I Corinthians 13:6: “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.”
Every once in a while … though I hate to admit it … I silently CHEER when someone who has been blatantly doing wrong gets caught and punished. My self-righteous premise for doing that is that FINALLY justice has been served. It appeals to my sense of “fair” even though I know life is often just not fair. The reason I can confess this is because I have a great ally on this subject: the Psalmist! He questioned God quite often why the wicked go on and flourish while he had to suffer unjustly. Psalm 73 is one of those times when he questioned:
vs. 3 For I was envious at the foolish,
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For there are no bands in their death:
but their strength is firm.
5 They are not in trouble as other men;
neither are they plagued like other men.
6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain;
violence covereth them as a garment.
7 Their eyes stand out with fatness:
they have more than heart could wish.
8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression:
they speak loftily.
9 They set their mouth against the heavens,
and their tongue walketh through the earth.
10 Therefore his people return hither:
and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.
11 And they say, How doth God know?
And is there knowledge in the Most High?
12 Behold, these are the ungodly,
who prosper in the world;
they increase in riches.
13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain,
and washed my hands in innocency.
14 For all the day long have I been plagued,
and chastened every morning.
15 If I say, I will speak thus;
behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.
16 When I thought to know this,
it was too painful for me;
It was at this point that the Psalmist finds LOVE though … he goes into the house of God and realizes the bitter END of the wicked. The unrighteous might be “getting away with” a lot here on earth and having a good ol’ time … BUT God will have to judge them in the end if they do not repent. 😦 Sad … should make us feel more sorry than avenged when we see some one’s sin punished – especially if they are unrepentant.
Psalm 73: 17-24:
17 until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then understood I their end.
18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places:
thou castedst them down into destruction.
19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment!
They are utterly consumed with terrors.
20 As a dream when one awaketh;
so, O Lord, when thou awakest,
thou shalt despise their image.
21 Thus my heart was grieved,
and I was pricked in my reins.
22 So foolish was I, and ignorant:
I was as a beast before thee.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee:
thou hast holden me by my right hand.
24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel,
and afterward receive me to glory.
I think TRUE LOVE should rejoice in truth … and restoration after sin (iniquity) … and in seeing not just self walk in truth (because it pleases God) but to see others do right even if they have failed previously. I also think that kind of love keeps a person from feeling self-righteous. NO ONE is the exception to any rule – and we could (any one of us) fall into sin ourselves at any time if we don’t stay close to God.
Matthew Henry says, “The sins of others stir its [love’s] compassions, but can give it no entertainment … It gives it [love] much satisfaction to see truth and justice prevail among men, and mutual faith and trust established.”