Pathways Through Proverbs
December 24, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 24
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Following Scripture Verses
- Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.
- For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
- Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:
- And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
- A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.
- For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.
- Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.
- He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.
- The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.
- If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
- If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;
- If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?
- My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:
- So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.
- Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place:
- For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
- 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, and he turn away his wrath from him.
- Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked;
- For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.
- My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:
- For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?
- These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.
- He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:
- But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.
- Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.
- Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
- Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.
- Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.
- I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
- And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
- Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
- Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
- So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.
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It is human nature to get excited when someone who has opposed you or harmed you receives punishment for it. Yet Solomon warns here that we should not rejoice in the calamities of our enemies. This is a very interesting statement, for in Psalm 58:10 David writes,
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"The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance",
which would seem to imply that it is a good thing to find pleasure in your enemy's troubles. Since we know that there are no contradictions in Scripture, what is the principle that is being taught?
I believe that the difference between the two passages is the attitude of the individual. In Psalm 58 the man is rejoicing because he is seeing what God can do. Since the Bible teaches that vengeance belongs to the Lord (Rom. 12:19), when God fulfills His promise and is faithful to His Word this should cause the believer to be glad. The attitude held by the man in today's text seems to be that of rejoicing not in God's might, but rather in his enemy's pain. His focus is not on His Heavenly Father, but rather on his opponent. He doesn't want to see God glorified; he wants to see his enemy suffer. While the end result may be the same, the mindset is different.
Verse 18 states that when our attitude is wrong towards our enemies, the Lord may remove his chastening from them in order to teach us a lesson. This will accomplish two things. First, it will take away from us our ability to gloat, for the man will no longer be receiving punishment. Second, it will show us that if God does not take action, then no real action can be taken. It will remind us Who it is that is taking vengeance, and Who is is that we should be focused on and concerned about.
Don't find pleasure in the pain of your foes. Rejoice in the God Who is in control.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery