Every loving father, in the natural realm, pities his children and will often grant them much leniency. And yet there are times when a father becomes frustrated and provoked by his children. At those moments, a loving father will warn his children, urging them to avoid an inevitable pathway of troubles.
Just as an earthly, loving father deals with his own children, our heavenly Father deals with us in the same way.
Often God will be merciful because He knows how weak and frail we are:
Yahuwah [The LORD] is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 9) He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger for ever…. 13) Like as a father pities his children, so Yahuwah [the LORD] pities them that fear Him. 14) For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. (Psalms 103:8-14; see also Psalms 78:38-39; Psa 30:5; Isaiah 26:20; 54:7-8; 57:15-16).
This passage, as well as many other verses in the Bible, confirms that the heavenly Father is abundantly compassionate and patient with His children. In His mercy, He is “slow to anger” and “His anger endures for a moment” (Psalms 145:8 and (Psalms 30:5).
However, if the LORD God is saddened by our behaviour, then He will send us warnings. He will try to get our attention, if we are going in a wrong direction!
There are many examples in the Scriptures for our learning, of the warnings God gives His people. One example can be seen in the events surrounding the prophet named Balaam.
Balaam the Son of Beor
The account in the Bible of Balaam [Numbers 22-24], is a good example of someone who had provoked Yahuwah Elohim [the Hebrew name for the LORD God]:
And God’s anger was kindled (burned) because he (Balaam) went: and the Angel of Yahuwah [the LORD] stood in the way for an adversary against him (Numbers 22:22a).
The Angel of Yahuwah stood before Balaam as an adversary to oppose him!
Yahuwah Himself had come to Balaam and spoken His instructions to Balaam. Yet Balaam did not follow Yah’s instructions, because Balaam’s motives were covetous (i.e. strongly wanting someone else’s position or advantages or possessions; greedy).
Balaam’s heart was not right before Yahuwah (2Peter 2:14b-15). Therefore, God was angry, and sent His Angel to confront Balaam.
And yet, Yahuwah was very merciful in warning Balaam through the donkey!
This is a good example of how the heavenly Father often deals with us — He will warn us! If we are going in a wrong direction, Yahuwah will try to get our attention!
That is what happened to Balaam.
Balaam’s lowly donkey did everything he could to stop Balaam’s foolishness.
The donkey knew of God’s warning, because he could SEE the Angel of Yahuwah, with sword in hand. Yet Balaam did not see the Angel. (Numbers 22:23).
At first, Balaam reacted to God’s warning with anger, hatred, and even violence. But when the donkey supernaturally began to speak and rebuke him, then Balaam finally began to humble himself.
Whom the LORD Loves He Corrects
Since Yahuwah is the loving, heavenly Father, some of the troubles we encounter are not only warning signals, but they are also Yah’s efforts to discipline and correct us. Corrections are a loving form of His warnings for us:
My son, despise not the chastening of Yahuwah [the LORD]; neither be weary of His correction: For whom Yahuwah loves He corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:11-12)
You shall also consider in your heart, that, as a man chastens his son, so Yahuwah [the LORD] your God chastens you. (Deuteronomy 8:5)
As we see in these verses, Yahuwah’s correction is as a loving father. Yahuwah corrects us and warns us by various troubles and afflictions (Psalms 34:19). But, Yah (being the perfect Father) does so with love, and not in wrath. His corrections and warnings are always for our good, because He desires only what is best for His children!
How many of us have been warned about impending troubles, but have ignored or despised the warnings?
Is there someone in our life that seems to be correcting or warning us?
Do we despise them?
Do they seem to be speaking ‘like a fool’ into our life?
Do we regard them as a donkey [an ass]?
Perhaps God is using that person as a way of warning us.
Warnings are meant to help us avoid troubles and disasters!
Sometimes our troubles can get very bad before we will ‘wake up’ and SEE that Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God] has been sending us warning signals.
In Balaam’s case, the only thing that was physically troubling at this point in the account was his ‘crushed foot’ (Numbers 22:25) .
But often, our troubles can become much worse than a crushed foot!
A crushed foot is certainly painful, and can result in needing crutches for several weeks. But the actions of Balaam’s donkey were evidence of Yah’s mercy! Yahuwah was trying to warn Balaam!
We need to carefully consider our troubles. Though troubles and sorrows are often mysterious and very difficult to understand, we should ask Father what He may be trying to teach us, or trying to warn us about. We should ask Him what we need to learn as we are going through a low time, through a difficult time, through what seems like a ‘valley’.
When Yahuwah’s disciplines us, we need to receive His corrections with humility and a teachable heart (Hebrews 12:5-6). His corrections are meant to bring us back onto His pathway, to help us return to obedience to His Word:
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your Word. . . It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees. . . I know, O Lord, that Your laws are righteous and in faithfulness You have afflicted me. (Psalms 119:67,71,75)
Every one of us will experience troubles and afflictions in this life. So whenever we encounter various trials or troubles, we need to consider them as warnings, or as opportunities of instruction from God. The above verses teach us that King David could see the goodness and faithfulness of Yahuwah in the midst of his trials. David learned his lessons from his afflictions.
Often the Holy Spirit’s rebukes and nudges are very gentle and small! But sometimes God’s warnings and rebukes can be very intense and long-lasting! If we become haughty, self-important, angry, or bitter; or if we ignore God’s gentle corrections and warnings, then He may need to apply stronger measures to soften our heart unto teachableness and repentance (Revelation 3:19).
