God’s choice possession, Jerusalem, represents His people who have turned their back on God’s loving kindnesses and have become like all other nations seeking only wealth, 04 punishmentpleasures, power and possessions of the world. They’ve ignored their prime directive; to love God and Others. Instead they take advantage of each other and deceive and cheat each other to get ahead. They take whatever they want and won’t compromise or share. In other words, they have never learned to get along with others. Thus, the God of all the world’s armies calls for punishment on His own people. He calls the Babylonians to bring His judgment on His own people in Jeremiah 6:6. We read, “For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Cut down her trees; cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem. This is the city that must be punished; there is nothing but oppression within her.”

Is it any surprise that God would punish His children for wanton rebellion and disobedience to His prime directive? When Cain killed his brother, God punished. When the whole world had turned to “violence” God sent the flood to end the hatred, murder, and oppression of people against people. Here it is remarkable that God steps in to punish His own people because, as the verse says, “there is nothing but oppression in her.” According to the Handbook for Translators, “There is nothing but oppression within her can be rendered as ‘throughout the city people are oppressing others or ‘everyone in the city is acting with brutality.’ God wants His children to get along together and sometimes it’s necessary to spank them. But isn’t spanking just another form of violence?

“The way to stop violence in America is to stop spanking children,” argued psychologist John Valusek. In a 1977 speech to the Utah Association for Mental Health, Valusek declared that parental spanking promotes the thesis that violence against others is acceptable. “Spanking is the first half-inch on the yardstick of violence,” said Valusek. “It is followed by hitting, and ultimately by rape, murder and assassination. The modeling behavior that occurs at home sets the stage: I will resort to violence when I don’t know what else to do.” His logic is airtight, isn’t it? Why, just think of it. Feeding a child is the first half-inch on the yardstick of gluttony? Hugging a child is the first half-inch on the yardstick of immorality? Unfortunately, Mr. Valusek did not realize that there is a qualitative difference between discipline and violence, just as there is between eating and gluttony, hugging and immorality, and all other acceptable human behaviors and their exaggerated extremes. To not see the difference is to surrender a part of our humanity to the machines—and for Christians it means being disobedient to God’s will for parents.