Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 November 2022 Proverbs 24:17.

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

Prologue: Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but I had some personal stuff that needed immediate attention, and it took longer than I expected. But as they say, ‘better late than never.’ (smile) 

Now friends, let’s just be glad and ever so thankful that we didn’t get the terrible snowstorm that the city of Buffalo, across the U. S. border got this weekend. The city was shut down for the entire weekend. Oh, we got a decent amount of the beautiful white, but ever so dangerous stuff, but God be praised that this Monday morning, as the work week opened, our roads were dry and clean and the sun’s shining ever so brightly in a cloudless sky! 

Let’s not laugh though at Buffalo or crow over their misfortune for sooner or later we will get our fair share of the winter blues. (smile) And that just draws my attention to the wise words of Cousin Sol on the subject of mocking one’s enemies from the Book of Proverbs. Please listen carefully, as he wisely advises: ‘Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him (be evil in his eyes), and he turn away his anger from him.’ (Prov. 24:17-18) 

Oh my people, that is such a wise scripture, especially in these turbulent times, of strife, envy and greed and autocratic behaviour. And I like how one commentary explains it. ‘God commands you to LOVE your personal enemies, and it is one of the chief measures of a true Christian. Such LOVE includes being grieved when your enemy falls or stumbles in life. If you are glad or rejoice when he is hit by adversity, you have sinned.’  And I know some of us will find that a hard scripture to accept, but it’s one of the basic tenets of our faith. As Christ said, LOVING our neighbour as ourselves is the second greatest commandment in the law of God. (Matt. 22:39) 

And just look at how God LOVED us when we were totally clothed in sin and disobedience. He could have laughed and gloated and turned away from us, but He didn’t. The Bible tells us that instead, ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE to us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) That means, if we want to be like God, show grace and mercy, then we cannot gloat over the demise of our enemies. 

And I guess one of the best examples of that is found in the Book of the prophet Obadiah, when the Lord threatened Edom, the descendants of Esau, for failure to help their cousins, the sons of Jacob, that’s Judah when they were besieged by their enemies, as well as their constant hostility towards them. 

The prophecy reads: ‘For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon (for) Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. But thou shouldest not have looked, (gazed on, gloated over) on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger (captive); neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress. 

Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the days of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity; Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway (crossroads), to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up (made captive) those of his that did remain in the day of distress.’ (Obad. 10-14) 

I guess that solidly states the case for not rejoicing over the demise of one’s neighbours. (smile) And as always, God’s prophecies do come true. It seems that the Edomites who lived in the fortress-like hill country neighbouring Judah, were brash and bold, figuring that they could not be subjugated because of their hilly terrain. They also seemed to have gotten wealthy by taxing those who passed through their land. The scholars tell us the ‘Edomites remained a constant threat to the Israelites until Bruh David conquered them (2. Sam. 8:13-18). 

Ah friends, you should read that scripture and see the mighty warrior king Bruh David became with God’s help, as he subdued all those nations around him and united Israel for the first time. However, when Israel again became a divided land, the monarchy was broken up, the Edomites regained their independence and their constant hostility towards God’s people, their cousins, was frequently denounced by Israel’s prophets. But as the Lord had promised, they were later subjugated by Assyria and eventually overrun by the Nabateans in the third century B.C. 

Wow! That should teach us never to doubt the promises and prophecies of God, no matter how long they take to come to pass, for, like He told the prophet Habakkuk: ‘For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’ (Hab. 2:4) That’s why, as we raise our voices in prayer through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, let’s understand that it’s all about God’s timing, not ours, and our duty is simply to pray and then wait for His answer. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now, my fellow saints, let’s do our part, and wait patiently, expectantly, with strong faith, for the Lord to do His. Much LOVE!

…recompense to no man…evil for evil…be not overcome of evil…but overcome evil with good… (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

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