“Morning and Evening”
“And all the children of Israel murmured.” Numbers 14:2
There are murmurers among Christians now, as there were in the camp of Israel of old. There are those who, when God’s rod falls, cry out against the afflictive dispensation. They ask, “Why am I thus afflicted? What have I done to be chastened in this manner?”
A word with you, O murmurer! Why should you murmur against the dispensations of your heavenly Father? Can He treat you worse than you deserve? Consider what a rebel you were once–but He has pardoned you! Surely, if He in His wisdom sees fit now to chasten you–you should not complain. After all–are you smitten as badly as your sins deserve? Consider the corruption which is in your heart–and then you will not wonder that there needs be so much of the rod to fetch it out? Weigh yourself, and discern how much dross is mingled with your gold–and do you think the fire too hot to purge away so much dross as you have? Does not that proud rebellious spirit of yours, prove that your heart is not thoroughly sanctified? Are not those murmuring words, contrary to the holy submissive nature of God’s children? Is not the correction needed?
But if you will murmur against the chastening, take heed–for it will go hard with murmurers. God always chastises His children twice–if they do not bear the first stroke patiently. But know one thing, “He does not afflict willingly–nor grieve the children of men.” All His corrections are sent in love–to purify you and to draw you nearer to Himself. Surely it must help you to bear the chastening with resignation, if you are able to recognize your Father’s hand. For “whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons.”