“The Lord’s voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.” - Micah 6:9 (emphasis supplied)
God has a rod (Job 21:9b); and like any good father, He uses it for correction (Prov. 23:13), to instill understanding and wisdom (Prov. 10:13); and to root out sin (Psl. 89:31-32). In other words, God’s rod is remedial, not retributive. It’s not to punish us, but to perfect us. We can learn two things from the cited phrase from verse nine of Micah six: First, when God employs His rod in our lives, it comes with a message; and second, although it may be another individual who is striking the blow, it is really God who is wielding the rod (2 Sam. 7:14).
There is a difference between natural reaping and Divine intervention. Some sins come packaged with their own consequences, while others—especially inward, secret, or so-called, “acceptable” ones—call for private, personal dealings with God. This is not to say that every Christian who experiences physical, emotional, or financial set-backs is encountering the chastening hand of God, any more than everyone who enjoys good health and prosperity is evidencing the pleasure of God. And one sign of spiritual maturity is being able to tell the difference. (By the way, all three forms of misfortune I mentioned—physical, emotional, and financial—can be found in verses 13-15 of this chapter of Micah.)
From reading this verse, it would seem to me that one sure way to know when adversity is a result of God’s rod is that a remedy that includes repentance will be shown to us. God is never ambiguous when it comes to His will for our lives.
The rod will speak.
All that is left for us is to be wise enough to listen, acknowledge our transgression, and accept the forgiveness He has promised. Mark it down, big, plain, and tall: When we listen to the rod of God, God listens to us.
“Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. (Micah 7:7)