When we face rejection in life, even if rejection is just part of life, it’s not something we’re ecstatic over. Our being rejected by people we hope will accept us may just be God’s way of opening another opportunity for his saints that will give him greater glory in the end. That’s a theme we see unfolding several places in the Bible, such as in the five following cases:
- Jesus Christ: Our Lord, of course, was the biggest reject of all during his life (and still is). “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not,” (John 1:10-11). Jesus was “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,” (Isaiah 53:3). That rejection occurred as he reached out with his great love displayed by his actions. When that rejection led to his death, it served to give God even greater glory in that he died for our sins and rose from the dead for our salvation to the praise of his glorious grace. Now his name is above every name as he sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven.
- Joseph: Rejected by his jealous brothers, they sold him into slavery and he ended up in Egypt where he went through years of unjust suffering. Nevertheless, even in the midst of suffering, God blessed him and he eventually became the number 2 guy over all of Egypt and saved his family from a severe drought.
- Jephthah: This son of a prostitute was rejected by his half-siblings and was run out of his hometown after his adulterous father died. He ended up leading a group of “vain men” to survive (Judges 11:3). But when Israel needed deliverance from their enemies, the town that rejected him ran crawling to him begging for help, and God blessed him with valiance to deliver them. Had he not been rejected, he may not have learned from the streets how to fight for survival.
- Four leprous men: Syria was at war with Israel in 2 Kings 7 and had cut off all supplies to the capital city by surrounding it with troops. The people of Samaria were about to starve to death when four lepers outside the city gates decided not to just sit there waiting to die. They had intended to surrender to the Syrian army but found their camp abandoned when they got there. The army had been in such a hurry to leave, they left everything, including food, in fulfillment of a prophecy Elisha gave. After feasting on some of the food, the lepers felt guilty for not sharing so they went to Samaria to inform the guards on the city wall that there was plenty of food and supplies for the whole city. They saved the people from starving to death.
- The two witnesses: During the great tribulation in the future, God will send out two prophets to preach who most of the world will reject (Rev. 11). Anyone who attacks them will be killed. Then the beast will murder them in Jerusalem and the world will have a big party celebrating their deaths for 3 1/2 days. However, much to their shock, the two witnesses will then be resurrected and ascend to heaven as a testimony of God’s judgment while the world watches in fear as God unleashes an earthquake to kill thousands in Jerusalem.