There has been a lot of talk lately about discipline. How do we confront people when they are in sin? What is the appropriate balance between consequences and forgiveness? You know, those kinds of light questions.
Fortunately, the Bible speaks clearly and often about what to do in such situations. When we look to the Scriptures, we can find clear principles that have been in place for thousands of years.
Now, I know some of these Biblical principles won’t be popular in our “anything goes” culture but we can’t go changing what the Bible plainly teaches just because it makes us a bit uncomfortable.
God said it. I believe it. End of story. Can I get an Amen?
So, let’s say someone in your church or family is having some trouble with some kind of sin. What do you do? Let’s take a look at Exodus 32 for some answers.
1) Make Them A Drink
When Moses saw the people worshiping the golden calf, he didn’t just let them get away with it, he did something about it. He took that calf, burned it, ground it into dust, threw it in the water and made the people drink it.
You won’t see that kind of discipline in today’s liberal public school system! It’s a shame, really.
Is your daughter listening to godless music? Grind up the ipod and make her drink it!
Is your wife reading those pagan Harry Potter books? Grind them up and make her drink them!
Is your son dating that hussy you don’t like? Grind up that girl and make him drink her.
This way, they will taste just how sinful they are and will be begging to be lovingly restored to holiness.
2) Kill Some People
Moses couldn’t just let the people who perpetuated this heinous act go unpunished. So what did he do? He gathered the Levites together and went on a murderous rampage. And who bore the brunt of this killing spree? The friends, family, and neighbors of the Levites.
So you, as the one who has NOT fallen into sin, should do the same. Look, I told you this wasn’t going to be popular.
List out your brother, your friend, and your neighbor and kill them with the sword. Actually, the sword is just cultural. Everyone used those back them. We have other ways of killing people. Feel free to use those.
We don’t want to be legalistic or anything.
3) Pray For Mercy
Then, and only then, after you have done steps one and two should you pray that the perpetrators receive forgiveness. They probably won’t get any but it shows you care and that is what really matters.
The truth is, they do deserve to die, but God is merciful in the story and only smites them with a plague.
So you can pray that they become deathly sick and that it helps them learn their lesson. You could even help out by poisoning them a little at their next meal.
One thing I can guarantee, they will not appreciate this at the time, but later, when they mature and see the folly of their youthful ways, they will thank you.
And that is how to discipline people God’s way.