CONTEMPT! Not a topic I am prone to think about often, particularly in relation to the Easter season. Recently, I’ve been re-reading a favorite Dan Allender/Tremper Longman book: Cry of the Soul. No, it’s not one of the puritans, close…written in 1994…*smile*
If you have never read any of the books these two good friends have teamed up to write, you are missing a treat! Their writing is picturesque and practical…eminently concrete. These are all helpful for this brain that is less and less able to handle the abstract. It is too far out of reach for me.
I need something more down-to-earth…you know, like Jesus! Obviously, He didn’t think down-to-earth was an unreasonable expectation…that’s why he came…to show us what God looked like…in human skin! But I digress.
It’s no wonder that they are Biblical. Both are trained at a solidly Biblical seminary (Westminster in Philadelphia,PA). Dan went on to get his Ph.D. in Psychology as well. Both have spent their lives teaching their subjects (Psychology and Old Testament Theology) and attempting to live out the gospel.
To back up a bit, they describe contempt as:
“an assault against the glory God intends His children to bear. …In fact, no emotion is more often chosen by the Evil One to assault the gospel than contempt. …Why is it so often the prime weapon of the arrogant to control the weak?…It isolates us as unlovable, withering our hope for love.” (cf. Psalm 31:11-13, 102:6-11, 22:6-8, 44:13-16
A final quote:
“God’s kindness toward us is almost harder to bear than His apparent neglect or anger. His kindness requires us to let down our guard and receive….No wonder Paul asks: “Do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? (Rom. 2:4)
“God in His holy strength is never thwarted by contempt–He mocks those who mock Him. In His odd mercy, however, He handles our contempt by cursing His own Son. Our contempt will never be shattered until we are unnerved by God’s contempt toward the arrogant and we are drawn to the horror of the Father cursing the Son. Here we will see the divine about-face of contempt: from evil’s mockery to the mockery of evil.”
That’s a lot to think about on Good Friday.
- –God’s contempt for the arrogant.
- –The horror of the Father cursing the Son.
- –The effect of my contempt on people who are made in the image of God. (by my gossip, sarcasm, arrogant attitudes, etc.)
- –The glee with which Satan (the Accuser) contemptuously assaults the Gospel and attempts to control and manipulate us.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. (Roman 8:1) Praise be to God!