Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD,
the man you teach from your law;
you grant him relief from days of trouble,
till a pit is dug for the wicked.
God is the ﬁrst and the greatest of all educational psychologists. For a number of years, I was principal of a teacher training college. Through my observations at that time, I came to appreciate in a new way the psychological principles of Scripture in the ﬁeld of teaching.
The psalmist here puts the Lord’s discipline before his teaching, and thus establishes one great basic principle: Without discipline, there can be no real teaching.
Herein lies a common problem of many contemporary educational systems: discipline has been abandoned, and with it teaching has ceased. I know from my own experience that if a teacher cannot exercise discipline, he cannot really teach. God, however, is wiser than that. Hen ever tries to teach those who refuse His discipline.
The psalmist goes on to reveal a wonderful reward for the man who comes under God’s discipline and accepts His teaching: “You grant him relief from days of trouble, till a pit is dug for the wicked.” In the secret processes of history, God is digging a pit for the wicked; He is preparing a season of judgement and retribution.
He has committed Himself, however, to spare those who have submitted to His discipline and teaching. We are thus confronted with two alternatives: We can come under God’s discipline now and be preserved from His judgement, or we can refuse God’s discipline now and come under His judgement in the days ahead.
I gladly submit to Your discipline now, Lord, and I trust You to preserve me from the days of trouble ahead.
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