Orthodox Thought for the Day


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Meditation on Proverbs 24:17

Rejoice not when your enemy falls; and when he stumbles, let not your heart exult (Proverbs 24:17)

He is a man; do not rejoice in his fall.  He is your brother; let not your heart leap for joy when he stumbles.  God created him for life, and God does not rejocie in his fall.  And you also, do not rejoice at that which grieves God.  When a man falls, God loses; do you rejoice in the loss of your Creator, of your Parent?  When the angels weep, do you rejoice?

When your enemy falls, pray to God for him, that God will save him; and give thanks to God that you did not fall in the same manner.  You are of the same material, both you and he; like two vessels from the hand of the potter.  If one vessel breaks, should the other one smile and rejoice?  Behold, the small stone that broke that vessel only waits for someone's hand to raise it to destroy this vessel also.  Both vessels are of the same material, and a small stone can destroy a hundred vessels.

When one sheep is lost, should the rest of the flock rejoice?  No, they should not.  For behold, the shepherd leavs his flock and, being concerned, goes to seek the lost sheep.  The shepherd's loss is the flock's loss, too.  Therefore, do not rejoice when you enemy falls, for your Shepherd and his Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, do not rejoice in his fall.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Good Shepherd, remove malicious joy from our hearts, and in its place plant compassion and brotherly love.

To Thee be glory and praise forever.  Amen.

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