28. Do not rejoice at other's misfortune

Last week we saw how David continued to trust in God even though he was at a very low point in his life. He continued to look up to God for his provision and strength and indeed God provided it to him. He even enriched him in the process even though it had been a terrible low point in David's life. God was mightily with him.

Now on the third day when David was back from the fight with the Amalekites (that we saw last week), a man came from Saul's camp and told David that Saul and Jonathan was dead. He lied to him and bragged to David that he had killed Saul himself. He said:

"…I stood over him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen." 2 Samuel 1:10

This man was an Amalekite and mistakenly assumed that David would rejoice over the death of his arch enemy, the one who kept him from going home to Israel. But David wasn't pleased, in fact, he was sad.

"Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword." 2 Samuel 1:11, 12

David didn't rejoice that Saul was dead. In fact he mourned for him. I think the Amalekite was probably very surprised at his reaction. He most probably expected praise and honor for himself. But instead David had him killed for saying that he had killed Saul. David didn't know that he was lying. It was all a very sad state of affairs.

What is beautiful for me to note is that David didn't rejoice in the downfall of the man that had hunted him down, tried to kill him and banished him from his own home. He didn't relish in the fact that Saul was brutally murdered. No, he wept for him and he even wrote a song for him and Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:19-27). He was truly saddened by the state of affairs.

He would have had every right to be relieved that he didn't need to hide away anymore. He could have rejoiced and be glad. And yet, he showed the heart of God. God didn't rejoice in the death of Saul either. The Bible tells us that God doesn't rejoice in the death of any man:

"Do you think that I like to see wicked people die?" says the Sovereign Lord. "Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live." Ezekiel 18:23

God wanted things to be different. He chose Saul to be king, but Saul rejected Him and followed his own path. God wanted him to turn from his wicked ways, but Saul never did.

Today we might also have enemies. We might have people who are nasty to us, or who try and discredit us, or who hates it if they see us prosper. We might have people in our lives who gossip about us and who hinder our progress at every chance that they get. But we shouldn't let it get to us. If God is for us, who can be against us? And then when it happens that something bad happens to these people don't rejoice. Don't gloat about it, don't tell all your friends and never ever rub it in the faces of those who were nasty to you. God doesn't approve of this. Rather we should reach out to them if we can, or we should pray for them. We should walk the road with God and only keep our eyes on Him. Revenge is not up to us, and gloating in others' misfortune is not a Godly attitude either. Learn from David. Do not rejoice when your enemy comes to a fall, rather act in a dignified manner, worthy of God's child that you are.

Father, we all have people that do not like us. We ask You today to bless them, to care for them and to change their hearts towards us please Lord. We ask that You mend our relationship, that hatred cease and only love remains. We pray that in Jesus' mighty Name. Amen

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