Despised by God
James Smith, 1859
There is something very painful and unpleasant in being despised, especially being despised by the great and good. But what must it be to be despised of God? Yet I read of the workers of iniquity, that "God has despised them." Psalm 53:5. He has treated them as vile, loathsome, and detestable! God has rejected them. What a fearful thought this is — to be rejected by God — to be despised by a God of love, a God of justice, a God of infinite mercy.
But there is something so vile in sin, it is so utterly loathsome in the sight of God — that he must detest it. And of course if a man prefers sin to holiness, and lives in the enjoyment and indulgence of it — then God must despise him. The sinner's conduct is despicable in the sight of God, and if the conduct is despicable — what must the person be from whom it proceeds? If therefore one living in sin, and loving sin — prays, attends public worship, or performs religious duties — the Lord must despise such services. Men may value them, and value themselves upon them — but they are despicable in the sight of God!
Reader, have you ever seriously inquired, "How do I appear in the sight of God?" Does God approve of me? Does he love me? Or, does he despise me? To ascertain this, you must look into your heart, and examine your conduct. If you regard, or approve of, iniquity in your heart — God cannot approve of you. If you prefer and practice sin in your life — God cannot but despise you. However exalted your station in society — however esteemed by your fellow-men — however highly you may think of yourself — God despises you.
If you are a hypocrite, wearing the mask of religion on Sundays, or on special occasions — and living in sin at other times — then God despises you. If you are a heartless professor, serving God with the lip, and outwardly observing religious ordinances — while your heart is not consecrated to the Savior — then God despises you. If under a profession of religion, you practice deceit, indulge the lusts of the flesh, or walk according to the course of this world — then God despises you.
If God despises us now — then how can he admit us to Heaven when we die? If God despises us — then how can holy angels, or glorified saints esteem us? If God despises us — then how may we expect the devils to treat us, when they get possession of us? If God despise us — then how ought we to feel respecting our state, condition, and prospects?
Beloved, let us be sincere, for God despises pretense. Let us realize our folly, be sorry for our sins, believe in Jesus, seek the renewings of the Holy Spirit — and so walk in newness of life. And then, instead of being humbled and confounded with the thought, "God despises me!" we shall be able to rejoice in his love, and have boldness in the day of judgment.
But perhaps you have never thought of being despised by God. If you have not, think of it now; for if God despises you — the time is coming, when no creature in God's universe will treat you with respect. Then you will be filled with fear and dread, and be clothed with shame and confusion, before an assembled world. While therefore the way of escape is open, while mercy may be obtained, while pardon may be had — seek the Lord, flee to Jesus, embrace the Savior — and obtain grace from God. This will exalt you to great honor, and at length introduce you to joy, peace, and perfect pleasure! Neglect to do so — and you will despise yourself forever!
Let me therefore beseech you to consider and think, Oh! think, how terrible it must be, to be despised by God, despised by men, despised by devils, and despised by yourself forever. Especially when God sent you his Word, addressed you by his servants, and presented a free and full pardon for your acceptance, which you ungratefully refused!