By Christina Dininger
If you are loved, there will be discipline. As children, everyone had times where they were punished by their parents. At the time we think our parents must not love us because they are being ‘mean’ to us. Most of the time, this punishment is for our own good. When we do things wrong, we need someone we can trust to discipline us so that we know not to do it again. God is our father and he needs to discipline us because we are his children. In Deuteronomy 28:1, God promises that if Israel carefully follows all of his commands, he will set them high above all the nations on the Earth. Sounds like a good promise, right? Well, Israel needed to read the fine print. In Deuteronomy 28:58, God also promises that if Israel does not follow the words of the law, he will send fearful plagues, disasters, and illnesses. Israel started worshiping false idols, so they paid the price. It was not only once that this occurred, but many times.
Many non-believers think that our God is terrible because he allows things such as natural disasters, wars, etc. to go on. This is one of the difficult parts to understand in Micah. God allows Israel to be destroyed by the Assyrians and brings judgment upon them. He does this, not because he doesn’t like them or because he wants bad things to happen to them. He does this because he loves them, and they must learn from their mistakes.
Micah 1:5 says, “All this is because of Jacob’s transgression, because of the sins of the people of Israel…” The discipline was a result of Israel’s sins. God did not punish them out of hate, but out of love. He loved them, just as he loves everybody, and if you are loved, there will be discipline.