Genesis 4:13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.Introductory Thought

In the most basic sense, punishment is directed toward those who have done wrong. Though any particular punishment may seem harsh by those receiving the punishment, God intended it to be a calculated response toward wrongdoing. Though there are some passages in the Old Testament that indicate punishment was directed toward the people of God (Ezra 9:13; Hosea 12:2), the vast majority of references demonstrate that it was intended for the enemies of God (Psalm 149:7; Proverbs 11:21; Isaiah 10:12; Isaiah 13:11; Isaiah 24:21; Isaiah 26:21; Isaiah 27:1; Jeremiah 25:12; Jeremiah 46:25). A careful study of the New Testament will strengthen the distinction as there are no references to God punishing His people.

Devotional thoughts

• (For children): The Bible points out that those who are not saved are ungodly and are God’s enemies (Romans 5:6, 8, 10). If they die without accepting God’s plan of salvation, they will be forever punished (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 21:7-8).

• (For everyone): Why would there be no references to God punishing His people in the New Testament? Why would the shed blood of Christ eliminate and negate the implementation of punishment for the saints of God?

• Look up the word punish and its various forms in the New Testament. When will God punish the wicked? How long will their punishment last?

Prayer Thoughts

• If saved, thank God that you will not know His punishment.

• If lost, ask God to open your eyes to your need for salvation.