The Banner Of Truth 2014
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. (Psalm 60:4 )

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
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He is Despised, And We Esteemed Him Not
By Al Stoner

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isa. 53:3).
 

Other Renderings of This Text.  (AMP) “He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him”, (BBE) “he was looked down on, and we put no value on him”,  (Brenton) “he was dishonoured, and not esteemed”,  (CEV) “We despised him and said, "He is a nobody!", (CJB) “he was despised; we did not value him”  (CLV) “despised is He, and we judge Him of no account", (ERV) “like someone people will not even look at but turn away from in disgust”, (GNB) “we ignored him as if he were nothing”, (GW) “and we didn't consider him to be worth anything”.

 

Sins of Commission and Omission.  Men, being created in the image and likeness of God, have, by virtue of their being created by Him, unique expectations that have been placed upon them by the Most High.    They were made unto the satisfaction and good pleasure of both the Father and the Son.  For men to come short of that good pleasure, and willingly so, and yet continue to live in God’s world is a most remarkable thing. Yea, it is most horrible and astonishing thing (cf. Jer. 2:12), in the language of Jeremiah the Prophet.
 
The despising of the Lord Jesus Christ was, and is, a sin of commission, which is of greatest magnitude.  It amounts to a blatant rejection of the gracious remedy for sin, transgression, and iniquity which God has provided in His only begotten Son.  And, likewise, not properly esteeming Him is also an omission of the worst sort.  From one perspective, despising and not esteeming go hand in hand together, and are very similar in their involvements.  But from another perspective, they are distinctly separate offenses, as they are enumerated here in the Isaiah 53 text. 
 
Not properly esteeming the Lord Jesus Christ is the sin that leads to despising Him.  Not properly esteeming Him involves a grievous failure to perceive, or deliberate refusal to consider, who He is in His essential Person, and the purpose for which He came into the world.  The failure to perceive and to properly esteem Him is not innocent, and one for which men shall be charged, if they do not recover themselves from the snare of the Devil.  How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?  God will have no choice but to cast such ones away forever.
 
He was Despised, and He is Despised.  He was despised in the days of His flesh, He was despised in the time of the Holy Prophets (as it was the Spirit of Christ that was in them as they spoke), and He continues to be despised today by unbelieving men, and by a recreant church.  But wherever the Savior is received, and “believed on in the world”, yea, wherever men and women have fallen upon the Stone, and have been broken (cf. Mt. 21:44; Lk. 20:18), the eyes of the Lord are indeed over such ones, and His ears are open unto their prayers.  And when the heavens and the earth have passed away with a great noise, and the elements shall have melted with fervent heat, in the words of Peter, the time of this despising shall forever have come to an end.  The fire and the heat shall remove everything that offends.

 

The Effectual Ministry of Light and Savour.  “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (Jn. 3:19-21).
 
“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? (II Cor. 2:15-16).   The light and the savour mentioned in these words of the Savior and of Paul are effectually pervasive in reaching into men’s hearts.  In both instances there can be no neutral response to them (to the light or to the savour).  Men are either repelled by them (the light and the savour) or they are drawn to them, as is the case with honest and good hearts.
 
Both the light and the savour make demands upon men’s hearts to deny oneself, and to take up one’s cross, and follow after the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is a demand that is abundantly compensated with eternal life and glory in the ages to come.  But for many, this is a demand that is too great for them to pay, and so they choose to hate the light, in the words of Jesus, and they are repelled by the savour, as it is to them a savour of death unto death.
 
The Blessed Regard for the Exalted Christ.  At the right hand of God the exalted Christ is not, in the least, despised, and He is joyfully and unreservedly esteemed to be most precious.  He is loved, adored, a worshipped by all personalities there because of who He is.  Consider the following words.
 
“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever” (Rev. 5:9-14).
 
For men to despise, and to not properly esteem the Savior for who He is, can, in view of these things, be seen to be a sin of extremely grievous import. 
 
Wherever Christ is seen and received for who He is, whether in Heaven or on earth, He is worshipped and loved.  And thus the task given to us, as we minister to one another and to our fellow men using the words of the Apostle, is “to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Eph. 3:9).   “The god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the Image of God, should shine unto them” (II Cor. 4:4).
 
The Proper Response the Lord and to His Christ.  “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked Him a question, tempting Him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Mt. 22:35-38).  This commandment is not only “great”, but it is “first and great”.
 
Examples of Esteem that is Good.  “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job. 23:12).
 
“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Ps. 119:128).
 
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward” (Heb. 11:24-26).
 
Examples of Esteem that is Evil.  “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Lk. 16:15).
 
“But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation” (Deut. 32:15).
 
Esteem that is of Lesser Consequence.  “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Rom. 14:5).

 

“I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean” (Rom. 14:14).
 
The despising and neglect of esteem of the Lord Jesus Christ was not something that He could become accustomed to.  It was a source of great wounding to Him, and justly so.  When we were at one time “darkness”, prior to our believing on the Name of God’s Son, we, too, were guilty of the despising and neglect of the Savior of which we here speak.  Let us seek grace from the Lord that we may no longer be reckoned among the despisers. --Editor
 
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"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).