verses 75 & 80
"I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me."
"In faithfulness You have afflicted me."
It's called discipline.
"...for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers,
then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us,
and we respected them;
shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them,
but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful;
yet to those who have been trained by it afterwards
it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."
Faithful affliction is father to son. To be ignored by a father produces terrible fruit: "love me or hate me, but don't ignore me." An appropriate discipline brings about respect. God not only disciplines us, afflicts us, for our good but that we may share His holiness.
Stop right there!
Holiness is God's very character. God wants to share His very character, His very Being with us so that we may become more like Him. A father is proud when his child reflects his best qualities. We may share His holiness. Amazing! Yet our little rebellious hearts go through a period when the last thing we want it to be recognized as belonging to our fathers, even the best father in the world. Sometimes we don't appreciate our fathers until we have children of our own. Sometime along the way hopefully, a lightbulb goes on that He is a good, good Father.
Oh the loud wailing I did on my bed after my last spanking crying out at the top of my lungs, "Nobody loves me!" I still remember feeling silly yelling like that because I knew it wasn't true. Do I remember what I did to deserve it? No. Was it physically painful? No. But I do remember my father patiently coming in to sit beside me to say that it probably hurt him more than it did me, that he did it for my good. Has God ever spanked you like that? Did you ever howl over it? Yep. That's what I mean.
Then it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. That's what it means that He has afflicted us in faithfulness because His judgments are right. Well, pluck it off the tree, sit in the shade and enjoy that peaceful fruit. There's just something peaceful about being reigned in and not allowed to be a wild child.
"May my heart be blameless in Your statues,
so that I will not be ashamed."
In my Bible notes, blameless means "complete; or having integrity." Justification means "Just as if I never sinned." It doesn't mean justifying our wrong actions, but facing up to them, confessing them, repenting from them. But it means we don't have to hide in the bushes feeling ashamed like Adam and Eve. We deserve the blame, but God who judges the heart, can cleanse it to make it blameless. Adam Clarke says, "Let it be perfect--all given up to Thee, and all possessed by Thee." Matthew Henry says, "Let my heart be sound, that I may come boldly to the throne of grace, and may lift up my face without spot at the great day."
Beautiful words of sharing holiness, of the peaceful fruit of righteousness and being blameless. Who wouldn't want a father like that? Or we can continue to sit on our bed wailing, "Nobody loves me!" because we've just been disciplined. Hmm.