Rejoice Not

Proverbs 24:17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:

This comes to me in the form of a dream. It was not a nightmare but it haunts me because my heart wasn’t right before the Lord. In my dream my enemy had died and I was glad but then it was announced that he was my age and suddenly a great sadness fell over me. Life is precious and I want to live longer, what right do I have to rejoice over the end of it for anyone?

That person died before coming to know the Lord. His chances for redemption are gone. He is lost for eternity. What if someone had taken my life before I surrendered to Christ? I would have been just as condemned as my enemy. I have no right to rejoice over another’s loss.

I understand there will be some who do not agree with me, and I will not argue with you over that point, that is between you and God. I don’t have the right to judge you either. But the images of those who hate us and rejoiced when the twin towers fell only strengthened my resolve for revenge, not mercy.

There are people in this world who have hated each other for thousands of years and there seems to be no end to it because revenge never stops and mercy never begins. All those lost souls will never come to know the love of Christ and as much as I want to say they deserve it, so did I. So did I.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

I should not rejoice, I am better than that, not because I am better than that but because I was chosen to be better than that and its time I started acting like it.


1 Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Let me say first, my experience is about to be shown here, not yours, mine. Please do not receive this as a chastening. It is how I have felt about the burdens placed upon me by men who had good intentions but who burdened me nonetheless.

Paul is acknowledging the importance of support which has been given by the Christians in Corinth. It is his desire not to place a burden upon the people when he comes. What he is asking of these people is an important issue with me as to support, that we do not leave the Lord out of it.

Often times we put our fellowship on the spot, we burden them with the need which can and sometimes does raise up emotional decisions. What we should do is ask them to look at the blessings which the Lord has provided, as God hath prospered. Getting God involved early in provision through prayer and thoughtful consideration will allow people to respond with gladness.

I have limited income but I can plan a budget and evaluate needs. The needs of others is part of that plan but the sudden burden of announced needs places many of us in a place of reacting emotionally rather than in stewardship. Stewards always obeys his Lord’s commands without emotional consideration. So why do we ask people to react without considering the Lord first?

I think Paul’s approach here is valid. Prayerful consideration of the Lord’s provisions should come first. In that way we do not burden others with anything more that seeking God’s will and answering as a good steward would.

Once again, that has been my past experience. Yours may vary.