“Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.” – Psalms 141”5
What happened to Christianity? A short answer is that for the most part it has ceased to be the church, the Body of Christ. In particular, professing Christians ceased to be possessing Christians. Life became all about them, and not about God. More disastrous, conviction is practically non-existent. Further, it is plagued by the consequences of living in the shadows and mitigated by numerous hirelings and heretics. Their main purpose is to pander to individuals who believe that God is a supernatural genie that grants an endless supply of wishes. Few people will suffer any inconveniences to discover how to obey God’s will, much less obey it. Fewer still will enter the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings.
Remember the old song, “Jesus use me, and oh Lord don’t refuse me. Surely there’s a work that I can do. And even though it’s humble, Lord help my will to crumble. Though the cross be great I’ll work for You.”? There are few songs with that message today.
Well, there is nothing that brings about humbleness in a true believer like a rebuke. When our will needs to disintegrate and become lost in His will, the major hindrance to that process will be rebuked. Call it conviction or godly sorrow, it is necessary. The door to that process stands open continually, but seldom does the shadow of a surrendered life fall on the threshold.
Can we agree from the depths of our hearts with the last line in the second verse of “Draw Me Nearer,” “…and my will be lost in thine”? Oh the joy of God’s rebukes! The tears wash away the scales from our blinded eyes to recognize our fallibility melting in the light of His infallibility.
“As the deer pants for the waterbooks…” He has been running, perhaps from a predator. He is thirsty. He hears the noise of its life and longs to quench his longing. “So my soul pants for You, O Lord.” (Psalm 42:1).
“Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.” – Proverbs 9:8
“Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, But he who regards (Hebrew: shamar = gives heed to) a rebuke will be honored.” – Proverbs 13:18