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OUT OF ENVY
The Children of God are often hated and persecuted out of envy. MAT 27:17-18 says, "Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him."
Envy was the root of all their hatred against the Lord Jesus Christ. Why? For righteousness’ sake! His light was such a reproof to their sins, His righteousness enraged His enemies into putting him on the cross. They could not tolerate the light.
We are not greater than our master is. JOH 15:20 tells us, "Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also." Isn’t that something when you see how people trample the Word of God under their feet? Is it any wonder that they won’t receive admonitions from you or me?
Is it any wonder that the Lord said unto them in the parable of the rich man, "...If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead," LUK 16:31? This is what the Lord Jesus is saying in JOH 15:20. If they won’t hear the Lord’s words, why should they hear ours? We are not greater than He is. The servant is not greater than his master.
Joseph was sold out of envy. His brothers envied him. Joseph told of the wonders that God had showed him. Joseph told of how the Lord was going to use him to bring deliverance for Israel. GEN 37:10-11 says, "And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying."
Out of envy, Joseph’s brothers sold him to be a slave. They did not realize that in so doing they were bringing about the fulfilling of the very will of God for which they envied Joseph. They persecuted him for righteousness’ sake. We must understand what this means. "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," MAT 5:10.
ACT 7:9 says, "And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him." The Scriptures tell us that it was out of envy that they sold him. It is so blessed if we can identify with Job, Daniel, or Joseph.
Can we identify with the Lord Jesus Christ? He was sold out of envy. He was placed on the cross for righteousness’s sake. This was because the light of His ministry shown in the hearts of those who loved darkness rather than light.
We must examine ourselves. Does the world embrace us? JAM 4:4 says, "...the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." Does the world expel us for righteousness’ sake? Do they cast us out of their company for righteousness’ sake?
If they do, our Saviour says, "Blessed are they [Isn’t that beautiful?] which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you," MAT 5:10-12. Amen.
"Take up your cross and follow Me,"
He drew me closer to His side,
It may be through the shadows dim,
My heart, my life, my all I bring
Where-ever He leads I'll go, . . .
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