April 6, 2017
Uncle Roy Archer was a shepherd in
the truest sense of the word. Many years
ago, I had the opportunity to visit his ranch and see a modern-day shepherd at
work. You all probably understand that
there is a huge difference between a shepherd and a sheep-herder. A shepherd leads his sheep. A sheep-herder drives his sheep, often using
a sheep dog. What I saw and what I
learned watching Uncle Roy is germane to where we will be going during the next
again, here is the complete statement David makes as he describes our walk in
the Paths of Righteousness through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil: for Thou Art With Me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort
me. (Psalm 23:4)
folks think of the “rod,” they associate it with the shepherd’s staff and make
the two synonymous with each other. They
are not. There’s a cliché that has been
around for who knows how long that goes like this: “spare the rod and spoil the
child.” I’ve even heard folks quote this
as though this were a verse of Scripture.
It is not! There IS a principle,
however, embodied in this statement that does come from the Word. Take a look at a couple of statements from
the proverbs of Solomon.
10:13-14: In the lips of him
that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of
him that is void of understanding.
Wise men lay up knowledge: but
the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
13:24: He that spareth his rod
hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
is the statement where folks get their cliché.
22:15: Foolishness is
bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it
far from him.
finally, one more from the Proverbs before we change the theme.
29:15: The rod and reproof
give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
we move on to what I consider to be the most important aspect of the rod in
God’s economy, let me refer you to these scriptures we’ve just looked at and
share a recent story with you.
folks see these verses and immediately think of the rod as a symbol of
punishment. There are those in our
society today who see a father spanking his son or daughter and immediately
jump to the conclusion that they are guilty of child abuse. Many of you will remember the book published
initially in 1946 by Dr. Benjamin Spock in which he admonishes parents against
the use of spankings and instead says, “talk to your children. Don’t spank them. That’s abusive.”
see … I think the title of that book was, How to Raise Children for Fun and Profit. (smile)
Not really, but it might as well have been. The title of his book was actually, Common
Sense Book of Baby and Child Care.
In fact, Dr. Spock probably did more with his book to destroy our
nation’s understanding of biblical child care and educate a new generation of
families who didn’t really know how to raise children.
indeed, that mindset and philosophy has become the political correctness of
this generation. It is the reason why we
have such open rebellion, disobedience and disdain for authority in our society
has become so integrated into modern thinking that school teachers even tell their
students that their parents do not have the right to administer spankings and
that they as children have a right to call the authorities and accuse their
parents of child abuse. The Enemy has so
instilled this kind of thinking into our society that we have preachers
teaching that “God is a loving God; He would never allow harm to come to
you, and He would never permit events in your life of a hurtful nature.” This teaching is a perversion of the truth
because it leaves out the element of discipline.
result is that when many would-be Christians experience the correction of the
Lord, they rebel against it and some even turn away from the Lord because they
do not understand the significance of His love.
Consider this amplified version of Proverbs 13:24.
He who refrains and restrains himself from the use of the rod for
correction is the enemy of his son, (and treats his son as his enemy), but the
father who loves and cherishes his son will discipline him, instruct, rebuke
and chastise him quickly. (Proverbs 13:24,
RAC Translation and Amplification)
love is at the root of true discipline.
When a person receives discipline and instruction in love, it creates a
wall of authority around them. There is
a sense of safety and protection that nothing else can bring.
in the Paths of Righteousness, the Lord was leading us and directing our
footsteps because his very nature, authority, personality and character were at
stake in us. His discipline in our lives
was critical to that development. It is
also what has generated the sense of safety and protection needed for our
confidence in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
need to share a couple of quick stories with you to illustrate what I’m talking
our daughter, Danielle, was in the ninth grade, she had a sociology class with
a teacher who spouted the Dr. Spock insanity.
Because of the “liberal” mindset, this teacher also told her students
that they were entitled to call the police if their parents spanked them.
could be pretty mouthy as a teenager, and there were times when she would get
on her high horse and try to ignore our instructions or requirements. There came a day when she had been instructed
to get certain tasks completed before she left for school. She did not do them and ran out the door to
get to school before we realized that she had left her tasks undone. When she came home from school, I let her
know that she was going to get a spanking — her age notwithstanding.
don’t have the right to spank me,” she smarted off. “If you try, I will call the police.”
laughed and said, “Sweetheart, we’ll take care of that right now.” I picked up the phone and made a call to the
police department. We knew the police
officer who patrolled our residential area, and sure enough, the dispatcher
sent him to our house. When he arrived,
Danielle and I were both standing at the front door, waiting.
explained the situation to him.
Danielle, of course, tried to explain to him that it was against the law
for me to spank her.
officer looked at her, then he looked at me and said, “Would you like me to
hold her while you give her a spanking?”
