Rejoicing for The Wrong Reasons

“If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, rather than just sitting alone with God and embracing Him, sharing His cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle forever and eve … More

Rejoicing

People who are being taken to death and slaughter probably are victims of unjust oppression rather than guilty people being condemned (v. 11. Some people may claim they are ignorant of others’ plights, but God knows who is guilty of willful ignorance and He will judge it. We learn here about the method of execution that was once prevalent in Palestine (v. 12). Historians tell us that when a criminal was led to execution there was a crier who went before him and proclaimed the crime for which he had been accused. He would also ask that anyone who could  say anything in behalf of the condemned to come forward. Just as honey, the sweetest substance known in the ancient Near East, is good and tastes sweet, so wisdom is beneficial and desirable to the soul because it gives a person future hope (vv. 13-14). A warning is given that it is futile for the wicked to attempt to destroy the righteous and his possessions (vv. 15-16). Because of God’s protection the righteous person recovers from robberies and attacks but the wicked who instigate such schemes find that they are the ones who suffer.

We are not to rejoice over the sorrows of others, even though the one who is suffering has been a bitter foe (vv. 17-18). Rejoicing over an enemy’s failure may cause God to withdraw His wrath from that person even though he has done wrong. God makes it plain that He hates our laughing at another person’s suffering because it suggests a superior attitude over others. The envy of sinners is condemned (vv. 19-20). Fretting over what sinners have and do and wanting to join them is wrong because they have no future hope. We are to beware of men who are revolutionaries and have a greed for power (vv. 21-22). They will bring sorrow to themselves  and to those they seek to overthrow. We need to stay away from such a man or we will share in his sorrow.

Application

It is so easy to be guilty of rejoicing in another person’s mistake. Here are some verses that I need to keep handy when such a temptation comes my way (vv. 17-18).

Proverbs 24:11-22 (English Standard Version)


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