Laughter, Mockery, and Scorn
Recently I wrote of King Asa. Today, once again, I visit King Hezekiah. Indeed, I did look back through my posts and see that I have already addressed something in the life of Hezekiah three previous times. Well, here is another time. It seems each year that I read my Bible through, I see new things. Let me give you an off-the-subject suggestion: each year I use a different color to mark verses and leave notes in the margins of my Bible. It keeps me organized to a certain extent.
As I have mentioned before, Hezekiah was king in the Southern Kingdom, sometimes noted in the Bible as Judah. Only the groups of Judah and Benjamin remained more faithful to God. During his tenure as King, Hezekiah called for a renewal of keeping the Passover. The temple was once again restored and since Hezekiah felt sorry for the Northern Kingdom who had been captured by Assyria, Hezekiah reached out to the few remaining in the Northern Kingdom to join in the celebration of the Passover in Jerusalem. The reaction of many of them leaves me baffled.
In II Chronicles 30:11 the reaction to the invitation by the posts sent out by King Hezekiah was one of laughter turned to scorn. “. . . they laughed them to scorn and mocked them.” How rude can people get? Well, downright rude. The posts carrying the message were merely messengers, but look at the treatment they get! Perhaps that is where we get the expression don’t shoot the messenger.
Until the past few months, those who carry a message of truth often are turned away by indifference. While that saddens a heart, it does not injure it. Now, the message of truth and hope is often laughed at, mocked, and the message held in derision. I see it all too often in Facebook posts. While debate can certainly be robust in disagreement, I see those disagreeing do it by being disagreeable. Mockery often takes place in these unfortunate posts.
Did the return messages of mockery stop Hezekiah? No, it did not. The Passover went on as planned and a small number from the Northern Kingdom did join in the Passover observance. We need to applaud those who face the mockery and scorn and do the right thing. Applause for those in Hezekiah’s day and clapping now for those in today’s divisive culture of secular progressives. Their mockery should not change the mind of those who seek to follow the Truth. Jesus said it in John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”
Only in the presence of the Good Shepherd will we find the stamina to stand for the Truth. Jesus understands. He withstood mockery too.