by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
Genesis 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
John 15:25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
Matthew 5:11-12 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.
Being hated without cause is an aspect of Messianic prophecy that applies to both Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David. Just as Joseph was hated by his brothers, and David was hated by Saul without cause, is it any wonder that Yeshua (Jesus) was hated by the world without cause — thus fulfilling a Messianic Psalm. [Psalm 69:4 ]. And should it surprise us that He is still hated? And if Yeshua was hated without a cause, should we expect our lives be to any different?
As thousands of saints suffered intense persecution in ages past, and thousands are still being persecuted today (126,000 martyrs last year alone), they prepare(d) the way for the salvation of millions of others. Since Yeshua said "Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends", the love expressed by the martyrs is a tremendous source of inspiration to all of us.
As we are rapidly approaching the end of the age, we can expect persecution to be on the rise. We're sent out as sheep among wolves – so lift your head high when suffering persecution for the Lord. Your response of faith and love could well lead to the salvation of the ones persecuting you!