Text: Proverbs 24:1-20 (KJV)
1 Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.
2 For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
3 Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:
4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.
6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.
7 Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.
8 He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.
9 The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.
10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
11 If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;
12 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?
13 My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:
14 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.
15 Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place:
16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:
18 Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
19 Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked;
20 For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.
Key Verse: “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth.” – (Proverbs 24:17)
One of the greatest virtues of a believer as enunciated by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the New Testament is the principle of non-retaliation. Retaliation may be by direct vengeance or sometimes by indirect method of rejoicing when evil befalls one’s perceived enemy. It may also be by wishing someone, who has offended us, evil.
The text under consideration today teaches believers true wisdom and its benefits. It is evil for a Christian to go on a mission of vendetta. It is wisdom for a believer not to revenge or retaliate directly or indirectly. Neither should he rejoice when his enemy falls.
The pleasure some people derive from the calamities and misfortunes of their perceived enemy is forbidden by God. When a believer has a true knowledge of the word of God, his heart will be filled with the grace and comfort of the Holy Ghost, which will not allow him to do evil or imagine evil. The Spirit of God will make him to be at peace with everyone, including the wicked enemies, at all times.
Only people with Christ’s mind will neither revenge nor imagine evil when calamities befall their enemies. Christ’s mind can only be possessed through the new birth. The new birth comes upon a sinner when he acknowledges his/her sinfulness, confesses them and makes Christ his/her Lord and Saviour. This will make the grace of God to flood his heart. He will not be able to retaliate or rejoice when evil befalls his enemies.
Thought For The Day: Heart circumcision is the answer.