Our goal: To view this world and people through the eyes of Christ.
17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, 18 or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.
This passage describes the OLD way of viewing people where God is an angry God intent on punishing sinners. We now know, thanks to Christ, that God LOVES sinners and seeks to save them (John 3:16, Luke 19:10).
What was God up to portraying Himself as an angry God? God often reveals what we deserve before giving us what we need. It’s a teaching moment in our lives. God was getting the world ready for Christ to come. In the meantime, He often dealt with people according to what they deserved. Even then, how many chances and warnings did God give the children of Israel before judgement came? How many prophets did He send–who were unjustly treated and some killed?
If we really want to know the heart of God, look at Jesus. He willingly gave His life so that we could have life in Him. He IS God and He loves us radically. He wants to reach everyone (2 Peter 3:9).
So, as we look at our verses in Proverbs, let’s view it from Christ’s perspective:
17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, 18 or the LORD will see and disapprove [of our attitude] and turn his [disciplining, guiding, redeeming] wrath away from him [as our attitude hinders the Gospel from working in our enemy’s life]. In our gloating, we actually pray AGAINST our enemy’s salvation! Let’s view the world-even our enemies-as Christ views them: As lost sheep in need of the Shepherd:
34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. Mk 6:34