Punishment

February 14, 2019

Shall I not punish them for these things? The Hebrew word translated punish (Jeremiah 9:9), literally meaning “to visit,” can be used of the visitation of God in mercy (Ps. 65:9) or in wrath…Punishment feeling like mercy or wrath has everything to do with us, not some sort of mood God is in. When God, who loves us too much to leave us in a state of sin, “visits” us with punishment to awaken us and correct us, our reaction to it determines experiencing it as mercy or wrath.” (Foundation Study Bible, Jeremiah 5:9, Sacramental Living Blog)

 

“God deeply cares for all whom He disciplines (Heb 12:5, 6), and He sends His rebuke to correct and transform us…From the biblical perspective, it is not God Who punishes man, but man who reaps what he has sown.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Jeremiah 8:21, Archimandrite Sergius)

 

“Sin, as a transgression of the highest law - the will of God - leads to heavy punishments. These punishments can be temporary or eternal. The temporary ones are sent by God to brings us to our senses and for correction. If we repent and are reconciled with God, we will save ourselves from the eternal punishments. But if we remain in bitterness in our sins, if we do not want to repent of them, if we persist in our rebellion against God, He will let us go our own way.” (Papa Demetri)

 

“Wrongdoing can better be punished in a spirit of love than be left unpunished; the one who punishes does not wish the one punished to be unhappy by the punishment but happy through the correction he receives.” (St. Augustine)

 

“If God had made us in order to punish us, you might well despair and question the possibility of your salvation. But if He created us for no other reason than His own good will, and so that we might enjoy everlasting blessings, and if He does and works out everything for this purpose, from the first day to the present, what can ever cause you to doubt?” (St. John Chrysostom)

 

“The hand of the Lord acts not to inflict punishment for punishment's sake, but to bring repentance and conversion...” (Orthodox Study Bible, Acts 13:11-12)

 

“God judges all sins and punishes appropriately, not out of vengeance, but because He desires to correct us and restore our fellowship with Him.” (Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 4:11-15)

 

"…God…[is] Unconditional Love personified…God…feels no need or desire to punish anyone. He is not a God Whose love must be bought; nor is He so angry with us that He must kill Himself to assuage His displeasure…God…became Incarnate for the sole purpose of rescuing us from our self-chosen death, so that he might graft us into the life of the Holy Trinity.” (Matthew Gallatin)

 

“We understand the idea of Christ the Son substituting Himself for us on the Cross as not to appease a wrathful Father who wants punitive satisfaction, but more like a Son and Father working together to save the other children because they love them.” (Sacramental Living II)

 

“A man of discernment, meditating on the healing Divine Providence, bears with thanksgiving the misfortunes that come to him. He sees their causes in his own sins, and not in anyone else. But a mindless man, when he sins and receives the punishment for it, considers the cause of his misfortune to be God, or people, not understanding God's care for him. (St. Maximus the Confessor)

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