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SB Staff Annual Meeting 2024

Last week Tuesday, June 4, the annual Standard Bearer meeting was held at the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary. Once annually, the editors and writers of the SB meet to decide on topics, rubrics, and writers for the upcoming volume year.

Responding Appropriately to Chastisement (3): Guarding Against Bitterness

The word “bitterness” expresses the meaning of the sin: it means “harsh,” “sharp,” “cutting,” or “cruel.” In English, bitter is the opposite of sweet. We find the reference to “bitterness” in Deuteronomy 29:18, “Lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood.” The writer to the Hebrews refers to that verse in Hebrews 12:15. It is not a direct quote, but it is a clear allusion to that text. Gall and wormwood are bitter-tasting herbs. The idea here, however, is of a bitter tasting, poisonous fruit. The bitter root bears gall and wormwood, which are its bitter fruit. 

Responding Appropriately to Chastisement (2): Following Peace and Holiness

Chastisement must be distinguished from punishment. Punishment is vengeance of the judge upon the wicked aimed at their destruction. Chastisement is the correction of a father to his child, aimed at his improvement. In verses 5–6, the writer to the Hebrews reminds his readers of what they had forgotten: “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” They had forgotten that chastisement is a token of God’s love.

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