Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles:…
Johnson makes a distinction between vengeance and revenge. Injuries, he says, are revenged; crimes are avenged. The former is an act of passion, the latter of justice.
I. The OBJECT of revenge. "Thine enemy." Men are enemies to men. Humanity is not as it came from the hand of the Great Father of mankind. Sin has made the brother a foe. If man had no enemy, he would have no revenge. In heaven no such passion burns.
II. The GRATIFICATION of revenge. "Let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth." The fall, the ruin of the enemy, is bliss to the revenging soul. But if unmanly, still more un-Christian. What said Christ? "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink," etc.
III. The AVENGER of revenge. "Lest the Lord see it, and it displeaseth Him, and he turn away His wrath from him."
1. Man's revenge is displeasing to God. It is opposed to the benevolence of His nature; it is contrary to the teachings of His Word.
2. Man's revenge may cause God to interpose, and relieve its victim. "He turn away His wrath from him." Coverdale renders the words thus, "Lest the Lord be angry, and turn His wrath from him to thee." Thus it was with the enemies of Samson (Judges 16:25-30).
Parallel VersesKJV: Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: