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With Contempt

With Contempt

05 September 2009

Scripture:

They will live safely in Israel and build their homes and plant their vineyards. And when I punish the neighboring nations that treated them with contempt, they will know that I am the Lord their God. (Ezekiel 28:26 NLT)

Ezekiel chapters 25 through 28 pronounces God’s judgment on Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, and Tyre – nations that bordered Israel and Judah. God judged them, not because of their idolatry or false religions, but because of the way they treated Israel and Judah when tragedy and disaster fell on them.

They mocked and scoffed at Israel’s destruction. They clapped and cheered at Judah’s fall. They used others’ loss and suffering for personal gain. God pronounced judgment on these nations because they treated others with contempt and took advantage of those who were suffering and facing great tragedy and loss.

There is never a right time to treat others with contempt. We may dislike someone or disapprove of their attitudes or behavior. We may disagree with someone on matters of deeply held conviction. We may even be responsible to warn or to give correction. But not with contempt.

There is never a right time to rejoice at others’ suffering and loss. We may be angry at them or hurt by them or disappointed in them. We may be tempted to think, “It’s about time they get what they deserve!” But we don’t rejoice over their suffering and loss.

We represent the God who loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to die in our place. We represent Christ who died for us while we were still sinners. We are people of grace.

Prayer:

Father, today this is a reminder to me that if I have your heart and if I am to represent you in a fallen world, I must think like you think and love like you love. Forgive me for my selfishness. Help me never treat others with contempt or rejoice or even take lightly their suffering and loss, even if it seems deserved. Thank you for your mercy and grace! Amen.

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