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March 20, 2010

Concerning the Punishment of God


By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

God does not punish sinners because it gives Him gratification to destroy men. If that gave Him gratification, He would not have created man out of nothing.

He punishes man out of more important constructive reasons, of which two are most apparent to us: First, that by punishment He corrects them and leads him on the true path of salvation; second, to frighten others from sinning.

St. Isaac also thinks this when he says, "The just wise man is similar to God, for he punishes man, not to reproach him for his sin but either to correct man or to instill fear in others."

One recalcitrant young man, who ridiculed God and his parents, suddenly went insane. The entire city in which this young man lived saw, in this, the punishment of God and were terrified with the fear of God. The young man was held bound and isolated for three years. His mother wept bitterly and prayed to God for her son. One year, during the Feast of Pentecost, the mother brought her insane son to the monastery of St. Basil in Ostrog. After prayers, the insane youth was cured and became himself again. After that, he became an exemplary person and a true Christian.