“He bruises, but He binds up.” Job v, 18.
Any discipline is painful. Yet, those who are chastened by God can find consolation in the fact that they are never abandoned by God. Instead, they are objects of His special mercy and care. They are “patients” under God’s “Intensive Care.”
Sometimes, when humans discipline those under their care, what is done in the name of discipline might go awfully wrong. God’s discipline, on the other hand, though equally painful, is backed by his wisdom and love. He does not act in an arbitrary fashion just to vent His fury. He does not intend to destroy us. Instead, God corrects us and restores us in love. The Hand that bruises is the hand that binds us up. Those corrected by God will be in much better shape after the whole exercise is over. No wonder Job exclaimed, “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects” (v. 17).
Job had no inkling regarding the wild turn of events that upset his life. A wealthy, pious man given to comfort, Job had rejoiced in God’s special care and provision. His flocks and herds multiplied. His ten children lived carefree lives. Yet, within a few days, He lost everything—wealth, children, servants, and health. A prince of the Ancient Near East was reduced to a sick pauper. He sat in ashes and scratched his itchy skin with potsherds. His wife advised him to “curse God and die.” His friends accused him of committing graves sins that merited God’s wrath. Only Heaven knew the real reason behind Job’s sufferings.
When Job was tested by God, he never let go of his faith in God’s goodness. So deep was his confidence in God’s righteousness and mercy that he believed that the God who wounded him would surely bind up his bruises. And what if God did not heal or restore him? Job believed that he would see God in the hereafter. His faith in God surpassed the powers of disease and death.
Job’s faith was not in vain. The Hand that bruised him bound up his wounds. When Job passed his test, God restored his health. God gave him back a double measure of wealth. He had ten more children and lived long enough to see their welfare.
If you feel that God is pulverizing someone you know, do not be quick to pass a judgment as if God had abandoned that person. On the other hand, if you feel that God is disciplining you or testing you, do not give up! God never leaves a loose end in His stories. Wait for His finishing touch on your life’s canvas. He bruises, but He binds up.