“And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, FEAR NOT to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you.” ~ 2 Kings 25:24
FEAR NOT: God only Disciplines His Children
Because of their sin, God had allowed the Babylonians (a.k.a the Chaldees, Chaldeans) to conquer Judah. The entire book of Jeremiah chronicles events just before, during and just after this event. Jeremiah, God’s prophet, had warned the people to submit to the corrective punishment God was sending their way. And Gedaliah, his friend’s son who had been appointed Governor of Judah by the Babylonians, echoed Jeremiah’s admonishments.
The message here is that when God our loving and wise Father decides to chasten/punish us it is wise for us to submit, NOT resist, His correction. We have nothing to fear from our Heavenly Father who corrects us: God is not abusive. Indeed, Scripture tells us:
“… My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” ~ Hebrews 12:5b-7
God corrects/chastens/punishes/disciplines us BECAUSE He loves us. God does not want our sinfulness to destroy us, so, like any good father would, He takes corrective measures to ‘straighten us out’.
Despite Gedaliah’s (and Jeremiah’s) wise advice, many Hebrews resisted God’s correction: they refused to serve the Babylonians quietly until God brought an end to their punishment (as He promised He would, 2 Chronicles 36; Isaiah 44, 45). Eventually, they assassinated Gedaliah (2 Kings 25:25, Jeremiah 40-41), and kidnapped Jeremiah, taking him as they fled to Egypt (Jeremiah 43).
These Hebrews were never heard of again.
By refusing God’s correction they refused their ‘sonship’. They rejected the discipline of God The Father, and He rejected them as sons.
In closing, let us consider, first, the response of David to chastening/correction (for his sin):
“And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for His mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.” ~ 2 Samuel 24:14
And, second, the response of Jeremiah (on behalf of Judah) to chastening/correction (for their sin):
“For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.” ~ Lamentations 3:31-33
- FEAR NOT, Believer, when God our Father corrects us, it is an affirmation that we ARE His children.
- FEAR NOT, God’s chastening will not last forever.
- FEAR NOT, God’s correction is an opportunity to turn around, to repent, and to walk in the right way.
- FEAR NOT, even while we are enduring His chastening, God our Father still loves us.
Let us submit to the discipline of our Heavenly Father.
This post is a part of a series on several of the “FEAR NOT” sayings in the Bible.