WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 12, 2023
TOPIC: THE GOD WHO TAKES AWAY REPROACH
BY T. O. BANSO
“Remove from me reproach and contempt, for I have kept Your testimonies” (Psalm 119:22 New King James Version).
The word “reproach” in its noun form means disgrace, shame, stigma, or loss of reputation. Different things could be termed as a reproach in the life of someone. Each person knows what exists in his life that brings him disgrace, shame, or loss of reputation. Everybody knows what stigma is in his life.
Some things can make one an object of reproach. People can describe others by the reproach in their lives. But God is the God who takes away reproach. Whatever the reproach is currently in your life, have faith in God and cry to Him to take it away. He has the power to do so as He did in the Bible and has done in people’s lives after the Bible was written. He still does that today.
In Genesis 30, the Bible tells us the story of two sisters, Leah and Rachel. The elder sister, Leah who became Jacob’s wife through the manipulation of their father, Laban, had children even though her husband, Jacob, did not love her. But Rachel was barren. At the time Leah had borne six boys and one girl, and Rachel was yet to be pregnant. She only had children for Jacob through her maid just as her sister also did in addition to the children she gave birth to directly.
Barrenness was such a reproach to Rachel that she envied her sister and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!” (Genesis 30:1). But Jacob who had no power to take away this reproach replied to her, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” (Genesis 30:2 New King James Version).
Jacob was right. Only God can remove the reproach of barrenness; no human being can. Even medical assistance is known to fail many times. Only God gives children; doctors can only try their best. Therefore, Jacob directed Rachel’s attention to the right Person: God.
Maybe you’re feeling like Rachel because of a certain reproach in your life. You feel like it’s either your condition changes or you die. Don’t contemplate suicide. Hope is not lost for you. Look to the God who can take away reproach whether it is barrenness, illness, poverty, unemployment, or whatever.
When it looked as if all hope was lost for Rachel, God remembered her. In other words, God visited her. That was after her sister had given birth to seven children. It looked as if she would die childless. But God said no. “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 note the phrase “God has taken away my reproach.”
The God who remembered Rachel and took away her reproach will remember you, too, in your present condition and take away your reproach. He will remove whatever is the disgrace or shame in your life. Don’t lose hope; don’t give up on God. God will take away your reproach. Rachel had another son, Benjamin, later but, unfortunately, she died during his birth (Genesis 35:16-20).
God specializes in taking away reproach. What He did for Rachel, He had earlier for Sarah, who also was childless for several years despite the promise of God. During the long wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise, she gave her maid, Hagar, to her husband, Abraham, to have children by her and she gave birth to Ishmael (Genesis. 16:2-3, 15). That was a human arrangement, not God’s plan. Nevertheless, God remembered Sarah. Not that He had forgotten her but He visited her. He removed her reproach of barrenness.
Genesis 21:1-4 says, “And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him — whom Sarah bore to him — Isaac” (New King James Version).
Abraham was one hundred years old when his son, Isaac, was born to him while Sarah was ninety years old. Despite their old age, God didn’t change His promise to give them a child and make Abraham and Sarah the father and mother of many nations respectively (Genesis 17:4-5, 16; Romans 4:17-18). Reacting to what God did for her, Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me” (Genesis 21:6 New King James Version). She added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age” (verse 7 New King James Version). Don’t lose hope. God who made Sarah laugh will make you laugh too. He took away the reproach of Sarah; he will take away yours too.
The God who takes away reproach! In 1 Samuel 1, God took away the reproach of barrenness from Hannah, who was tormented or taunted by her rival, Peninnah. Peninnah had children; Hannah was childless. But one day God remembered her. “So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, ‘Because I have asked for him from the Lord’” (1 Samuel 1:20 New King James Version). The God who took away the reproach of Hannah will take away whatever is your reproach too.
In her prayer, after God had visited her, 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). It is your turn to rejoice.
Elizabeth’s reproach too was barrenness. Luke 1:7 says she and her husband, Zacharias had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. However, God visited Elizabeth and she conceived, as the angel of the Lord had told Zacharias in Luke 1:13. Verse 24 says Elizabeth conceived and she hid for five months.
The angel Gabriel later told Mary, “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). God took away the reproach of Elizabeth and she gave birth to John the Baptist (verses 57, 60, & 63). Jesus described him as the greatest among those born of women (Matthew 11:11).
God will take away your reproach. He rolled away the reproach of the Israelites after their exodus from Egypt and before they entered Jericho. “So it was, when they had finished circumcising all the people, that they stayed in their places in the camp till they were healed. 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” (Joshua 5:8-9 New King James Version). He will roll away your reproach too.
David said to God, “You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor” (Psalm 69:19a New King James Version). God knows your reproach, shame, or disgrace also. It is not hidden from Him. But He still requires that you pray to Him about it. Just as the author of Psalm 119 did, saying, “Remove from me reproach and contempt, for I have kept Your testimonies” (verse 22 New King James Version). He also prayed in verse 39: “Turn away my reproach which I dread, for Your judgments are good” (New King James Version).
Pray to God about your reproach. Talk to Him about how people have reproached you. He will act in your favour. He will remove your reproach and pay back your enemies. God said in Zephaniah 2:8-9: “‘I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the insults of the people of Ammon, with which they have reproached My people, and made arrogant threats against their borders. Therefore, as I live,’ Says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Surely Moab shall be like Sodom, and the people of Ammon like Gomorrah — Overrun with weeds and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation. The residue of My people shall plunder them, and the remnant of My people shall possess them’” (New King James Version).
The Bible records many instances when people received their miracles which took away their reproach. In a situation where the reproach came because of sin, God will take away the reproach when there is genuine repentance and prayer to Him. “The Lord will answer and say to His people, ‘Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations” (Joel 2:19 New King James Version).
Whatever your reproach, have faith in God. Cry to Him. He will take or roll away your reproach; He will turn your shame into glory. “Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs” (Isaiah 61:7 New King James Version). Don’t lose hope. Put your trust in God. He is the God who takes away reproach.
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 that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him 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 a palm tree and grow like a 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, have mercy on me and take away my reproach. Roll away my reproach and silence those who reproach me.
(For over 900 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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