This introduction serves as an invitation to join in an on-going journey of discovery. You will not need to buy tickets nor make travel plans. All that's required is your Bible and a quiet place to read and meditate. Together we'll explore the Book of Psalms, Israel’s hymnal and longest collection of poetry.  

Psalm 94:8-15

His Loving Discipline

TRANSLATION
(8) Understand, you senseless ones among the people, and you fools, when will you be wise? (9) He who planted the ear, will he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see? (10) He who disciplines the nations, will he not correct (the one) who teaches humanity knowledge? (11) Yahweh knows the thoughts of a man that they (are) only a breath. (12) Blessed is the man whom you discipline, Yahweh, and whom you teach from your law, (13) to give him rest from days of trouble until a pit is dug for the wicked, (14) for Yahweh will not forsake his people. He will not abandon his inheritance, (15) for justice will return for the righteous and all the upright in heart will follow it.

OBSERVATIONS
The psalmist begins this segment with four rhetorical questions (vss. 8-10) to emphasize how God deals with those whom he loves both to “correct” (discipline) and to “teach” them. These are the two repeated words found in this middle third of the psalm (vss. 10 & 12). The emphasis then shifts from the nature of Yahweh’s discipline (vss. 8-11) to considering how Yahweh will bless those who favorably respond to his discipline, particularly those in covenant relationship with him (vss. 12-15).

OUTLINE
I.  Focus on Yahweh who judges and disciplines  (8-11)
II.  Focus on blessings for responding positively to his discipline  (12-15)

IDEA STATEMENT
Because God is both just and loving, he will not abandon us when we sin but will rather discipline us in order to restore us to himself.

APPLICATION
We do not readily associate discipline with blessing simply because, in our natural self-centeredness, we find correction unpleasant, even offensive. We struggle to accept any rebuke or criticism that comes our way. However, the Scriptures clearly indicate that God disciplines us as a father because he loves us and wants the best for us. Consider what Hebrews 12 has to say in this regard: “The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father” (Heb. 12:6 & 7)?

While we may not enjoy the discipline we are experiencing at any given moment, we should view it as an evidence of God’s care and concern for us. We need to take seriously the psalmist’s word, “Blessed is the man whom you discipline, Yahweh” (vs. 12), giving thanks to God for doing what is beneficial for our spiritual benefit and growth. As the title of the 1950’s TV sit-com put it, “Father knows best.”

Psalm 94:18-23

Psalm 94:1-7