If we suspect that our troubles are warning signals, then we should ask Father to cleanse us of any defiling attitudes, motives, and actions, and to cleanse us from the things that He hates:
These six things Yahuwah [the LORD] hates: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: 17) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18) An heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19) A false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
These verses teach us that God is very interested in not only ‘what’ we do, but in the motives of our heart!! These seven things in the above passage are like warning signals, to help us examine our motives.
Deceitful, wicked motives cause us to turn away from God, and can cause us to scorn and ignore Father’s written Word and His ways. Such motives cause us to be hateful, angry, and bitter (Hebrews 3:12-13 and Hebrews 12:14-15).
Often it is our motives that need purifying!
Trembling in Fear
King David was a man who had a healthy Fear of Yahuwah:
My flesh trembles for fear of You; and I am afraid of Your judgments. (Psalms 119:120)
This should be our attitude also — to tremble with fear of dishonouring Yahuwah, and of violating His written Word.
There are consequences for Father’s children who ignore His warnings and disciplines. Yahuwah cannot change the laws of the universe just so we can indulge in our selfishness.
The universal law of cause and effect cannot be altered to satisfy our self-seeking whims. There are consequences to sin, which without repentance and forgiveness, ultimately result in sorrows, troubles, condemnation, and shame (Isaiah 3:11; Psalms 32:10; 1Corinthians 6:9-10; Acts 8:21-23 and Romans 6:23).
As children of the Most High, we need to cultivate a heart that is tender-hearted and willing to receive Father’s warning signals. We need to cultivate the wonderful and wholesome quality of The Fear of the LORD [The Fear of Yahuwah] which has GREAT rewards, as the Scriptures reveal: (Job 28:28; Psalms 111:10; Proverbs 14:26-27; see also Psalms 19:7-11).
The tender-hearted are willing to receive Father’s disciplining corrections. The tender-hearted are those who seek out Father’s commandments in Scripture, and then turn and obey His Word, doing those things that are pleasing to Him.
A tender heart will be sensitive and yielded to the gentle, internal rebukes given to us by the Holy Spirit, before Father has to send us external warning signals.
We Can Go Too Far
Yes, Yahuwah Elohim is merciful, long-suffering, and gracious!!
But, we can go too far in being selfish or haughty. We can go too far with insisting on our ‘own’ understanding and purposes. We can go too far in rejecting Yahuwah’s written WORD and ignoring His warning signals. (Hebrews 10:26-27)
Let us ask ourselves . . .
Are our ways better than Yahuwah’s ways?
Is our wisdom gaining us peace and harmony?
Do we really want motives that are prideful or selfish?
Or . . . do we want motives that are humble and loving?
Yahuwah Elohim can change our heart if we will ask Him, and give us heart motives that are pure, humble, and loving (Psalms 51:10). Such beautiful heart motives are the things that Yahuwah is looking for!
“Thus says Yahuwah [the LORD] … this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit [sorrowful for his sins] and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:1-2)
If we will purpose to stay close to Yahuwah, then He will help us whenever we are going through difficult times – He will help us keep our motives pure.
A lifestyle of seeking Yah with all our heart, of obeying His written Word, and asking daily for His help to be humble and teachable — these are keys to maintaining a heart willing to receive His corrections and lessons.
Open Our Eyes to SEE His Mercy
Yahuwah’s warnings and corrections come from our loving, heavenly Father! The troubles, difficulties and pains we face may be mysterious, even agonizing. Like Balaam, we sometimes can not see a situation as a warning from God. But if we will ask Yah to open our eyes, we will begin to SEE His warning message, and His mercy.
If we will soften our heart, be of a humble and contrite spirit, and cultivate a grateful heart for all His benefits, then we will have the spiritual eyes to SEE His goodness in all our circumstances. By having a humble, grateful heart, Father gives us more grace to help us maintain a repentant heart and a close relationship with Him.
One thing we can consider is to begin to schedule times for secret prayer and fasting, to help us maintain a right spirit before Father.
Many of the saints, both in the Scriptures and throughout modern history, are inspiring examples of seeking Yah through prayer and fasting. These activities help us maintain a humility, and an openness to receiving the gentle rebukes of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 6:17-18; Acts 10:30 and Psalms 35:13).
Heed the Warnings
Yahuwah is abundantly merciful!! There is great evidence of this throughout the Scriptures!
But dear Thirsty Souls, let us earnestly avoid any haughty, selfish attitudes toward Father’s warnings and corrections. Let us stand far, far away from the company of those who, when they are rebuked with afflictions and sorrows, refuse to repent! (See Revelation 16)
The wonderful and enduring “Fear of Yahuwah” is a firm safeguard against displeasing our loving, heavenly Father!
May it be that you and I will heed the warnings and corrections that Father sends us.
If we are sensitive and yielded to the Holy Spirit’s gentle rebukes, then we will be enabled to learn our lessons.
We will then fulfill the good works Yah has ordained for us.
- Acquiring a Teachable Heart
- No Discipline Seems Pleasant
- Learning to Hear Father’s Voice: Removing the Obstacles
- A Way That Seems Right: Avoiding the Strong Delusion
- Just The Facts Ma’am: Help For Growing in Grace
- Whom Father Loves, He Corrects
- Matters of the Heart – Part I – an excellent three-part series by “Grace In Torah” on learning how to manage the motives of our heart
- Warring with Amalek – Part I – another good and concise three-part series by “Grace in Torah” on how to deal with various trials through our ‘valleys’ [Amalek: “dweller in a valley”]