Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Punish with Respect

Isaiah 52:3-5
 this is what the LORD says: "You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed." For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "At first my people went down to Egypt to live; lately, Assyria has oppressed them. "And now what do I have here?" declares the LORD. "For my people have been taken away for nothing, and those who rule them mock," declares the LORD. "And all day long my name is constantly blasphemed.

Comment

By the rhetoric God uses here it's as if he forgot that He himself led Israel into captivity. He called upon Assyria to take them captive because of their sinfulness, as even He acknowledged previously in Isaiah. Why then is He offended at Israel's oppression, since He brought to upon them? Then he also implies a similarity between the Egyptian captivity to the Assyrian captivity. But the people had not been led into Egypt because of their sinfulness. At least God never said so explicitly. No, rather they went to Egypt to endure the famine - as Joseph had prophecied. It wasn't until later that they were oppressed and that not due to some fault in themselve. But the Assyrian captivity, far from being voluntary, was judgement upon them because of their violating the covenant of the Law.

However, taken what Isaiah had already prophecied, I would say that the Assyrians went too far. Mockery, for example, goes too far. It goes beyond simple discipline. When discipline is applied it must be applied with respect. Even children can distinguish the difference between discipline and unjust punishment. Consider also what the law says:

Deut 25:2,3 "If the guilty man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall make him lie down and have him flogged in his presence with the number of lashes his crime deserves, but he must not give him more than forty lashes. If he is flogged more than that, your brother will be degraded in your eyes."
God punishes - but with respect.
So when you must punish others, do so with respect

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