2 Chronicles 36:16 - But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising His words and scoffing at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD rose against His people, until there was no remedy.
Heckling a baseball umpire is a time-honored American tradition.
Anyone who has ever attended a professional game has heard the constructive shouts of the self-appointed consciences in the crowd, who feel it their civic duty to correct, direct and improve the umpire's calls.
In recent years I've noticed the traditional, "Kill the ump!" has been replaced by more creative calls. Some of the more amusing taunts I've heard are
* You drop more calls than AT&T!
* "You're not gonna sleep tonight 'cause you've slept all game!"
* "Hey ump, is your rule book written in Braille?"
* "You couldn't call hogs!"
* "You call more strikes than a union delegate!"
Now most of the time these shouted insults are good-natured and have no long-term or heartfelt animosity behind them. But there are exceptions to the rule. For example, at a recent Phillies-Giants game, the home-plate ump, Bob Davidson, stopped the game and had a fan escorted out by security. According to Davidson, the belligerent fellow had started out foul and quickly became filthy. Feeling he was acting on behalf of the many fans who are offended by profoundly graphic language, the ump instructed security to "Get rid of this guy."
And if you're wondering what was the reaction of the crowd, Umpire Davidson said, the "Philly fans cheered him," and then he added, "which is unusual in this town for me."
Now I think there is a lesson to be learned here.
We have a Lord who is long-suffering. He puts up with disrespect, disobedience and disinterest far longer than even the most patient of individuals. That being said, we need to recognize that the Lord doesn't put up with humanity's sins and shenanigans forever.
The Bible is filled with stories of people who were punished because God had had enough. The world destroyed by the flood, the wanderings of the Children of Israel in the wilderness -- all point out that God is long-suffering, but not eternally long-suffering.
This is why this devotion reminds us that the Lord who has given His Son as the ultimate Ransom for our salvation needs to be respected and honored. We who have been rescued from the flames of hell ought to honor Him with our actions and our words.
He deserves no less.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that all I do may show my gratitude to You for Your great love as shown in the Savior's sacrifice. In His Name I give thanks. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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