Those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished. - Proverbs 17:5 (NLT)
It was turning out to be a great day for Tracy. Her dad had been found, although he had never really been lost, and now he was home And to top it all off, she was going to spend the night at the Peterson’s for Stella’s sleep over.
As Tracy got out of her Dad’s truck in the Peterson’s driveway, she was met by a very giggly Stella. “Are you feeling okay?” Tracy asked her as she picked up her sleeping bag. “Yes. Yes. Yes.” came Stella’s reply “I don’t think today could be any better, not even if Frankie Borison came to town and kissed me.”
“Wow!” Tracy said, “You must really be having a good day. Can you tell me what happened?” “Sure I can.” Stella replied and started giggling again. “Well, what is it?” Tracy demanded, as Stella kept on giggling, “Guess.” Stella said as her giggling turned to hysterical laughter.
“What!” Tracy yelled not wanting to play this guessing game. “Harold got sprayed by a skunk and now he has to sleep in the dog house.” Stella told her. “I know that.” Tracy replied “He got sprayed while looking for my dad. In fact I can still smell him.” “That must mean he’s coming.” Stella said as she quit laughing. “I’ve got to hide.” And with that Stella took off.
The next thing Tracy knew she was laying on the ground with a humongous dog sitting on top of her. “Harold! Get this thing off of me!” she yelled as she tried to stand back up. “Sorry,” Harold said “Muffy and I were looking for that pretty kitty Muffy found. I thought I saw him come this way.”
About that time came a blood curdling scream from the direction Stella went to hide. And than came an even stronger smell. “I think Stella just found your skunk.” Tracy told Harold and headed back towards her dad’s truck, “Tell Stella I’ll come back another day” she continued as she jumped in to the front sit and shut the door.
“A skunk?” Harold thought to himself “I wonder if I could keep him for a pet?” but before he could think any more about it, Muffy took off chasing it pulling Harold along with him. Proverbs 17:5b says those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished. (NLT) If Stella had remembered that verse maybe she wouldn’t have been so happy so see Harold in the dog house, maybe she wouldn’t be joining him.
Have you ever thought of getting revenge for some misdeed that has happened to you? God says that revenge is His but how do we act when it finally happens? How do we act when bad happens to those we do not like? Is it the same as those we do like?
In the book of Deuteronomy God spells out a terrible promise - Starting in 28:15 we read these words - if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: "Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. "Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. "Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. "Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. "The LORD will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me.... (NAS) The section continues for many more verse but I think we get the picture.
Despite having such a promise in their midst, Israel failed to obey God, they failed to observe His commandments and statutes and just as God had promise, Israel become a cursed nation. In 2 Kings chapters 24 and 25 we read of the exploits of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar and how he fulfilled God's promise to Israel for their disobedience, but this is not our focus.
If we back up a moment to Genesis 19:36-38 we read of a couple of babies being born - Both daughters became pregnant by their father, Lot. The older daughter had a son and named him Moab, the ancestor of the present-day Moabites. The younger daughter had a son and named him Ben-Ammi, the ancestor of the present-day Ammonites. (MSG) It is the decedents of the younger daughter - the Ammonites that I would like to look at for we read in the Bible that they were constantly at war with Israel.
In Ezekiel 25 we find that Ezekiel was sent to prophesy against the Ammonites for their reactions to Israel's punishment under Nebuchadnezzar. Say to them, ’Hear the word of the Lord God. This is what the Lord God says: You were glad when my Temple was dishonored, when the land of Israel was ruined, and when the people of Judah were taken away as captives. So I am going to give you to the people of the East to be theirs. They will set up their camps among you and make their homes among you. They will eat your fruit and drink your milk. I will make the city of Rabbah a pasture for camels and the land of Ammon a resting place for sheep. Then you will know that I am the Lord. This is what the Lord God says: You have clapped your hands and stamped your feet; you have laughed about all the insults you made against the land of Israel. So I will use my power against you. I will give you to the nations as if you were treasures taken in war. I will wipe you out of the lands so you will no longer be a nation, and I will destroy you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ - Ezekiel 25:3-7 (NCV)
So, how do you react when your enemy falls? Remember these words of Solomon - Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Or the LORD will see it and be displeased, And turn His anger away from him. Proverbs 24:17-18 (NAS)
Here's Something To Ponder
- Have you been glad when someone falls or is punished?
- Do we really deserve any better?