The shocked look on Danielle’s face made us both laugh. It was absolutely classic! The officer went on to explain to Danielle
that there is a huge difference between the discipline of spanking, and child
abuse, and that she needed to listen and obey when she was given instructions.
held her arms while I gave her a couple of swats on her rear end and that was
that! It ended, once and for all,
Danielle’s belief that she could do as she wanted, without any threat of
spanking. It also produced a change in
her mindset that matured as she got older, married and had children of her own.
Danielle is probably one of the most disciplined of all of our children, and
her two sons are mirror images. Anthony
(Junior) is in law school (hmmm...I wonder how that happened!), and Joseph is
an artisan in marble and granite.
degree of discipline that was necessary for Danielle also produced an ongoing
level of relationship in which she is closer and more communicative with us
than all of the rest of our children.
There’s not a week that goes by when she doesn’t call just to see how we
goes on to use the following Word from the Lord to demonstrate that the
lovingkindness of the Lord is always the overriding element in any discipline
89: 2-3: Then will I visit
their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not
utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.
more of these examples is much more current.
Everyone knows that we are raising four of our grandchildren. Alden is the oldest at age nine. Because of all the lack of discipline he has
had in the past, he has also been one of the most difficult to deal with. We have had to pray with him constantly for
deliverance from issues stemming from the past years. Alden has also been the one who has received
the most spankings.
other day I had to give him a good spanking because of issues with
stubbornness. About an hour later, he came to me and said, “Grandpa, I love
you.” The more discipline that he
receives, the greater the degree of closeness and affection we are seeing. Each night, when the children are put to bed
and we pray with them, one of the things that I pray over them is that they
will have dreams, visions and visitations from the Lord. We’ve already shared with you Jasmine’s visitations
preface what I’m about to share, we have had a wonderful friend in the form of
Jim Christianson. Jim was a retired
trial attorney from California who had to give up his practice because of
multiple brown recluse spider bites that went undiagnosed for too long before
the doctors realized what had happened.
He ultimately lost his legs through multiple amputations along with his
left eye. We have had him in our
fellowship – and really a part of our family – for more than four years. The four grandchildren had become very close
to him. Last Friday night, he went home
to be with the Lord.
morning, sitting at the breakfast table, Alden said to me, “Grandpa, I dreamed
last night that I went to Heaven.” I
said, “Alden, that’s wonderful! Did you
see Jesus?” “Yes, and Jim was with
him. He was standing up next to Jesus
and he had his legs and he looked real good.
I asked him why he didn’t come back to earth and he said, ‘Because I’m
very happy here — and besides, I don’t want to lose my legs again.” It was a bit humorous, but for Alden, it was
very real and very important. He then
proceeded to tell me that Jim took him to see his new house, and that it was
very big and beautiful. I asked him if
it was like a mansion, and he nodded his head.
I got to walk on streets with Jesus that were like diamonds. They were so bright I couldn’t look at them.”
then expressed disappointment because “Grandma woke me up to give me colloidal
silver.” He went back to sleep and
immediately dreamed that he was in Heaven with Jesus. “Jesus showed me Bethlehem, where He was
given you the somewhat abbreviated version, but I wanted to share these things
with you to make the continuing point that discipline produces real fruit in
our lives. There are many other examples
that could be shared, but you get the picture.
The objective of the rod of discipline is to produce the fruit of
righteousness. When that same discipline
is administered in love, it produces a bond of love, and it also produces a
sense of safety and peace.
Alden, it has been producing significant change. Because the discipline is being administered
with the understanding that the objective is for us to be like Jesus and to
develop His character and nature in us, Alden is desiring more and more to know
Him. The back-to-back dreams last night
are some of the evidence of the development taking place in him.
made these points because the Paths of Righteousness (that we walk in as we
follow the Lord) also bring the discipline necessary that produces the
knowledge of absolute safety and protection.
The Rod of Discipline comforts us and develops a wall of authority
around us that the Enemy cannot penetrate.
We get to know and understand that the Lord sets these boundaries for us
in order to keep us from getting ourselves into situations where the Enemy’s
purpose is to bring destruction and death.
The Rod of Discipline is for our protection against evil.
is another, totally different, aspect of the Rod that comforts us and brings us
peace as we walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. That’s where we will pick up this discussion
I remind those of you in need of ministry that our Healing
Prayer Call normally takes place on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 PM
Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Our call-in
number is (712) 775-7035. The Access Code is: 323859#. For Canadians who have difficulty getting in
to this number, you can call (559) 546-1400. If someone answers and asks what your original
call-in number was, you can give them the 712 number and access code.
At the same time, in
case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our
Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about
10:45AM Pacific. That conference number
is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We hope to make these
gatherings available by Skype or Talk Fusion before long. If you miss the live call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later.
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: Admin@RiverWorshipCenter.org
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