WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 13, 2022
TOPIC: GOD WILL TAKE AWAY YOUR REPROACH
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. And she conceived and bore a son, and said, ‘God has taken away my reproach.’ So she called his name Joseph, and said, ‘The LORD shall add to me another son’” (Genesis 30:22-24 New King James Version).
Sometimes God’s children find themselves in situations where, despite following the Lord steadfastly, they experience some life’s challenges, which make them objects of reproach by others. They ask, “Where is your God?” Affected by the reproach, the children of God also, sometimes, ask, “My God, where are you?”
The psalmist asks, “Why should the Gentiles say, ‘So where is their God?’” (Psalm 115:2 New Living Translation). The writer of Psalm 42 also laments in verse 3, “My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, ‘Where is your God?’” (New King James Version).
He says further in verse 10, “As with a breaking of my bones, My enemies reproach me, While they say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’”(New King James Version). Similarly, the writer of Psalm 79 asks, “Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’” (Verse 10a New King James Version).
It is painful when unbelievers begin to mock a child of God: Can’t your God see your condition? Does He lack the power to save you? Sometimes it may even be fellow believers. At times, it could be those whom one expects encouragement from.
Hannah was reproached by Peninnah, the other wife of her husband, Elkanah, because she had children but Hannah had none. 1 Samuel 1:6 says, “And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb” (New King James Version). Peninnah behaved as if it was because of her righteousness or she was better than Hannah that she had children. She acted as if it was because of Hannah’s sins that she didn’t have a child.
Many women and men are in such a condition today, as objects of reproach by others. It may be in childbearing or other areas of life. They are putting in the same efforts as others but they are yet to get the positive results others are getting. They are yet to get married, have children, pass their examinations, or gain promotions unlike their colleagues, and some of them and other people are ridiculing them. Such people should not lose hope. The God who answered Hannah and removed her reproach will do the same for them. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5b).
When God answered Hannah and changed her story, she sang a new song! You, too, will sing a new song. Hannah said, “My heart rejoices in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD. I smile at my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation” (1 Samuel 2:1 New King James Version). You also will smile at those reproaching you and rejoice when you experience your divine turnaround.
Hannah further said, “Talk no more so very proudly; let no arrogance come from your mouth, for the LORD is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed” (verse 3 New King James Version). God silenced Hannah’s rival and eventually gave her three more sons and two daughters (1 Samuel 2:21). Whatever those reproaching you are using to reproach you, God will visit you regarding it and silence them.
Rachael and her sister, Leah, were married to the same husband, Jacob. As of the time her elder sister, whom Jacob didn’t love but was forced to marry was already having children, Rachael, whom Jacob loved, was yet to conceive.
Because of her delay in conception, she was frustrated and envied her sister. She threatened to die unless her husband gave her a child. “Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, ‘Give me children, or else I die!’ And Jacob’s anger was aroused against Rachel, and he said, ‘Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?’” (Genesis 30:1-2 New King James Version).
Nevertheless, God remembered her and opened her womb. “Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. And she conceived and bore a son, and said, ‘God has taken away my reproach.’ So she called his name Joseph, and said, ‘The LORD shall add to me another son’” (Genesis 30:22-24 New King James Version). Please take note of the phrase “God has taken away my reproach.” What is your reproach? God will take it away. Have faith in God. Don’t lose hope.
The writer of Psalm 42, after talking about being continually asked, “Where is your God?”, said, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance” (Psalm 42:5 New King James Version). He said nearly the same thing in verse 11. Don’t be discouraged; hope in God. Your season of celebration is near. You will soon do thanksgiving! You will no longer be an object of reproach (Joel 2:19b). Instead of your shame and dishonour, you’ll receive, from the Lord, a double share of honour and prosperity (Isaiah 61:7).
Joshua 5:9 says, “Then the LORD said to Joshua, ‘This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.’ Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day” (New King James Version). God will roll away your reproach and give you a new name. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name (Isaiah 62:2b).
The angel said to Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus, “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren” (Luke 1:36 New King James Version). Only a blind person would continue to call Elizabeth barren after God had visited her and she became pregnant. God will visit you and take away your reproach.
In 1 Samuel 17:26, David spoke to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (New King James Version). They told him the reward. David went ahead and killed Goliath, the Philistines’ champion thereby taking away the reproach from Israel. God will take away your reproach. Your enemies shall be defeated.
Some reproaches are caused by sin. God had told the Israelites that if they abandoned Him, disobeyed His commands, and worshipped other gods, He would cut them off and cast them out of His sight and make them a public example and a word of shame among all peoples (1 Kings 9:6-7). He eventually did.
Ezekiel 22:4 says of Jerusalem, “You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and have defiled yourself with the idols which you have made. You have caused your days to draw near, and have come to the end of your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mockery to all countries” (New King James Version). Jerusalem became a reproach to the nations, and a mockery to all countries because of her sins.
In Joel 2:17, the prophet Joel says, “Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, ‘Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’” (New King James Version).
If your reproach is because of your sins, repent and ask God for forgiveness. If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). If you’re living in sin, repent and save yourself from the reproach you may soon suffer. Repent and begin to live in obedience to the Word of God.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself, and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was resurrected on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, take away my reproach; roll my reproach away. Silence my enemies who reproach me. Visit everyone who is an object of reproach by family members, friends, neighbours, or colleagues and terminate their reproach. Change their story.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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