Proverbs 24:17,18, Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
God is just and God's righteousness demands justice.
A necessary outworking of the justice of God is vengeance.
Justice requires the punishment of offenders of God's commandments.
Otherwise justice in not justice.
The law and the justice of God require vengeance. But God reserves vengeance for himself.
As Hebrews 10:30 says, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.
And Romans 12:19, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Only God can execute a just and righteous vengeance.
Only God has all the knowledge that is needed to carry out a just and righteous vengeance.
Vengeance is good when God carries out vengeance.
Because only God knows all of the facts of the case.
Only God knows all of the circumstances of all situations requiring vengeance.
Therefore God reserves vengeance to himself. He must!
He does not pass this along to his children.
His children are not capable of a just vengeance.
His children, if attempting vengeance, will sin and not be just. And God is jealous of what he reserves for himself.
He is intolerant of any being that takes upon himself that which he reserves for himself.
Nahum 1:2, God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.
He does not compromise his word and yield what he has reserved to another and that includes his children.
We are commanded in this proverb not to rejoice and we are commanded in this proverb not to be glad.
You would think that especially at this time we ought to be allowed to let loose and be happy at the defeat of our enemy.
Not so fast Christian! You are a Christian!
You do not have the liberty to let loose! You are to be a disciplined one. You are expected to have self control.
God places the fence of his word around you and tells you that rejoicing and gladness at this time will displease him.
Doesn't the Bible tell us that without faith it is impossible to please God.
So if he is displeased by your rejoicing and gladness then your rejoicing and gladness must have been done outside of faith.
What faith did you neglect? You did not believe his word!
You did not exercise his command to love your enemies.
You did not exercise his command to bless them that curse you.
You did not pray for your enemies like God's book says.
This is faith. Believing God's word! And this belief is revealed by the action and works that are produced.
If there are no works then there was no faith.
These works do not include joy and gladness at the expense of your enemy.
They do not include vengeance upon your enemy.
Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
Deuteronomy 32:35, tells us to wait for God to work, This is his business. He knows best what your enemy needs:
To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: (in due time takes faith to wait for) for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
God has this in hand. He is in control. God has planned his day of vengeance perfectly.
He will exercise it in his own good time and no help is needed from you.
He does not need your rejoicing and your gladness at the misfortune of your enemy.
No help is needed from the Paul Hills or the Michael Griffins.
Jesus stopped in the middle of Isaiah 61:2 when he was preaching about the acceptable year of the LORD.
He stopped for a purpose at that point but his stopping did not cancel the last part of that verse concerning the day of vengeance of our God.
All who are saved look with great anticipation for his coming in the clouds at the rapture.
But we should look with the same great anticipation for that day of vengeance for at that time we will rejoice with God's full blessing.
As Psalm 58:10 tells us, The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
Does that distress you? Does that horrify you?
And Deuteronomy 32:43, Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.
There will be a time of rejoicing when thine enemy falleth and he stumbleth.
But this time is not ours to choose. It is not when we choose but when God chooses.
It is a time when perfect vengeance is exercised and perfect justice is realized.
Because the timing is of God's choosing and in accordance with his plan, not in accordance with our plan or our timing.
This will not be rejoicing from a vindictive or selfish spirit.
At God's vengeance we will rejoice that God is glorified.
We will rejoice and be glad that wickedness is suppressed.
And we will rejoice and be glad that the people of God are delivered from the oppressions of God's enemies.
But to rejoice beforehand because our enemy has fallen or stumbled or because we expect some advantage from his fall does not please God.
It is not an act of faith! It is not for us to exercise wrath against our enemy because when we do God will turn his wrath away from that man.
Justice will not be served when we take justice into our own hands. We are not capable or authorized to do so.
Solomon tells us in Proverbs 17:5, Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
God looks with displeasure at those who rejoice at the calamities of those that hate them.
How can those who have received so much forgiveness from God have such an unforgiving and revengeful spirit?
How can those with such an unforgiving and revengeful spirit expect to be sucessful in the ministry of reconciliation that all of God's people are to be engaged in?
How can those who rejoice at the misfortune of their enemies pray for their spiritual increase.
The principle of this proverb is that those who take pleasure at the misfortune of their enemies will suffer the wrath and displeasure that was intended by God for their enemies.
See Ezekiel 25:1-7, The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them; And say unto the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou saidst, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity; Behold, therefore I will deliver thee to the men of the east for a possession, and they shall set their palaces in thee, and make their dwellings in thee: they shall eat thy fruit, and they shall drink thy milk. And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels, and the Ammonites a couchingplace for flocks: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. For thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast clapped thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced in heart with all thy despite against the land of Israel; Behold, therefore I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.