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You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you. (Deuteronomy 8:5)

The hunger suffered in the wilderness, followed by the manna, was in some ways a form of correction, or as Moses puts it, chastening. But if chastening, it was done from the perspective of a loving Father who wants His son to grow and develop into the person he should be. In other words, God’s discipline is never administered with the intent to destroy but always to restore. As it is written, “He delivers the afflicted by their affliction, and opens their ear in oppression” (Job 36:15). So then, suffering in our flesh is often a means of chastening that comes from above so that we might be proper sons and daughters.

Just as we become lazy and lethargic when we have eaten far too much, we become spiritually insensitive when we have fed our flesh and deprived our spirit. If that is true, then the opposite is true as well — we become more spiritually tuned in when our carnal desires are ignored. That is why fasting — experiencing hunger — is an important part of our spiritual walk; in denying our fleshly appetite we have opportunity to feed the spirit man. In that vein of thought, Paul teaches that to attain the “glory” we all wish to enjoy in and with Messiah, we must be willing to suffer – to be afflicted. He wrote:

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” (Romans 8:16-17)

This principle — that to be a son we must suffer — is evident throughout the Bible and, in my view, is fully revealed in the suffering of the Messiah. After His resurrection, He encountered two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus and addressed this principle saying, “Ought not the Messiah to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:26). So consider, God will not ask us to do something that He is unwilling to do or hasn’t already done. So if the Messiah must enter into His glory through the gate of suffering, then we must as well.

We have been redeemed by the blood, and because of that, we have the power to “become the sons of God” (John 1:12). But because we are His sons and daughters, we must be willing to embrace the fact that, as He sees fit, we will experience “hunger” and be chastened because, as it is written, “For whom the Lord loves He chastens” (Hebrews 12:6). Yet we should not despair in this; we are simply walking in the footsteps of our Messiah and, at the end of the trial, there is glory.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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