WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 21, 2022
TOPIC: DON’T REJOICE AT THE MISFORTUNE OF ANYONE
BY T. O. BANSO
“But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother in the day of his captivity; nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah. In the day of their destruction; nor should you have spoken proudly in the day of distress” (Obadiah 12 New King James Version).
I cannot remember all the details now. But the summary is that the house of a Pastor caught fire. Thankfully, no life was lost and nobody was hurt. However, one of the Pastors who came to commiserate with him said it must have happened because he went into politics. Apparently, he was saying the Pastor went against the will of God.
However, this victim of the fire incident who was narrating the story said that the house of the Pastor, who said that to him, also caught fire not long after then. He said while commiserating with him, he asked him if his house also caught fire because he went into politics? The second pastor didn’t go into politics, yet he experienced the misfortune of a fire incident. We don’t know what caused the two incidents.
Sometimes some people make certain comments that they cannot substantiate when something negative happens to other people. It is not your duty to provide reasons why some things happened to others. Even if the victim is asking you that question as he grieves, be very careful not to give an answer on God’s behalf that He has not told you, particularly if what you will say will make the person feel guilty. Long after the people have gotten over their losses, they will keep remembering any insensitive word you speak.
I know a Christian brother whose house caught fire along with other terrace flats. No life was lost. But some people in the church said that it was because he didn’t sow a seed when church members were asked to sow seeds. Were they saying God burnt his house because of that or did He allow Satan to burn his house because of that? How did that advance the kingdom of God or increase the income of the church? Statements like this are insensitive and those who utter them to fellow believers are just like Job’s miserable comforters who wrongly attributed his trial to his sin.
When negative things happen to people, whether they’re your friends or enemies be careful what you say. Don’ make insensitive comments. Don’t rejoice over anyone’s failure, loss, or setback. It doesn’t improve your lot. Rejoicing over anyone’s misfortune is not the spirit of Christ. Romans 12:15 says rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep. It doesn’t matter whether they are your friends or enemies. Don’t be sad when they’re rejoicing and don’t rejoice when they’re weeping. This shows you are walking in love.
Severally in the Bible, we are told to love our neighbours as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18b; Matthew 19:19b; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14). But Jesus further said we should love our enemies too (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27, 35). So if you rejoice when they fall or fail, does that show love?
Don’t rejoice over anyone’s misfortune. You may say you’re not rejoicing but what about the insensitive comments you’re making? Does it show that you sympathize or empathize with them? The time someone is mourning or grieving is not the time to tell him what you think he has done wrong that is responsible for what happened. How are you sure? If they’ve done anything wrong, they probably already know or will soon know. Don’t sit in judgment over them at that time – don’t be judgmental. It is the time to comfort them, not to judge them.
The Bible says Christians are members of the same body. 1 Corinthians 12:25 says there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. Verse 26 says if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. We are not to pay evil back with evil even if it’s done by a member of the body. 1 Peter 3:9 says, “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it” (New Living Translation).
Some people don’t just make insensitive comments, they openly celebrate when others suffer adversity. This is not right. We have not so learned Christ (Ephesians 4:20). Proverbs 24:17-18 says, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him” (New King James Version). Although this scripture is in the Old Testament, it is consistent with similar scriptures in the New Testament that we have seen.
The Edomites were the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s twin brother (Genesis 25:19-26). Although Edom was a sister nation to Israel, it hated Israel. The Edomites made war against Israel. Unfortunately, they joined the Babylonian forces in the war against Judah when Nebuchadnezzar’s forces besieged and captured Jerusalem. Because of their cruelty against Judah at this time, the prophets proclaimed God’s judgment against Edom (Isaiah 34:5-8; 63:1-4; Jeremiah 49:17-18).
Psalm 137:7 says, “Remember, O LORD, against the sons of Edom the day of Jerusalem, who said, ‘Raze it, raze it, to its very foundation!’” (New King James Version). Also, Ezekiel 35:5-7 says, “‘Because you have had an ancient hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end, therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you. Thus I will make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns’” (New King James Version). The prophecy of God’s judgment against Edom continues up to the last verse of the chapter.
Ezekiel 25:12-15 records God’s proclamation against Edom where God condemned it for taking vengeance against the house of Judah. God said He would stretch out His hand against Edom, cut off man and beast from it, and make it desolate.
Also, Obadiah 10-16 records the cruelty of Edom against Judah. Verse 12 says, “But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother in the day of his captivity; nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah. In the day of their destruction; nor should you have spoken proudly in the day of distress” (Obadiah 12 New King James Version). Did you see that?
Edom should not have rejoiced on the day Judah was in distress. The least Edom could have done if it couldn’t help Judah, was to avoid joining its enemy. But it was cruel to Judah. The prophecies against Edom have long been fulfilled. It became desolate and has since disappeared.
Don’t rejoice at the fall, failure, setback, or adversity of anyone. Don’t make insensitive comments. Don’t speak unadvisedly. Defending his righteousness during his trial in his conversation with his friends, Job said he had not rejoiced at the destruction of the person who hated him or lifted himself up when evil found him (Job 31:29). Is that true of you? David said fierce attackers whom he had been good to when they were sick rejoiced in his adversity (Psalm 35:15). That was wrong of them. Proverbs 17:13 says whoever rewards evil for good, evil will not depart from his house.
Nevertheless, don’t say because of the evil someone did to you, you will rejoice when something bad happens to him. Maybe you even think what happened to a particular person is the reward for the evil they did to you. No matter what, don’t rejoice at anyone’s misfortune. Leave God to judge them and their conscience to convict them. If they have the Holy Spirit, He will talk to them.
Don’t forget that Jesus says in Luke 6:27-28 to love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. The natural man cannot do this. You cannot do it without the help of the Holy Spirit. Yield the control of your life to the Holy Spirit. “Those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished” (Proverbs 17:5b New Living Translation).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me for rejoicing at the misfortune of my enemies because they had done me evil in the past. Forgive me for not walking in love and repaying them evil for evil. Henceforth, I commit myself to obey Your Word not to seek revenge. I shall not rejoice at the misfortune of anyone. I will rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. Holy Spirit, I receive the grace to love my enemies and pray for them, especially in their misfortune. Father, I pray for anyone who has suffered misfortune; visit them, O Lord, and turn their mourning into dancing. I shall not suffer any loss of life or property in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947