Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“They that hate the righteous shall be desolate.”
“Beware that you don’t despise one of these little ones, for I tell you that in heaven, their angels are always watching the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
Jesus, in Matthew 18:10
One of the most dangerous spiritual conditions a man can find himself in is that condition in which he finds himself misjudging what is good and what is evil. Isaiah said, “Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil!” There is no one who can please God with wrong ideas about what is good in His sight. Our thoughts determine our actions; he has to sin who thinks evil things are good or that good things are evil. And one cannot judge a righteous man as being unrighteous, or an ungodly man as being godly without hurting those people, either by encouraging the wicked or by discouraging the righteous. The end result of misjudging and hating the righteous and his work, said David, is to become “desolate” of the knowledge and grace of God.
The same is no doubt true of developing an attitude of superiority over God’s children, for to do that will always lead one to treat the righteous with disdain. When Paul exhorted the saints in Philippi to consider each other as better than himself (Phip. 2:3), he was showing those saints the way of salvation, for to think the other way is sin.
To be desolate of the knowledge of God is to be confused about what to do, and even to be blind to what evil one has done. It is the desert region of the kingdom of God, a spiritual wasteland of pride, and few, if any, who wander into that waterless territory ever find their way out of it. It is the dwelling place of Satan, where he houses the “abomination that makes desolate” spoken of by both Daniel and Jesus. Satan is the father of every one who hates a righteous person. He started that tradition when he was lifted up with pride in heaven, and through pride, many people on earth have followed his example.
Pray to be able to recognize the work of God, for every one who opposes Him will be destroyed. If God is working through anyone or anything, it is dangerous not to love it. Peter did not despise even the rooster when God spoke to him through the rooster’s voice. The rooster put Peter under conviction, and “he went out and wept bitterly.” Balaam did well to humble himself to his donkey when God spoke to him by the donkey’s mouth, even though later he fell to covetousness and lost his soul. Whatever God does is pure and perfect and holy. Pray for mercy to be wise enough to acknowledge and respect the work and grace of God through His children, for every one God uses is a chosen vessel not to be despised.