THE CONTEMPT OF THE PROUD
by Wayne S. Walker
“Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorn of those who are at ease, with the contempt of the proud” (Psalm 123:4). God’s people have always experienced the contempt of those in this world who are filled with pride. Righteous Abel was killed by wicked Cain because Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable and Cain’s was not (Genesis 4:1-8). While we are not given the details, we can imagine that faithful Noah was the subject of much ridicule and mocking as he built the ark while also serving as a preacher of righteousness (Hebrews 11:7, 2 Peter 2:5). The Israelites, God’s chosen people, were made slaves in Egypt (Exodus 1:8-14). And, of course, early Christians were persecuted for their faith (Acts 11:19).
Today it is no different. Atheists charge those who believe in God with using a mere fairy tale as a crutch. Infidels accuse those who accept the Bible with relying on a book of myths and lies. Evolutionists do everything that they can to silence creationists. Humanists laugh at those who follow the traditional Judaeo-Christian morality, saying that we hold to an outdated ethical standard. Homosexual activists label those who object to their behavior as prejudiced, bigoted, hate-filled homophobes. There are places on earth where just claiming to be a follower of Christ could land you in jail or even lead to your death. Those of us who plead for pure, undenominational Christianity are often accused of being narrow-minded because we do not accept instrumental music in worship or are called “water dogs” because we teach that “He who believes and is baptized will be saved…” (Mark 16:16).
Is this surprising? Jesus warned us, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you…” (John 15:18-20). How did early Christians react to the contempt heaped upon them? They were “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41). And what does God’s word tell us to do? “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (1 Peter 4:16). That is what we should think about the contempt of the proud.