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    Hebrews 12:11 (AMP)
    For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness—in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God].
    This message should not be something new to every believer as those that God loves, He chastens. This has been spoken of in both the Old and New Testaments.
    Hebrews 12:5-6 (NKJV)
    And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
    “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
    Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
    6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
    And scourges every son whom He receives.”

    Deuteronomy 8:5-6 (NKJV)

    You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.
    6 “Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

    Proverbs 3:11-12 (NKJV)

    My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
    Nor detest His correction;
    12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
    Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
    Everyone, even Jesus, has to endure the chastening of the Lord, for without it, we cannot learn obedience.
    Hebrews 5:8 (NKJV)
    though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
    That desert experience's purpose was two fold. 1. To try you and test you, to see if you will obey Me or not; 2. You will learn that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:1-3)

    Now that we can see that chastisement from the hand of the Lord is nothing new, let us consider why there is such a need in us for this kind of heavy hand.
    Hebrews 12:4 (NKJV)
    You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

    Hebrews 12:7-8 (NKJV)

    If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.

    Hebrews 12:12-13 (NKJV)

    12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
    We need to highlight these last two verses. This is that indicator that reveals the current condition of those who are in the most need of the chastisement of the Lord. "Hands that hang down" "feeble knees" "need to make straight paths for your feet, meaning the path you are currently on is not the straight way He calls you to and that path will lead to dislocation due to lameness."

    Let us take a look at each of these claims the writer of Hebrews is referring to. We will start with the first one. "Hands that hang down." This was the condition that Moses found himself in when he, Aaron and Hur went up that mount as the Amalekites were attacking in Exodus 17. As long as Moses held his hands above his head with the rod of God in his hands, the battle went in favor of Joshua. But when he grew tired and let his hands hang down, the battle went in favor of the Amalekites.

    This whole scenario is a depiction of the flesh against the spirit. Joshua represents Jesus fighting against the flesh depicted by the Amalekites (warlike, dwellers in the valley). As long as the rod of God, representing God's authority, was raised above man's authority, the battle went in favor of the spirit. But failure to hold his hands up and therefore God's authority above man, his hands grew weary and God's authority was no longer being held above man's authority, so flesh started to defeat Jesus.

    As long as Moses was using his own strength, he could hold up God's authority but for a little while. Aaron and Hur saw this and instead of judging him and taking for themselves God's authority, they recognized who it was God had chosen and brought a Rock for Moses to rest on. Jesus is that Rock of our Salvation and we are all called to rest on Him. It is while resting in Him do we find that it is God's strength and not ours that will enable us to overcome the flesh and these two men, one of each side, held up his arms until the enemy was defeated. These two men are acting out the admonition of Galatians 6:1 where they seek only to restore the one who has been overcome in their own fight against sin.

    The phrase, "hands that hang down" then refers to those who have allowed sin to overcome them and are in need of resting in the Lord and intercession. Sometimes, it is necessary to awaken those who have fallen asleep from their labors in their struggles against sin. In a previous verse, Hebrews 12:4, you have not yet resisted to bloodshed, your strivings against sin. This is God's answer to you who feel that your own strivings are too difficult. He promises to give us His strength. This strength from God is called GRACE. Paul learned this in his own struggle against the messenger of satan that came to buffet him. He learned how God's strength, grace, was sufficient for him for when he himself was weak, God's grace was never weakened but remained strong.

    Just as a boxer's knees begin to wobble giving evidence to his eventual defeat, so does this reference of "feeble knees" indicate our own inevitable defeat from the blows given through temptation by our enemy the devil. The feeble knees and the lameness in our walk both speak of the choice of paths we have chosen for our lives. He calls for the paths to be made straight indicating to us that the path we are now on is crooked. If our choices in life deviate from God's choices, then our paths are crooked. If they are crooked, the many twists and turns of our unstable lives will be the cause of lameness to our walk and feebleness of knees. Once we turn away from our ways and repent and return to His ways, will stability, once again, be the hallmark of our lives and the paths will become straight. However, it is because we have strayed that stronger measures are required to teach us. So the discipline or chastisement of the Lord is needed to return us to the right path.

    But something else is needed here. Something that comes with the chastisement of the Lord. This is best depicted in how a good shepherd works with a little lamb who constantly wonders away. He breaks its legs then carefully, lovingly, binds up those broken legs and proceeds to carry that little lamb on his shoulders until his legs are healed. It is during this time of carrying this little lamb that the good shepherd and the lamb grow ever closer as the little lamb sees for himself, the love and patience of his benefactor. So when the lamb is able to walk again, he never leaves the side of the good shepherd. This something extra that was needed is a continuing experience of intimacy with the good shepherd. Only with a continuing day by day relationship with our Savior will we no longer desire to walk anywhere else except where He is walking.

    So is the chastisement of the Lord for us. At times, depending on the severity of our sin through disobedience, we too, may have our legs "broken". We too may be immobilized to where we cannot do what we want to do. Take those times and draw closer to Him and as Jesus encouraged those who would follow Him, learn of Him and find rest for your soul. The end of this chastisement was for your good and so that you will find the peace you really are seeking for after all.

    In the meantime, if you have strayed away and are in a place that will result in danger for you, do not be surprised if God may send a messenger to shake things up in your life. Whether this messenger is a donkey preventing you from going where you wish to go because there is an angel ready to part your hair or whether it is a man or woman whom God has sent to warn you of impending judgment against you, receive them as you would the chastening of the Lord. Their words may not be so pleasant and they may speak with the sounds of judgment in YOUR hearing, but it is God who has sent them to preserve you and turn you away from your destruction.
    1 Timothy 5:20 (NKJV)
    Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

    2 Timothy 4:2 (NKJV)

    Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
    Many have come and many more will come who bear in their lives the righteousness of the Lord of Hosts who will not always speak to you smooth things but will speak as fire coming from their mouths to destroy all the works of the flesh. Do not shrink back when these come as it is God who has sent them because the need for such strong words has risen as our worldly ways have become a stench in the nostrils of the Lord. He sends His messengers to turn us away from our ways so that His judgment will be turned away from us. Do not judge the strength of their words but receive them as from the Lord. They seek, as God does, your redemption. Humble yourselves before the mighty hand of God and as your reward, you shall find life.

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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