I'm happy to introduce you our guest writer, Carla Pollard for this month's installment of our series, Seeking the Beatitudes in the Old Testament. You will be blessed by Carla's insight, and you can read more about her at the end of this post.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. –Matthew 5:11-12
David was God’s anointed leader for the nation of Israel. He was the giant-slayer, a conqueror, the one who was hailed as a man after God’s own heart. David, the shepherd boy who worshiped his Lord through music and song was a great leader and mighty servant of the Most High.
David faced insults and anger,
hatred and affliction.
David faced insults and anger, hatred and affliction. His words bear record of the anguish of his soul. David was hounded by King Saul who desired to kill him. He was betrayed by his wife and sold out by priests. David had rocks thrown at him and was cursed by Shimei, a member of Saul’s family.
We don’t think of David as an Old Testament prophet, yet many of the Psalms he penned were prophetic words written about the coming Messiah. Yes, David wrote of Jesus. Yes, David was a persecuted man.
In Psalm 69:1-4, we read about David’s affliction and suffering as it mirrors Christ’s humiliation and rejection. David writes, “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck …. Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me.”
David poured his heart out to God. As he did, we are given a picture in words opening for us the heart of the Savior as He bore shame and ridicule on His journey to the cross where died to save us. We see, too, through this Psalm, the broken heart of Jesus as He pours it out before the Father.
Come near and rescue me; deliver me because of my foes. You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed; all my enemies are before you. Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none. –Psalm 69:18-20
David, when faced with insults
and shame, chose to allow it.
It is hard to rejoice and believe you are blessed when you hear the curses and the gossip directed at you. David, when faced with insults and shame, chose to allow it. He stayed the hands of his guards and took the ridicule based on the belief that God would see his affliction and bless him. Jesus, when faced with ridicule and shame, chose to allow it. He held back the company of 10,000 angels who, at His word, would have delivered Him.
David suffered like Jesus, at the hands of his own children who desired to destroy his kingdom. But God blessed David and promised his kingdom would have no end.
Have you served God with a heart of love for others only to have your service reduced to ridicule and shame? Choose to endure it like David and Jesus. Pour your heart out in prayer. Continue to honor the Christ who endured the Cross for the joy He would receive (Hebrews 12:2). Follow His example when He cried out to God at His most broken moment, “Father, forgive them. For they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
Rejoice and be glad for great is your reward in heaven. –Matthew 5:12
Dear Lord, when we are despairing of a broken heart, lift us up in new courage to face our revilers and continue to show mightily your love and goodness working in and through us. Give us the strength to continue to labor in love for you, and we ask that you receive our labor as an offering of thanksgiving for your grace and mercy to us. —Amen
All year, we’re Seeking the Beatitudes in the Old Testament. This month, King David shows us how the persecuted are rewarded in heaven. My #suffering is #NotAboutMe, via @Carole_Sparks and @CarlaGPollard. (click to tweet)
How do you usually respond to insults? Can you let them go and look toward a heavenly reward? Carla and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Carla Pollard is a freelance Christian speaker and author who has a deep passion to reach the hurting with a message of hope. Carla focuses her teachings on breaking the chains of sadness, fear, and rejection so that we can live lives filled with God’s love, acceptance, and affirmation. Her works have appeared in CBN Daily Devotions, Power for Living, The Bible Advocate, Together with God and Everyday Life. Her motto is “Be faithful to Jesus; He’s faithful to you.”