For behold, the Lord God of hosts is going to remove from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support, the whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water; the mighty man and the warrior, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, the captain of fifty and the honorable man, the counselor and the expert artisan, and the skillful enchanter. – Isaiah 3:1-3
When someone comes to me who desires to see a friend or family member turn from a destructive lifestyle, I often counsel that God might apply some harsh chastening to get the person’s attention. For example, when God punished Israel He removed “both supply and support.” To get the nation’s attention, He took away their sustenance, protection, leadership, infrastructure, and even their diversions (arts and entertainment). While we desire control over every aspect of our lives, God has a way of letting us know that the opposite is true. If we truly want those we love to repent, then we must accept the fact that God may “kick out the props.”
The one who is closest to the person under God’s chastening must also realize that he may suffer with the unrepentant person as God works to bring her under conviction. Like surgery, the process may be painful, but the ultimate end is spiritual health and restoration for everyone involved. While we may be tempted to put some distance between us and the affected person, it is during this time that we must stand with them in healthy and constructive ways (prayer, encouragement, and exhortation).
Solomon, who should have heeded his own words, said, “My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights (Prov. 3:11-12).” The God who loves us will not leave us without a fight, even if it hurts.
God has no pleasure in afflicting us, but He will not keep back even the most painful chastisement if He can but thereby guide His beloved child to come home and abide in the beloved Son. – Andrew Murray