The ugliness of rejection
Rejection: I doubt anyone enjoys it. Instinctive to humanity is the need for healthy relationships, and we all know that means acceptance of others. Being created in the image of God, the significance of relational acceptance and rejection has been passed on to us by our creator. This is not a weakness in human design, but an emphasis on the strength gained from mutually supportive relationships. It should go without saying, that acceptance in Christian relationships starts with acceptance of God.
Sadly, sin initiated and continues the painful reality of rejection which began with Adam and Eve rejecting God in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-6). As with everything Satan does, it’s the opposite of God’s way, and results in ugly, deformative effects in our lives. Next, Cain rejected God’s value of human life by murdering His brother Abel (Genesis 4:1-8). So, down through the ages, we continually see the effects of man’s rejection of God. With the ultimate rejection of God’s Son, when humanity crucified the Lord Jesus Christ. As Peter announced in Acts 2:23, this Jesus… you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
When Israel rejected God, they rejected God’s truth, exchanging God’s knowledge for another source of knowledge, which always led them away from God. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge… (Hosea 4:6a). As with Israel, mankind is always the first to initiate rejection of God, with people throughout the ages rejecting the Word of God. Just as the consequences for Israel’s rejection of God’s truth was that the Lord rejected them from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children (Hosea 4:6a). The consequences for Israel were severe and far reaching.
From jungle tribes to inner city dwellers, man’s need to accept God is both challenged and rejected by the world. Sin proudly announces independence from God. Sinful humanity then declares God to be irrelevant, which then leads to the denial of God’s existence. This is how far sin has carried the world.
While some people are quick to complain that God has rejected them due to life’s unmet expectations, they stubbornly refuse to abandon their rejection of God by replacing it with surrender. However, all is not lost. For those who turn from rejecting God, their prayer sounds something like the Psalmist’s prayer in Psalm 130:2-4, …Pay attention to my plea for mercy! 3 If you, O LORD, were to keep track of sins, O Lord, who could stand before you? 4 But you are willing to forgive, so that you might be honoured. This person understands the hopelessness of self-sufficiency and calls out for God’s mercy, knowing that God’s forgiveness is both available and dependable. This person understands that mercy is first and foremost for God’s honour and not just for our blessing.
Rejection is just plain ugly! Whether it’s Man’s rejection of God, or God’s response with rejection of rebellious man. But the beauty of God’s mercy against the backdrop of rejection is nothing short of spectacular. Mercy is available to every rejector, and within mercy is forgiveness for repentant rejectors. Jesus Christ was crucified for every rejector’s sin, and on the third day he rose from the dead, 47 that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations (Luke 24:46-47). This is the amazing Gospel of God, that faith in Jesus death and resurrection for your sin brings endless forgiveness and acceptance from God. Every rejector needs to hear God’s good news for them, and it’s our pleasure to tell them.