PROVERBS 17:5 “He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.”
We all love it when Karma does her work. ( as formerly blogged on https://tribalminded.com/2021/02/24/gloating-karma-is-a-bitch.) We love the concept that what goes around comes around. Rare is the person who would not chuckle at their ‘enemy’ getting their just desserts. I for one call “divine retribution” when a meanie faces their punishment, such as when my husband stubs his toe right after popping me with a towel. It’s the funniest thing on earth.
The second part of this verse causes me to bristle because it does not qualify whose calamity we are being glad about. It makes clear sense that if good folks face misfortune, our hearts go out to them. What about when our enemies face trouble? Trapp says, “To render good for evil is divine, good for good is human, evil for evil is brutish, evil for good is devilish.” Place yourself on the pyramid above. I generally hang out at somewhere between the brutish and the human stage. I’ve been known to hang out at the devilish tier and on a couple of occasions, on the divine tier.
My position on the pyramid at any given time runs smack into the gospel. Whenever we come around a corner and meet Jesus, he is thrilled to see us and then notorious for calling us out. So, what does he have to say about this matter? Pr. 25:21, 22, “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”
Paul expounds on it in Romans 12:17-21, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
“Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.” Proverbs 24:17, 18. I dont know what you’re dealing with today or what is coming down your pike. But you are to get out there, God-bearer and do this thing on this hotting day in the Pacific Northwest. He goes before you, behind you, beside you, and within you to help you rise to the next tier on the pyramid. Not only will you escape punishment, but you will receive a reward!