Fear Not the Reproach of Man (Isaiah 51:7-8)

Isaiah 51:7-8


7 “Listen to me, you who know righteousness,

the people in whose heart is my law;

fear not the reproach of man,

nor be dismayed at their revilings.

8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment,

and the worm will eat them like wool;

but my righteousness will be forever,

and my salvation to all generations.”


            Have you ever noticed that it is often easy to hide morality?  We live in an “anything goes” culture in which those who look at certain activities as wrong are the only ones out-of-step with the times.  At the same time, it seems that those who truly worship God, believing his word and following his commands are often thought to be at the least strange and in many cases dangerous.  So, it is sometimes easier not to display your reliance on the word of God as your standard for life.


            God knew that this would be a temptation for us.  He knew that we would be strangers in a world not our own.  And this is why God gives us words like the ones above in Isaiah.


            Don’t be afraid of the reviling of the world.  If you know righteousness, if you seek God, don’t fear.  While the world may laugh at and scorn the word of God, God will not be defeated.  The derision of the world has no impact on the stability of the commands of God.  God’s word will stand, though all of the rest of the world fall. 


            By the way, don’t take that last paragraph as a noble defeatism.  God’s word will be victorious.  Those who are dead in sins and transgressions will be saved by a God who makes them alive.  The kingdom of Christ will grow throughout all the nations.  God will gather his people to himself.  God’s promises will be proved true.  Jesus will reign as the King of kings and Lord of lords.


            The thing that we want to take from this truth is that we need not be ashamed of the truth we know.  We need not shrink back simply because many around us do not share our trust in God.  We have the authority of Jesus to go and make disciples of the nations.  We certainly have the right to declare truth to be truth, good to be good, and evil to be evil.  Yes, we do all this with gentleness and love.  No, we do not pick fights with others just to argue.  But we take the truth of the word of God to the ends of the earth just as God has commanded.