish!
But God smites His people--that He may save them, and is that not love? Let me feel God's smiting hand--so that I may have His loving heart.
The Lord comes down with a murdering axe to hew down His enemies--but He has only a rattling rod forHis children. This is all the hell they ever shall feel.1 Corinthians 11:32, "We are judged and disciplined by the Lord--that we should not be condemned with the world." Is not this comfort to know--that this is the worst we shall have? God lays upon us a light affliction--and saves us from wrath to come! What is the drop of sorrow which the godly taste--compared to the bottomless sea of wrath, which the damnedendure forever?
"Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty." Job 5:17