It was hard to know when she was joking and when she was being serious.
Reference: v.17 The Lord has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word,
which he decreed long ago. He has overthrown you without pity, he has let the enemy gloat over you, he has exalted the horn of your foes. (NIV Bible)
Explore: In my church back home there was a mother who constantly yelled at her children. If her children were misbehaving, she'd yell at them. If her children were having a joke with someone, she'd yell at them. If she was having a joke with her children, she'd still yell at them. It was like she constantly lived at one communication level with her children – yelling! It was hard to know when she was joking and when she was being serious. I'm guessing her children found it hard to gauge as well because they would end up just ignoring her. When she'd been yelling at them all day, I guess all they could do was block it out. And so these children, who were often found to be misbehaving, never learnt the appropriate consequence for their behaviour. Every action they did was responded to with yelling.
Application: When it comes to discipline it is important to have an appropriate consequence for the action. If our daughter has wasted our time by being disorganised then she will be expected to save some of our time by doing a household chore. If she has been careless with our belongings then she will have to use her own money to replace what has been lost or broken. For a child to learn from their mistakes, the consequence needs to be linked closely to the misdemeanour. When you read through Lamentations and hear of the destruction that God caused in Jerusalem you would think that he was a little like the yelling mother. However, when you understand how many times God had warned the people of Judah and forgiven them and saved them, then this consequence of their rebellion makes a little more sense. God is not out to destroy us, however he is a good Father who wants us to learn from our actions.
Prayer: Lord, may we see Your wisdom as we learn from our consequences. Amen.
How do you respond to other people's actions? Do you respond justly?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.