Who Is Rejected?
Rejection affects everyone. No one is immune to being rejected. Like me, you have been subjected to rejection from many sides, different people, and at different seasons. Perhaps, you felt or lived much of your life feeling rejected by the church or even God.
What is Rejection?
Merriam Webster defines it as the act of rejecting. To reject then means the act of refusing to accept, consider, submit to some purpose or use.
Essentially it is the refusal to accept something (or someone).
The Old Testament Hebrew offers us a better look at what we are trying to say here.
The word Zarach is used at least ten times in the OT, with different words used to say the same thing.
It is translated as spurn, discard, reject, refuse to accept, excluded, and cast off.
Wow! That says it all. I have truly felt the sting and carried the wounds of feeling cast off, forgotten, or even just not accepted.
In the days ahead, I will discuss what happens to us when we have been rejected, and we allow it to take root in our hearts. In other words, how we identify with rejection and carry the wounds all of our lives, if we do not allow the Lord, through His word, Spirit, and the cross, to heal and deliver us.
But I want to look at a famous character in the Bible today.
Like me, you may have been hurt or felt rejection from the church for various reasons. I always knew I had a high call, but no one around me understood the dreams and visions I had.
I was told that God doesn’t speak like that today. Many other things happened through the years, and I eventually gave up on God. But, He brought me back.
In 1 Samuel 27:5-6, we find the future king David on the run from King Saul. He was allied with the Philistines, and he asks one of their leaders.
“ If I have found favor in your eyes, let a place be assigned to me in one of your towns that I may live with you.” NIV
We find that Achish gives David the town of Ziklag. So, he and his 600 or so men and their families settle in Ziklag. Later, David seeks to join the fight against King Saul, but the Philistine leaders are not on board with that, so David and his men return to Ziklag.
But, when they return to Ziklag, they find that the Amalekites had burned the city and taken the women and children as captives. Now David’s men are ready to stone him. They blame David for all of their troubles. David has lost his wives and children, his town has been destroyed, his men lost their families, and they are against him.
They have rejected David and his leadership. Everyone blames David.
I have felt the sting of being cast off and discarded. At times I felt alone and often excluded. I wanted to do right and serve God, but I wanted friends. I chose the wrong friends. They weren’t friends. They just wanted to party. I often never seemed to fit in.
How about you? Have you felt the sting of rejection?
Have you wanted to please everyone but didn’t know how because you felt excluded or discarded? Many in society have been discarded and excluded. Many have left the church and turned from God because they were not accepted. I am not talking about living a life of sin. People who are different don’t fit the traditional church model, yet they want a relationship with Jesus.
Maybe you were the child of a church leader, and you identified that way. You were like me, and instead of identifying who I was supposed to be, I identified as the preacher’s kid. But at school, that wasn’t cool. So I was whatever it took to be cool.
Rejection causes us to identify with whatever we need to be so that we are not rejected or cast away.
The men in our story identified with David until something went wrong. God had chosen David for a high calling. He had to posture his mindset from being Jesse’s son who keeps the sheep to step up to a higher calling. So, he kills one of Israel’s greatest enemies, Goliath.
But that made things worse for him eventually. Saul wanted to kill him, so he had to flee.
Often those who bully or exclude us are jealous, or they have an unresolved issue.
I had dreams and heard God’s voice when I was a child. This intensified as I grew, yet no one could explain what was going on. I hadn’t met the people that understood the supernatural power of the kingdom of God.
No one really could help David but God.
1 Samuel 30:6 we read, “ and David was greatly distressed for the people spoke of stoning him. But, David strengthened himself in the Lord.
Previously David had favor with the Philistine leader Achish, but now his own men are out to kill him. His response should be ours. To turn and find strength in the Lord.
That should always be our response. I always, deep down, knew in my spirit knew that God had all of the answers. One day I found out that I had favor with God. He delights in me.
I didn’t say he delighted in my sin, my hurts, and wounds but rather in me. He enjoys helping me become who he created me to be.
David said that the Lord delights in him in Psalm 18:20. After all that David went through, he found that God was always for him.
What about you? Do you identify with your hurts and wounds, or have you come to realize that God enjoys you and gives you favor.
Forgive those that have wounded us through rejection. Many may not even know that they have hurt us. But we must forgive them. Then we must agree with rejection and identify with the mindset that God delights in us.