Wednesday, December 12, 2012

FOR SHAME, FOR SHAME

There was a time in humanity's existence when shame was not an issue (Genesis 2:25).  But then a time came when humanity rebelled against God.  The relationship we had with God fell so far and so hard that we have been shamed for it by the enemy and ourselves ever since that day.

The spirit of shame has been around for many generations teaching humanity how to use shame as a weapon, especially inside the family unit.  A Biblical example of this is found in 1 Samuel 20:30 - "Saul's anger flared up at Jonathan [Saul's son] and he said to him, "You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don't I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you?"  So, not only did Saul disgrace his own son, Jonathan, he included Jonathan's mother, his own wife in the slander.  The spirit of anger triggered the whole episode - "Saul's anger flared" -  but Saul eventually got around to using the spiteful weapon of shame to attack his own family on a matter.

Other actions that have been deemed shameful are recorded in Psalm 97:7 - "All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols-- worship him, all you gods!"  Another Scripture that supports this one is Isaiah 42:17 - "But those who trust in idols, who say to images, 'You are our gods,' will be turned back in utter shame"  In addition, the book of Proverbs supplies a handful of types of individuals who are shamed because of specific actions.

The shamed:
  • The Fool (Proverbs 3:35)
  • The Wicked (Proverbs 13:5)
  • Ignoring Discipline (Proverbs 13:18)
  • Answering before listening (Proverbs 18:13)
  • He/she who robs his father and drives out his mother (Proverbs 19:26)
Shame is so important to David that he prayed against it several times, but here are two instances.  Psalm 25:2 says, "in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me."  And Psalm 25:20 - "Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you."

In the future, God will remove the national shame on Israel.  "At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you; I will rescue the lame and gather those who have been scattered. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they were put to shame." - Zephaniah 3:19

For some, shame will be an eternal condition.  Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2).......  Therefore, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, for cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree (Galatians 3:13; Dt. 21:23), and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2).

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile (Romans 1:16).  Plus, Jesus said, "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38)

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God (2 Timothy 1:8).  That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day (2 Timothy 1:12).  However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name (1 Peter 4:16).  Jesus reminds us, "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me (John 15:20-21).

Shame seeks to disgrace, slander, and defame our character.  It's goals are to humiliate, mortify, and defame.  It's agenda is to discredit, disrepute, and always assign guilt.  BUT GOD, by His Word in flesh, Jesus, supernaturally bore all my shame, your shame, and the shame of the world on His body as He hung upon The Tree.   So, the next time the enemy tries to use shame as a weapon against you - rebuke that attempt and confess what Jesus has secured for you through the cross and His resurrection -  "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper ; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn . This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 54:17).  Claim this and you will be doing "your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).