What images, behaviors and/or attitudes does the phrase “utter contempt” conjure up in your mind?
- The unthinkable treatment of Jews by Hitler and the Nazis.
- Songs by rap artists mocking all forms of authority.
- Gangs tagging their territories with spray-painted graffiti.
- Rebellious adolescents talking back to parents and disregarding authority.
- Hollywood actors trying to “buy” their way out of consequences for their addictions and poor behavior.
- Pornography’s blatant perversion of sex and human sexuality.
- Drug lords gaining wealth through human trafficking and illegal drug sales.
- Married congressmen having adulterous affairs.
How easy it is to point the finger of “utter contempt” elsewhere! After hearing a story told by the prophet Nathan, King David conveyed “utter contempt” for the rich man who stole a poor man’s lamb to kill and prepare as food for his guest (2 Samuel 12:1-31). Imagine David’s shock when Nathan charged, “You are that man! You have despised the LORD and have shown utter contempt for the LORD by doing this” (vv. 7, 9, 14).
This story brought to light David’s own adulterous affair with Bathsheba and murderous plot to kill her husband Uriah. “The LORD has forgiven you,” Nathan stated, “nevertheless, because of your utter contempt for the LORD, your child will die.”
At what times and in what ways do our actions reveal “utter contempt” for the Father’s love and faithfulness towards us?
- Whining and complaining
- Not forgiving those who have hurt and offended us
- Holding on to some habitual sin
- Letting materialism drive us
- Not honoring the authorities in place over us, whether we like them or not
- Your addition: ________________
Lord, please forgive us for the ways in which we show contempt for your love and faithfulness towards us. Enable us, by the power of your Holy Spirit, to live our lives with a healthy “fear of the LORD.” May our lives bring glory to your Name, not utter contempt. Amen!