Sunday, November 24, 2013

They Are Not Your Enemy; Proverbs 24:17-18

"Do not gloat when your enemy falls, when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, of the Lord will see and disapprove and turn His wrath from him"

Have you ever been hurt by someone?  Has anyone, in straight up sin, become your enemy?

It is so easy to want to see them "get theirs".  When the famed atheist, Christopher Hitchens, passed away a year or so ago, there was a part of me that wanted to stand in the courtroom of God and see Him have to finally face the Holy God he mocked for so long.  There have been times in my life that people have acted towards me with such disdain and "evil intent" that a part of me wanted God to just swoop in and put the smack down.

Scripture tells us that God is a righteous and just God who will deal with evil.  But lest we confuse the point, it isn't about justice for "us", it is about justice for a Holy God.  And so, in our own sinful heart, we want justice for our own reasons. 

Jonah was like me.  When asked to participate in saving Ninevah(the Jews enemies) he wanted to run from the assignment, to let them reap their "reward".  But God had another plan. 

What we forget when we seek man-centered justice for the evil we observe is that God's righteousness is a terrible thing for those who stand in unrepentant rebellion.  When we begin to celebrate evil mens "punishment" we are forgetting that the great promise that we have is that WE were enemies of the Lord, saved by Grace.

We need to stop taking joy in others experiencing consequences for their actions.  If someone has hurt you, deliberately or not, out of a sinful heart, don't gleefully await their rude awakening.  Seek a Christ centered heart; one that is broken for even your enemies.

Pray for those who hurt you, seek their good.  Desire in your deepest place their changed and renewed heart. 

Who today do you have to start feeling heartbroken for, and not angry at?  Who needs you to pray for saving instead of punishment?

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