(17) Do You Want the Rod or the Sword?

"All discipline seems painful rather than pleasant" (Heb. 12:11). We can all agree with that statement! But there is something more painful—by failing to submit to proper discipline we invite the terrible consequences discipline was designed to prevent. The point of constructive discipline is this: God gives us measured pain to train us to walk wisely so that we might avoid the more terrible repercussions of a reckless life. The book of Hebrews puts it this way: God "disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness" (Heb. 12:10). If we are subject to the God's discipline we will truly live (12:9). If we resist it we will die.

That's the point of our text. In the days of Ezekiel God's people "despised his rod" of discipline (21:10). They didn't repent when the prophets rebuked them for their sin. They refused to be trained by God's instruction which is meant to yield "the peaceful fruit of righteousness (Heb. 12:11). Because they resisted the rod they were cut down by the sword of God's judgment (Ezek. 21:11). The rod is the test of obedience (21:13). The sword is the consequence for failing to submit. God's illustration is profound. The rod is made of wood (21:10); used properly, it will not kill you (Prov. 23:13). The sword is a weapon of sharp polished steel designed to kill (21:11).

Use God's message to wayward Israel to choose the rod, not the sword.

Apr 28, 2024
Sunday - AM
Ezekiel 20:45-22:31
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