March 19, 2021

Suggested Reading: Isaiah 53:1-12

He was despised and rejected by men…he was despised, and we esteemed him not—Isaiah 53:3

Can you see how so much despising has brought and opened a door for a great deal of destruction all over the earth? We see it played out every day and increasingly. People who despise others because of their color, ethnicity, politics, religion. Despising to the point of turning to dark and destructive behavior and acting out inner feelings and thoughts. Giving in to despising is a dangerous entertainment of the mind which quickly pulls in the heart and eventually envelops the soul.

When Esau despised his birthright and place as the firstborn he sold it to his brother but then all sorts of terrible things followed. A family was torn apart and favoritism and deception became a generational cures and had to work through generations before things were turned around. Solomon wisely said whoever despises the word of God brings destruction upon himself (Pr. 13:13); and whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner (Pr. 14:21); and only a fool despises his own father’s instruction (Pr. 15:5); and a foolish man despises his own mother. (Pr. 15:20); and whoever ignores instruction despises himself. (Pr. 15:32)

Paul even wondered why there was so much judgment and deposing of one’s own brother and sister when we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. (Rom. 14:10).

What a profound and relevant question for us today. One that can make us (re)consider how we manage to despise so much, and so many, seek to bring destruction or be uncaring towards those God would have us respect and love and still hold fast to our holy faith and fervent love for God. How could the rich despise the poor? Or the well-fed despise the hungry? Or those who wear designer clothes despise those in rags? Or those with riches, old money and fortunes despise those who are barely making ends meet? Or those with solid, well-built homes despise those living on the street? Or the gainfully employed  despise the unemployed? Or those who are well-educated despise those with little or no education? God has only instructed us to despise evil and darkness, to despise the devil and all his shrewdness and workings. Because we have found so much to despise we are often surprised (and unsettled) that God uses what is despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (I Cor. 1:28-29)     

Think of how Jesus was despised by the world his Father in heaven sent him into. Isaiah prophesied he was not majestic enough, nothing beautiful about him that attracted others to him. What was there really to despise Jesus for? His goodness and kindness? His loving, nonjudgmental manner? His power to heal and that the used it freely and generously? His relatability? His humble manner and simple, modest family? Isaiah said that Jesus was “despised and we esteemed him not.” Meaning we did not recognize him, give him glory or honor him as God’s Son from heaven but chose to despise and look down upon him and some even sought to harm him; they despised him so much.  

God calls us to rise above so much despising. It is a high call to accept. A call that sets us apart not only from the world, but from those who know and love God but have become influenced by the ways and ideologies of the world.

What an honorable call Godsends and you can accept. You will make a difference when you do, you will have an impact on so many when you do, you will stand out and make God’s heart glad! Let’s Pray

Dear God, in a world where despising is prevalent you have called us to a live on a higher plain. Keep us from despising those things and people we should not despise but only treat respectfully. Keep our hearts pure and our motives even purer. Examine our thoughts when we are leaning toward despising others for the things they cannot help and are not ours to judge. Make becoming more like Jesus our chief aim and activity in this life. In whose name we pray, Amen        

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