What to do when obedience brings ridicule
The price of obedience to God can be extremely high. Obedience must be by faith, because it does not always bring instant positive reinforcement.
Second Chronicles 29-31; John 18:1-23
So the couriers went from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. However, some men of Asher, of Manasseh, and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 30:10-12
When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” John 18:22-23
Hezekiah set out to turn Judah and Israel back to the Lord. After cleansing the temple and consecrating the priests, his next step was to celebrate the long-neglected Passover. The king sent out couriers to the northern kingdom inviting them to join in the feast, but it seems the typical response was to laugh them to scorn.
There were exceptions, of course, as “some men of Asher, of Manasseh, and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.” Why did these few respond? The next verse says it was the hand of God which “was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord.” It is God Who works in human hearts to bring about obedience and faith. Otherwise, people mock and scorn the Lord’s messengers as they did the couriers of the king.
Jesus’ obedience was the most costly of anyone in all of human history. In His trial before Annas, He was questioned about matters of public knowledge as they searched for grounds on which to charge Him. Jesus spoke the truth but was struck for it. This was only the beginning of the sufferings, mocking, and abuse He would receive.
Think about it
When you obey God and suffer for it, are you tempted to second-guess your action? Do you expect to have your obedience to God instantly rewarded? Neither Hezekiah’s couriers nor Jesus did. Obey by faith and be ready to follow the steps of your Savior who suffered for you. His reward was not instant, but it was great and it was eternal. Your reward may be delayed, too, but it will come in God’s time.
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