As I’ve been reading throught the Old Testament this year, the numerous mention of “worthless fellows” has stood out to me. Judges 19 and 20 describe “worthless fellows” who raped a woman and sparked a civil war amongst the tribes of Israel. The sons of Eli the priest were “worthless men” who did not know God (1 Samuel 2:12). Nabal, who refused hospitality to David, was called a “worthless man” by his own wife (1 Samuel 25:17). The evil Jezebel secured the services of some “worthless men” in order to aid her in the murder of Naboth and the theft of his vineyard (1 Kings 21:9-13).
I’m not sure why these words keep re-appearing in my imagination except that I’m a simple, straightforward person and there’s something a little refreshing (and slightly scandalous) about dispensing with polite niceties and simply describing people in language that is accurate — if maybe a little unkind. Can you imagine if I were to name a “worthless fellow” that I had a conversation with last week? Wouldn’t you be scandalized, disappointed at my unkindness, and yet maybe slightly jealous at my refeshingly straightforward speech?
But lest I become arrogant and begin naming a list of “worthless fellows,” I’m brought to a halt by the words of Romans 3:10-13 ““None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”” It doesn’t take me long to realize that “all” includes me. I am one of those “worthless” men. What a sobering and humbling thought!
So what is the antidote to this “worthless” situation that we all find ourselves in? Our only hope is the grace of Jesus Christ for as Acts 4:12 states “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” May all of us “worthless fellows” find hope and humility in Jesus Christ this week.