Book: Proverbs 24
“Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble.”
You have probably been to a wedding or two where the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13 is read or quoted. As one who has officiated at weddings I have also used this passage at times. But for a moment I would like us to look at verses 4-7 as it provides the right attitude we are to have towards those who are against us:
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
Notice that revenge, paying back evil for evil, nor comments like “It deserves them right” are part of this passage. Instead there is a great hope that the offender will turn from their ways.
The greatest example for us to follow is our Sovereign Lord who made all things including those who are against us. Look at these two verses from Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 18:23 Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign LORD. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.
Ezekiel 33:11 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?
Even with all that Job was going through he could say, “Have I ever rejoiced when disaster struck my enemies, or become excited when harm came their way? No, I have never sinned by cursing anyone or by asking for revenge.” Job 31:29-30
Then think about what Jesus did for you, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8
I encourage you to intercede through prayer for those who are against you or those who have hurt you. Have the attitude and heart of God towards your enemies, “who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” (I Timothy 2:4).