Cherishing the Rejected

It’s that time again… Yard Sales! 

I have a love-hate relationship with yard sales. I love to go, finding bargains and interesting items, but I hate to have them. All that work and it’s a gamble whether your efforts profit much at all.  If you can just have the right person come to your sale and you just happen to have that one item that they need, it’s a match! The thing about yard sales, they are filled with items you no longer have any use for, they have been rejected; but someone needing that very item thinks they have found a treasure! Sometimes I can’t help but to look at trash or discarded items out on the curb.  It’s hard to believe what some people throw out! They no longer have a use for it and couldn’t find anyone they knew that needed it.  As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

A while back someone was preaching from the book of Ruth and pointed out a simple, yet interesting fact.  Ruth is one of two books in the Bible bearing a woman’s name. If this wasn’t enough, she also wasn’t a jew. How special a person Ruth must have been.  After losing her husband, a jew, she chose to accompany her mother-in-law, Naomi,  back to her homeland rather than to return to her own people.  Naomi and her family had made such an impact on her life, or perhaps she had little to return to, nevertheless we find Ruth in the lineage of Jesus, a cherished position!

How about that man named David? Oh, sure, he has some very good qualities, but face it…he made some mistakes that would have most people cut off from society and put into prison, never to be allowed to join in the circles of society again.  He was home, bored, while his men were hard at it in battle. He glances out his window finding a woman taking a bath. Overcome with lust, he sends for her. Just so happens, her husband is one of those men fighting in the front. A one night stand leaves the woman with child. In an attempt to cover up his mistake, he brings the woman’s husband home, hoping to solve this problem. Unfortunately for David, this man has more character than his king and couldn’t think of having a night of pleasure with his wife while his countrymen are still in battle. Frustrated, David sends this man straight to the heat of the battle for the purpose of ending his life.  One thing David forgets, God is still watching the whole gruesome story. David takes the woman as his wife and the baby dies.  Nathaniel, the prophet, shows him the error of his ways indirectly by telling him the story of a wealthy man who steals the only lamb of a poor neighboring farmer, just to feed his guests. David is enraged at this story until Nathaniel reveals that the man is David.  In the end though, David repents and earns his place in the Bible as a man after God’s own heart, a cherished position.

Peter was a fisherman. One day a man named Jesus comes by and says, ‘Follow Me’.  Peter spent every day, from that day forward, following this man, listening to His teachings and loving Him more than anyone in his life.  Jesus spent hours giving details about the future of His own life and gave instructions for His followers.  Peter listened so well, that when Jesus asked Peter who he thought he might be, Peter never hesitated, yet answered, ‘You are the Christ!’ Jesus told him that he had answered correctly. Not long after, when men came to arrest Jesus, Peter immediately drew his sword, cutting off the ear of the soldier.  Jesus simply picked it up, healing him instantly, removing Peter’s guilt. Yet when later questioned if Peter knew Jesus, Peter denied him three times, even after Jesus had already told him this would happen.  Later, after Jesus crucifixion and resurrection, He showed himself to Peter, who repented. Peter was given the keys to the kingdom and gave the first sermon on the Day of Pentecost telling all how to be saved. What a cherished position!

Speaking of that man Jesus, He was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up in glory. (I Timothy 3:16) The world made by Him and they knew Him not. (John 1:10) He was the Stone that the builders rejected. (Psalms 118:22, Acts 4:11…also in Matthew, Mark, and Luke!)  ‘He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.‘(Isaiah 53:3)  He was rejected, but we as believers cherish His existence and every act of love He performed on our behalf! He is cherished!

I have been rejected by many.  I have been rejected by my parents because of their own cares and concerns. I have been rejected by family members because my choices about my life did not match up with theirs. I have been rejected by my peers sometimes because of choosing to follow God in the path of a separated lifestyle. I have been rejected by church people when making mistakes that were contrary to the teachings of the Bible. I have been rejected sometimes because of the bitter attitude that I allowed to grow in my heart because of unhealed past hurts. I’m sure all of us could testify to being rejected at one time or another, justified or unjustified.  This fact is what is so wonderful about God.  He loves us unconditionally, and when we take the time to repent of our unrighteous ways, He not only accepts us, but He loves us! What a cherished position to be in!

Reminds me of a classic song:

So I’ll cherish the Old Rugged Cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the Old Rugged Cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

-George Bennard