“Do not celebrate when your enemies fall…” Proverbs 24:17 (VOICE)
“Moooommmm,” my daughter asked hesitantly, with a hint of suspicion on top …“what’s the green stuff in this?”
Dinner time is a struggle, and I want to take them with me to Africa someday so that they will never ask that question again.
“It’s fine.” I stated flatly. “You’ve had it before …you like it …just eat it.”
If only it were that simple.
“What’s the green stuff?” My husband asked as he warmed up a plate later that evening.
Sign the whole family up. We’re all going to Africa.
Today’s verse deals with our reaction to our enemy’s getting what they deserve. It’s a shred of our sinful human nature to secretly rejoice when someone who has royally lost our trust falls on their disloyal butt. It’s ugly, but it’s true …and we know it. That’s why we hide in the bathroom before we have a joyful little celebration to ourselves. Or let our “tisk, tisk, tisk, “ ‘reap what you’ sow finger fly.
No one knew betrayal like Jesus did. Yet, He washed his feet.
“ Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.”Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.” John 13:26 (NIV)
Jesus knew that was coming. Yet He acted in grace and kindness. He kept His head on straight and remained cool as a cucumber. We should aim to be like that …but we can’t. And He knows that, too. He died because He knew we would never be able to attain that kind of humility. He died on the cross, bearing everything He knew we would do, and couldn’t do if we tried.
“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice,
lest the Lord see it, and be displeased,
and turn his wrath away from him.” Proverbs 24:17-18 (NET)
We can’t be Jesus, but we can try to be like Him. Just because we’ll never be the perfect spotless Lamb doesn’t mean we should quit trying to reach for His hand. When we pray for our enemies, we’re grabbing onto the arm that can reach down and raise us up. Like John the Baptist said, it’s time for me to become less, and Him to become more. He is everything. Grab onto Him.
Father, Praise You, Jesus, for pulling us up over and over again. For dying for us, knowing what we would do and couldn’t ever do. Thank You, Jesus, for showing us how to act in the face of betrayal and hurt. Forgive us for acting out instead of running to You. Bless our enemies. May they know You feel Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
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