How does God discipline us? Isaiah reminds us that His greatest discipline happens when He removes His hand of blessing from our lives. The prophet asks, "After all this, O Lord, will you hold yourself back? Will you keep silent and punish us beyond measure?" He equates God's silence with discipline; His hand is no longer resting upon our lives, his voice is no longer recognizable, and the results are disastrous. Throughout this chapter, Isaiah reminds the Jews of God's goodness and grace. He wants them to see what they are missing when they choose rebellion over obedience. He reminds them of the power and authority of God's presence and the fact that God has worked faithfully among them as they waited upon Him. Their sin has been the greatest factor in missing out on God's best. God cannot honor sin nor will He sit back and allow it to continue to happen in our lives without serious consequences. When He removes His hand from our lives, we suddenly lose His protection and special provision. The sun will still rise and the pantry may be full, but your relationships suffer, your work ethic suddenly wanes, and those daily disciplines of the faith slowly disappear from our lives. God created you and loves you deeply. He knows exactly what is best for you. The decision to rebel not only reveals our pride but our ignorance of just how good God really is. I prefer to live my life with God's hand resting upon all that I say and do. Sadly as Paul said in Romans 7, I sometimes do what I do not want to do or do not do what I am supposed to do. When I choose to rebel, I miss God's hand of blessing and His voice of wisdom and direction.

Help me, Lord, to enjoy Your wonderful hand of blessing upon my life. Help me to choose obedience over rebellion and seek to hear Your voice above all the other voices in today's culture.