A farmer drives a wheel over the wheat, to separate the grain from the straw. Then he scatters the grain, so that the wind blows away the straw.
A king attacks evil men. The king must protect his country, so his army fights against the evil men. This is like the farmer, who drives a wheel over the wheat to separate the straw from the grain. (Compare this verse with Amos 1:3.)
If the king does not kill the evil men, then he scatters them. If many evil men work together, then they are strong and dangerous. After the king scatters them, they are alone and weak.
God also does this. He punishes evil people and he scatters them (Psalm 2). God does this, so that God’s people are safe.
God even knows our thoughts. He knows whether our plans are good or evil. Other people might think that we are good and honest. But God knows the truth.
Some rulers think that they should be cruel. Solomon’s own son, Rehoboam, thought this (1 Kings 12:13-14). He was wrong. Cruelty does not make a king safe. If a ruler is cruel, then the people hate him. They want a revolution and a new government.
Love protects a king. A ruler should love the people. He should look after them and protect them. Then the people will love him. See 1 John 3:7-12.
We respect a youth’s strength. We call young people ‘champions’ and ‘heroes’ when they win in sports.
We must also respect old people. Their grey hair reminds us about their long lives. Often old people have great wisdom. They are too old to be champions in sport. But they can still be our champions and heroes, because of their wisdom.
Nobody likes pain. But a wound often heals, whilst it hurts. The body removes the bad part of the wound, and this hurts.
In Solomon’s country, judges might punish a guilty man with the whip. The second line means, ‘Punishment removes a man’s evil behavior.’ No punishment is pleasant. But the intention is to teach good behavior.
If we smack a child, then the child learns to behave. When a judge punishes a thief, the thief should learn not to steal.
God sometimes punishes Christians. He does this because he loves us. He wants us to learn how to be holy. See Hebrews 12:5-11.
This verse also reminds us about Jesus. Before Jesus died, the soldiers whipped his back. They made him suffer greatly, although he had done nothing wrong. Then they placed nails through his hands and feet. The nails fixed him to the wooden cross where he died.
Jesus suffered the punishment that we deserve for our evil deeds. He suffered because God loves us. God forgives us because Jesus suffered. We need simply to confess our evil deeds and to trust God. Because Jesus suffered our punishment, God removes our evil behavior. And because Jesus suffered our punishment, we can be friends of God. See 1 Peter 2:24 and Isaiah 53:5.