Chastisement by God,
as depicted-in Religious Art

[N.B. - Individual Chastisement by God, during our Lifetime, has nothing to do with the End-Times
we Read-about in-Scripture (Book-of Revelation/Apocalypse), during the Holy-Season of-Advent.

End of the World = Second Coming of Christ ≠ Chastisement

Chastisement = Psychological Tool of God
"God", says Saint Procopius, "Inspires one with Fear; the Devil takes it away".]


Chastisement of the Rebel Angels - by GIORDANO, Luca - from Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Saint Michael the Archangel was the Right Arm of God in the Chastisement-of the Rebel Angels, for their Sin-of-Pride.
Pride is the Excessive Love of one's own Excellence, for which Satan was Damned.

 


Chastisement of Adam and Eve - by Domenichino - from Musée des Beaux-Arts, Grenoble

Original Sin was God's Chastisement-upon Adam and Eve, and all their Descendents.

The State of Innocence or Original Justice

The State-of-Innocence, is the 'State', in-which Man was Originally Created. Our First Parents, were Created-in a State-of-Grace. This Grace had Two (2) Effects. The more-important was its Elevation-of Human Nature, to Participate-in the Inner-Life of God. Grace, a Supernatural Gift, made Man an Adopted Son-of God, Friend-of God, and Heir-to Heaven. It 'Adorned' his Soul with Supernatural Virtues, and the Gifts-of the Holy Spirit, by which Man could 'Live' a Divine Life, and 'Perform' Divine Acts. The other-Effect, was that it Produced in-Man, the Preternatural Gifts which 'Perfected' Man's Nature, to such a Degree, that he was Free-from all those Sufferings which ordinarily accompany Nature: Pain, Death, Concupiscence, and so on. Adam and his Descendents, were-to-Live a Life-of Virtue and Holiness, in the Terrestrial Paradise, for a Time, and then be taken-to Heaven, without Dying. If Adam had not Sinned, Grace would have been Passed-on through Natural Generation, and the Life-of each of his Descendents, would have begun as an Immaculate Conception, and ended-in a Bodily Assumption-into Heaven. Of the Greatest Significance here, is that God 'Ordered' Man to a Supernatural End, that is the Attainment-of the Beatific Vision, 'Seeing' God Face-to-face, the Means to-which is Grace.

 

The State of Fallen Nature

As we Know, Adam did Sin, and he was Thrown-out of Paradise. His Sin brought a Two (2)-fold Death, Spiritual and Corporeal, on the Human Race. We are 'Conceived' and 'Born' in Original Sin, that is, without Grace; and we are Born-into a Life, which will Result-in Bodily Death. In this State, Man is not only Deprived-of the Supernatural and Preternatural Gifts, but he is also Wounded in his Nature. In-addition-to the Suffering and Death, which are Punishments for Adam's Sin, there are also the Wounds-of-Ignorance in the Intellect, Malice in the Will, Weakness in the Irascible Appetite, and Concupiscence in the Concupiscible Appetite. In this State, Man cannot reach Happiness.

 


The Chastisement of Korah (Core) and his followers - by BOTTICELLI, Sandro - from Cappella Sistina, Vatican
(Click image to enlarge)

This Fresco 'Reproduces' Three (3) Episodes, each of which depicts a Rebellion-by the Hebrews, against God's Appointed Leaders, Moses and Aaron, along-with the ensuing Divine Chastisement-of the Agitators. On the Right-hand Side, the Revolt-of the Jews against Moses is Depicted, the latter Portrayed-as an Old Man with a Long White Beard, Clothed-in a Yellow Robe, and an Olive-green Cloak. Irritated-by the various Trials, through which their Emigration from Egypt was putting them, the Jews 'Demanded' that Moses be-Dismissed. They wanted a New Leader, one who would take them back-to Egypt, and they Threatened-to 'Stone' Moses; however, Joshua placed himself Protectively-between them and their would-be Victim.

The Centre-of the Fresco shows the Rebellion, under the Leadership-of Korah, of the Sons-of-Aaron and some Levites, who, setting themselves up in Defiance-of Aaron's Authority as High Priest, also Offered-up Incense. In the Background, we see Aaron in a Blue Robe, 'Swinging' his Incense Censer with an Upright Posture, and filled-with Solemn Dignity; while his Rivals, 'Stagger' and 'Fall' to the Ground with their Censers, at God's Behest. Their Chastisement ensues-on the Left-hand Side-of the Picture, as the Rebels are Swallowed-up by the Earth, which is Breaking-open under them. The Two (2) Innocent Sons of-Korah, the Ringleader-of the Rebels, appear Floating-on a Cloud, Exempted-from the Divine Punishment.

