Does God discipline his children by sending them judgment and sicknesses?
Hebrews 12 is not about God punishing his children. The misconception finds it’s source from understanding verse 1.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
We often think the word “sin” here means our wrong doing. It does not. In context it is referring about going back to offering sacrifices under the Law.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,
This sin is to treat the finished work of Jesus as unfinished. This is done by saying Jesus’s blood is like the blood of bulls and goats. Common blood.
29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
The writer speaks about the “raging fire” and “judgment”. This judgment he was referring to was the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem.
Hence the writer ask them to flee and get out of the city of Jerusalem not to stay there because of their love and sentimentality towards the Temple and their beloved Jerusalem.
12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
Hence the discipline the writer writes in Chapter 12 is “training” to live outside Jerusalem and a “getting ready” to flee Jerusalem before it is destroyed in AD70 just 7 years before the letter is written.
The mention of “sons” here does not refer to Christians but to Jews here. He is asking the Jewish people to be prepared to flee Jerusalem. It is to rescue his people.
Hence he asks them to:
12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
This is done so that they may leave Jerusalem quickly.
Be at peace.