Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Don't Look Down on Them

Today's Reading: 
Obadiah 1:1-21 
Mark 6:1-29 
Proverbs 25:11-20 
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Focus Verses: Obadiah 1:12-13 
12 You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble. 13 You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor look down on them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster.

Obadiah prophesied against the people of Edom, who were the descendants of Esau (Gen. 27:41–45; 32:1–21; 33; 36), and therefore relatives of Israel. Instead of grieving over the destruction of Jerusalem, the Edomites had gloated with delight. They saw Israel's demise as an opportunity to ridicule and plunder them. Obadiah declared that Edom would face punishment from God for their open hostility and arrogance toward Israel in their time of need.

Response and Action:
It is not good to gloat over the demise of others. It is arrogant and obnoxious to delight in the suffering, punishment, and judgment of others. God will judge those who consider the misfortunes and failures of others to be opportunities for personal gain and smug self-satisfaction.

I will be careful to not delight in the troubles or pain of others. Even when others are experiencing the consequences of their own wickedness and moral failures, I will look on them with compassion and sorrow. If God does not take delight in the destruction of the wicked (Ez. 18:23), how much less should I! When others experience judgment for sin, I will humble myself, knowing that it is only by the grace of God that I am not experiencing the same.

O God, give me a humble and gracious heart. When others experience hardship at the hands of others, give me compassion and move me to action. When those who are wicked experience painful consequences for their wickedness, give me the humility to empathize with them, and the grace to help them. You have shown mercy to me, O God. Give me the attitude of Christ Jesus that I might be a testimony and instrument of that mercy to everyone around me. I pray in the name of Jesus, my merciful Savior. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Romans 12:14-17a 
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil.

Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ
by Dallas Willard

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