The Principal Message of these Scenes, is made Manifest-by the Inscription-in the Central Field of the Triumphal Arch: "Let no Man take the Honor to himself, except he that is Called-by God, as Aaron was". The Fresco thus holds a Warning, that God's Chastisement will Fall-upon those who 'Oppose' God's Appointed Leaders.

 


Chastisement of the Deluge - by MICHELANGELO Buonarroti - from Cappella Sistina, Vatican

Noah had-Announced the Impending Chastisement, and had-Exhorted to-Repentance (2Peter 2:5), but no-Heed was given-to his words (Matthew 24:37 sqq.; Luke 17:26, 27; 1 Peter 3:20), and, when the Fatal Time arrived, no one except Noah's immediate-Family, found Refuge-in the Ark.

 


Chastisement of Sodom and Gomorrah - by DÜRER, Albrecht - from National Gallery of Art, Washington

This Panel depicts Lot, and his Two (2) Daughters, Fleeing-from the Destruction-of Sodom. In the Story from Genesis, Two (2) Angels warn Lot that he should 'Escape', before God 'Destroys' the City, for its Sins. Lot is told that his Family must not Look-back, otherwise they will be Turned-into Pillars-of-Salt. Far behind them, near the Towering Rocks, is Lot's wife, 'Transformed' into a Brown Pillar-of-Salt. In the Distance, the Town-of Sodom explodes-with Brimstone and Fire, Huge Columns-of Smoke, Belching-up into the Sky. Gomorrah, in the Far Distance, Suffers a similar Fate. Lot's son-in-laws did not Believe-in Lot's Warning-of God's Chastisement, and were Destroyed by-Fire.

 


Chastisement of Belshazzar - by REMBRANDT Harmenszoon van Rijn - from National Gallery, London

Baltasar is the Greek and Latin name for Belshazzar, who was the last King-of-Babylon. In the Book-of-Daniel, it is Narrated that, by-order-of Baltasar, the Sacred Vessels which Nabuchodonosor (Nebuchadnezzar) had Carried-with him from-Jerusalem, were 'Defiled' when they were used during a Banquet, and his Wives and Concubines 'Drank' out-of them. In the midst-of the Revelry, a Hand is seen Writing-on the Wall, the Mysterious Words Mane, Thecel, Phares. Daniel 'Reads' and 'Explains' the Words: the Days-of the Kingdom had been Numbered; the King had been Weighed-in the Balance, and had been Found-wanting; his Kingdom would be given to the Medes and the Persians. The King himself, was Slain in Chastisement-of his Sacrilege.

 


Chastisement of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 AD - Luke 19:41-44 - painted-by Wilhelm von Kaulbach . . . . .
(Click to enlarge)

This Depiction shows Four (4) Jewish Patriarchs (including Moses) on their Thrones in-Heaven, as Witnesses. A Band-of God's Avenging Angels (each carrying the same type-of 3-Pronged Flagellation Device, as used-to Scourge Jesus) Descends-on the Scene, and a Group-of Satan's Angels, can be seen to the Left. On the Right, a Triad-of Angels, carrying the Holy Eucharist, Escort a Family-of Christians, from the Devastation. Various other Individual Scenes, Depict the Wanton Destruction, Cannibalism, Suicide and other Sinful Acts, described in-Writing by the Jewish Historian, Flavius Josephus.

The Roman Legions of-Titus were the Right-Arm-of-God in the Destruction of Jerusalem. The Destruction of Jerusalem, in 70 AD, Forty (40) Years after the Death-of Jesus Christ, is very important in Church History. The Tearing in-Two by-God, of the Veil of the Temple, reaches its Climax in the Destruction of Jerusalem. The Catholic Church now Stands-alone, as God's only Chosen-means of-Salvation. The Forty (40) Years God gave the Jewish People, to Repent-of their Deicide, is Symbolic-of the Number-of Days (40), Nineveh was given to-Repent, in the Book-of-Jonah; Forty (40) was also the Number-of Days Goliath was Allowed-to Taunt Israel, before God empowered David to-Slay him (1Samuel 17:16). After Taunting God for Forty (40) Years, God empowered Titus to-Destroy Jerusalem. Many, many-more Symbolic examples-of the Number Forty (40), can be seen at Saint Augustine's Arithmology.

 


Jonah Warns the People-of-Nineveh about God's impending Chastisement - by French Engraver, Gustave Doré

God Saved Jonah from a Storm (chaos), in the Belly-of-a-Whale
Jonah was-reluctant to do God's Will.
The People of Nineveh did 'Heed' the Prophet Jonah
God 'Relented' His impending Chastisement of Nineveh

 


The Trials and Calling of Moses - by BOTTICELLI, Sandro - from Cappella Sistina, Vatican

God Saved Moses from the Crocodile infested Nile (chaos), in a Reed Basket
Moses was-reluctant to do God's Will
The Egyptians did not Heed the Prophet Moses
God destroyed the Egyptian Chariot Army