What are the social ramifications of faithfulness to the Lord? OF course it will depend in general on the faithfulness of your society to the Lord and his word. But, in general, historically, the more we are faithful to the Lord, the less our society is willing to tolerate us.
Psalm 69 is the prayer of one who is suffering. HE has enemies. HE is threatened. And the threats and hardships he faces are the result of his passion for the worship of God and his mourning over the sin of the nation he lives in. And, if you will watch, you will see a line that the New Testament applies to Jesus.
7 For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach,
that dishonor has covered my face.
8 I have become a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my mother’s sons.
9 For zeal for your house has consumed me,
and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.
10 When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting,
it became my reproach.
11 When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became a byword to them.
12 I am the talk of those who sit in the gate,
and the drunkards make songs about me.
13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.
At an acceptable time, O God,
in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.
The psalmist prays for God to protect him. Why? People around him have turned away from him. Why? The psalmist is passionate for the glory of God. The psalmist weeps over the sin of the land. HE mourns as is proper when he sees the nation in rebellion against the Lord. But his mourning causes his friends and family to mock him, to gossip about him, and even to threaten him.
When Jesus turned over the tables of the money-changers in the temple, we see that verse 9 applies to him: “For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.” Jesus, passionate for God’s glory, passionate for God’s worship, passionate for God’s law, wrecked the place where Annas and his cronies had made the things of God into a bazaar.
When Jesus showed his passion for the worship of God and the word of God, it drew the ire of the religious leaders of his day who were profiting off of the system. When the psalmist had a passion for God’s worship and grieved over the sin of the nation, it drew the ire of those around him. We must understand, Christians, that standing strong on the word of God and clinging tightly to biblical worship will also not be popular. Some folks, religious folks, will look down on us for not buying into their system of how things should be done to be popular and effective. The world around us will not embrace us simply because we stand for the ways of the God they hate.
What should we do? Let us pray as the psalmist prayed. When he saw that the world was against him for his passion for God, he prayed, “But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord” (verse 13). He knew that obeying the word of God and rightly worshipping the Lord is worth far more than the approval of men. May we know the same thing. May we pray the same thing. May we be faithful. And may we honor our God above all.