“Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.”

Proverbs 24:17

Throughout history, the natural heart of people has relished watching an enemy fail. We see it often these days. The politician on the other side of the aisle gets caught in a scandal. The ministry leader whose teaching you question makes an insensitive comment online. That hostile Facebook friend finally gets put in their place. It is tempting to find quiet pleasure in scenarios like this. Even though we might not say it aloud, part us of is glad when our enemies fail.

Perhaps we’re tempted to rejoice at such events because it seems to vindicate our judgment. We tell ourselves that they are getting what they deserve. But the rest of the proverb above reminds us that our judgment of others is ultimately not definitive. We must not rejoice in our enemies’ failures because there is a true judge we all must face.

The moment your heart veers towards gloating over an enemy’s failure, remember that you follow Jesus Christ, the Lord who has not treated us as our sins deserve, and who has not repaid us according to our iniquities.




Scripture Focus

Proverbs 24:17-22

Insight

Without Jesus, we ourselves are enemies of God. Thankfully, His love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth (see 1 Corinthians 13:6).

Bible In A Year

  • Jeremiah 7-8
  • Psalm 107
  • Romans 5-6