Wednesday, April 29, 2009

one of my favorite verses: Lamentations 3:33

For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. American King James Version For he does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of ...
bible.cc/lamentations/3-33.htm

Just a lovely phrase to me. To me it implies a kind of laissez-faire easygoing God who loves His creatures and wishes them to be happy and to prosper and be in health above all things. But there are moments when humans must be afflicted -- to keep their souls from heal for instance-- and God has to do it. From His side of eternity, He knows it's for the good of the afflicted person. Yet, even from His side of eternity, He isn't willing to let humans suffer. As one of the translations below states it: His heart isn't in it.

Psalm 119 states, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes."

I think God afflicts sometimes, or He uses the devil's cruelty against us for our own good. What the devil means for evil God means for good. I don't believe we are to be afflicted and never improve, unless it's a sickness unto death given to us because we sinned a sin that brings death. (And even John says he isn't gonna say that we should pray for someone who has sinned a sin that brings death. Heck, there are so many sins that bring death. Adultery, for instance, brings death. As surely as anger brings death. And doctors are showing us how a type A kind of person is likely to bring on his own death because of stress/anger/etc.) So yeah, God brings affliction -- and to save our soul-- but on the whole, though, I don't think he gives people these permanent thorns in the flesh. (Not really convinced that the thorn in the flesh was a sickness but that's another story.) The only person in the Bible who was given a "thorn in the flesh" was someone so full of divine revelations and blessings the thorn was given to him to preserve him from being proud. So all the folks who sit around talking about their thorn in the flesh must have had some supreme glorious revelation of God...to be so afflicted. As such, someone with a thorn in the flesh may want to be free from their afflictions but being so full of all that extraordinary divine revelation, they wouldn't lose their faith because of a thorn in the flesh.

Anyway, I just love this verse. The kindness of a loving parent who must chastise. St Paul tells us in Hebrews (yep, i believe He wrote this epistle) that a good father chastizes his children. Bastards are not chastized because their father doesn't much care for them. So in chastisements, count it all joy. -C

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
For He does not afflict willingly Or grieve the sons of men.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
He does not willingly bring suffering or grief to anyone,

King James Bible
For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

American King James Version
For he does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

American Standard Version
For he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.

Bible in Basic English
For he has no pleasure in troubling and causing grief to the children of men.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Caph. For he hath not willingly afflicted, nor cast off the children of men.

Darby Bible Translation
for he doth not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.

English Revised Version
For he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.

Webster's Bible Translation
For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

World English Bible
For he does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.

Young's Literal Translation
For He hath not afflicted with His heart, Nor doth He grieve the sons of men.
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