According to Hebrews 12:6 “because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Punishment (chastisement) occurs as a disciplining measure resulting from misbehavior. A father punishes his son for disobedience or rebellion. He does not punish for accidents or immature decisions; rather, for these he disciplines, teaches, and trains his son to make and choose right behavior. Discipline is what I dealt with in the “tire” story. tire
A father might punish in several ways. First he might rebuke with words, spank, take away something, or even step aside and let the “rebel” suffer the consequences of his actions. I believe God punishes in all those ways also.
We might see these actions progress from a rebuke in ones conscience. The son might be ashamed of his actions and mend his ways. I point to Peter when he denied Christ as an example of this form of punishment.
Perhaps the rebellious son needs a spanking. How would God “spank?” I realize I am on thin ice here. Many will not agree with me, but it is obvious in the Bible that God allows suffering because of man’s sin. Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead for lying; Miriam and Uzziah were stricken with leprosy; Aaron’s sons were killed for offering “strange fire;” Achan and his family were destroyed because Achan took “loot” from the battle at Ai. There was an unusual story of punishment when Moses made the people drink the powder crushed from the golden calf.
Sometimes God punishes by taking something away. David suffered the loss of his son because of sin with Bathsheba. More common in the OT were times when crops or livestock were taken by locusts or famine often because of idolatry.
Then there are times when God removes his protective hand and lets men suffer the consequences of their own bad choices. A Bible example I would consider here would be when Lot choose to move into Sodom and there he suffered as a righteous man.
Later I will continue this subject with an contemporary story and some observations and advice.