Do’ not rejoice when your enemy falls ..
Proverbs 24:17-18 “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.”
Not only are we to love our enemies, but we are warned not to rejoice when we see our enemy fall. We are not to even let our heart be glad when they stumble!
Have you ever prayed for God’s love to flow through you to love your enemies, and you were amazed that you could actually love them, and then you saw your enemy fall and you began to praise the Lord? And as you were rejoicing over your enemy’s seeming defeat, your enemy suddenly somehow seemed to get blessed again only to rise above you?
I believe this principle applies to our enemies also when they see us fall. I believe this is why in Micah 7:8 it says, “Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall, I will rise; though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me.” The devil never has the last laugh when God’s people fall…God laughs at the enemy as His people get back up!
Proverbs 24:16 “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…!”
God Sees You When You Are Cursed by Others!
2 Samuel 16:5-13, “And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth and cursed still as he came. And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left.
“And thus said Shimei when he cursed, ‘Come out, come out, thou bloody man and thou man of Belial: The Lord hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the Lord hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.’
“Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, ‘Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.’
“And the king said, ‘What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because (perhaps) the LORD hath said unto him, “Curse David.” Who shall then say, “Wherefore hast thou done so?” … let him alone and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him. It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.’
“And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill’s side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust.”
What a leader! What rare character is exemplified in David here. He could have had his men kill this cursing dead dog, but thought to himself, “Just maybe the Lord is using this man in my life for some reason!” I believe David took inventory of his life and examined his heart to see if anything he had done had given place to the enemy for this man to act like this.
Proverbs 26:2 “…a curse without a cause shall not alight.”
The Lord Has Given Commandment to Bless!
This truth is found when an evil man named Balak was urging Balaam to curse Israel. He promised Balaam very great honor, and whatever else Balaam would ask him for, if he would curse Israel (Numbers 22:17).
But every time Balaam opens his mouth, all that comes out is…
“Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and He hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them. God brought them out of Egypt; he (Jacob) hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘What hath God wrought!'” Numbers 23:20-23
Three times Balak presses Balaam to curse Israel, and Israel ends up getting blessed three times over! (See Numbers 24:10.)
A Woman is Used to Help David Become King of Israel
David sends messengers to ask Nabal if they could have food and drink. After all, when Nabal’s shepherds were with David and his men earlier, David was kind to them. But Nabal rails against David and his men, and David says in 1 Samuel 25:21-22:
“Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow (Nabal) has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good. May God do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light.”
David is ready to get even with Nabal, but here comes Nabal’s wife, Abigail, to the rescue! In Verses 25-30, Abigail says to David:
“Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him…as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal…
“Forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make (you) a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days. Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall He sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.
“And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel…”
David says to Abigail in Verses 32-33, “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: and blessed by thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.” Ten days later Nabal is found dead.
All throughout Scripture it seems how we handle criticism – and even people who curse us – determines our promotion and destiny!
David Overcomes His Biggest Giant Called “Criticism” Right Before He Slays His Smaller Giant “Goliath”
1 Samuel 17:28-29 “And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he (David) spake unto the men (about wanting to face Goliath all by himself); and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, ‘Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness?
“I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.’ And David said, ‘What have I now done? Is there not a cause?'”
David could have gotten upset at his brother’s remarks, but Verse 30 says that he turned away from his brother and spoke again about wanting to face Goliath. What self-control David displayed! He seemingly overcame the bigger giant of criticism, which perhaps catapulted him in the right spirit to take down the smaller giant, “Goliath”!
Goliath’s taunting and criticizing King Saul and all the people for forty days seemed to work effectively by putting intimidation into the people and King Saul, but not with David. That same critical, intimidating spirit that flooded that valley, came spewing out of Eliab, ricocheting right off of David, and penetrated the forehead of Goliath!
When you face criticism, you are nearing your promotion and victory!
“Criticism” Can Become the Ladder to Your Next Level
Psalm 141:5 “Let the righteous smite me; and it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.”
“Reprove” means to “rebuke for finding fault with.”
Recently, I have faced some criticism for some teachings I have given. I received a couple of emails concerning others not agreeing with me – some were very hostile and some were godly brothers whom I respected. I have embraced this criticism from a few cruel people, and the godly ones who can reprove me in love. Right after this display of criticism, as I have embraced it for good, I have experienced a fresh anointing upon my life and in my ministry. It is truly an “excellent oil” that is covering my head.
I think we all are practicing to get it right. I now actually thank God for criticism, for it is the ladder to my next level. When you go to the next level, you start over again at the bottom – toward the next ladder up!
Blowing the Shofar Ministries