When He does not punish!

(Thomas Watson, "The Comforting Rod")

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten."
    Revelation 3:19

God's afflicting rod has comfort in it—as it is a token of
the special favor He bears towards us. We think that
God cannot favor us—unless He pampers us in His lap.
Yet He loves and favors us—when He gives us the bitter
drink of affliction. God's chastening rod and God's love
both stand together. The rod is a token of God's love.
It is no love in God, to let men go on in sin—and never
smite. Is it love to your child—to let him run into the
water and drown? To be without the rod of God's
discipline—is a sign of a bastard child, a mark of
reprobation. "But if you are without chastisement,
then you are bastards, and not sons." Hebrews
12:8. God's rod whips us to heaven!

If God will let any fall upon the rock of ruin, then He
will allow them to go on in sin and not correct them.
"I will not punish your daughters when they commit
whoredom." Hosea 4:14. Take notice:
  God spares the rod—in anger!
  God's hand is heaviest—when it is lightest!
  God punishes most—when He does not punish!

But God smites His people—that He may save them,
and is that not love? Let me feel God's smiting hand
—so that I may have His loving heart.

The Lord comes down with a murdering axe to hew
down His enemies—but He has only a rattling rod for
His children. This is all the hell they ever shall feel.
1 Corinthians 11:32, "We are judged and disciplined
by the Lord—that we should not be condemned with
the world." Is not this comfort to know—that this is
the worst we shall have? God lays upon us a light
affliction—and saves us from wrath to come! What is
the drop of sorrow which the godly taste—compared
to the bottomless sea of wrath, which the damned
endure forever?

"Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not
 despise the discipline of the Almighty." Job 5:17