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) 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ          

Advertisement

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 April 2021 Habakkuk 2:3b.

Habakkuk 2:3b.     ​though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

And then it was Holy Saturday; that suspenseful day of waiting between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the day after the tragedy, but the day before the great awakening of joy and celebration! And yes, it’s always difficult for us human beings to wait for something, even though we know it will be better than what we currently have, especially in these times of immediate gratification. 

But please wait patiently on the promise my people. For as the Good Book says: ‘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. 2:3) Yes friends, Easter Sunday will surely come, so let’s just mourn quietly, but expectantly today, show our tremendous faith, for we are assured of the triumphant rising of the Holy One of Israel tomorrow! 

Now let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow. Here’s the first one: ‘We can’t retract the decisions we’ve made. We can only affect the decisions we’re going to make from here.’ I don’t know if that is totally true nuh, because sometimes we can take back the decisions we’ve made, especially if they have not been yet implemented. But in the logical process of the situation, I guess you can look at the retracting as a new decision and not merely a taking back of the old one. So, in that sense, the quote is right. (smile) 

Then there’s this: ‘I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.’ Now that seems to be rather truthful. If the current situation is bad, then things will only get better if wise change occurs. Merely leaving it the same will not cause any improvement. However, I totally disagree with this next quote: ‘When in doubt, choose change.’ That means you’ll be choosing change just for the sake of change, since there might be no good or logical reason to change. 

But change, especially significant change, should not be made without some good grounds, some useful purpose or enhancement such change will provide. And just because you have doubts, doesn’t mean you should just jump into the unknown. Although that’s what a lot of us are doing in these times of great change. Oftentimes, we don’t know what we’re doing or where we’re going, but because others are changing, are doing something new or different, we think we ought to do the same, we can’t let them get ahead of us, because we absolutely need to be a part of the in-crowd. But that is pure foolishness my brethren. 

Not all change is good for us, and the follow the Jones’ lifestyle only gets us into more problems than we already have. Just take the example of the new cell phones that come out almost every year. Some of us just feel we need to have them because they are new, and have new toys in them. But they are usually more expensive too, and don’t always work as good as the older ones. And in fact, most of us won’t ever use the new toys in them. 

We don’t even use our current phone to its best level. But there’s a new one out, and we must have it, we must keep up with the throng and make the phone makers even richer! And in such situations, re our first quote, we definitely may not be able to retract our hasty and thoughtless decisions. (smile) But as they say, to each his own. 

That brings us to the next quote: ‘When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things. Define the moment, or let the moment define you.’ Now that’s gospel truth friends! When defining moments crop up, you only have two options; to let the moment define you, or you define it. And the sensible option is usually the latter. You define the moment, you come up over the problem, don’t allow it to take you where it wants to go. 

And I guess we should define what we mean by defining moments. (smile) Those are basically important times in your life, when what is in front of you has the ability to change the trajectory of your life, like a new job offer, or meeting a new lady friend, or the most important defining moment in all of our lives, finding Jesus and cheerfully latching on to Him! When those opportunities appear in our lives, we have to face them mano -a- mano, rise up above them, take the bull by the horns sort of thing, evaluate the situations, and hopefully make wise decisions, because it’s not always in our best interest to let nature take its course. 

And that segues real nicely into our last quote. ‘A wise man can learn more from his enemies than a fool from his friends.’ Now that’s certainly an interesting statement. I guess it goes back to a couple of other sayings: ‘Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.’ And also, ‘Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.’ The last one insinuates that if you are foolish, then most likely your friends are also foolish, so there’s not a whole lot you can learn from them. 

Meanwhile, the first saying is telling us to keep a close eye on our enemies because we can learn their secrets and tactics, which will help us in our fight against them. But the whole thing boils down to having wise friends and no enemies. But if you do have enemies, as Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink. For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.’ (Prov. 25:21-22) And the scholars tell us that ‘Coals of fire does not refer to revenge or punishment but to pangs of shame that will lead to reconciliation.’ 

But Jesus goes one better than that. He says: ‘LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you.’ (Matt. 5:44) Now that’s not an easy row to hoe in this strife filled world of ours, but that’s what Jesus expects of His followers, and what we should all endeavour to do, if we bear His name, consider Him our Lord and Saviour. 

And remember, He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us, as He told the disciples: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) So there’s no need to fear, for Jesus is always with us, leading, guiding and helping us through His indwelling Holy Spirit and allowing us to do great things in His name, through His divine strength. Much LOVE!

…one more day…just one more day…before the triumphant resurrection…please wait faithfully for it… because it WILL come…

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8