In football, when a player taunts an opposing player after tackling him or completing an exceptional play, if the referee sees or hears the infraction it often costs the team a fifteen yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Choosing to gloat is not very smart. Why give the other team momentum and the possibility of winning a game?
Gloating is taking excessive pleasure in another’s adversity or misfortune. It reveals the ugly side of people’s character. While Jesus hung on a cross:
Those who passed by were yelling insults at Him, shaking their heads, and saying, “Ha! The One who would demolish the sanctuary and build it in three days, save Yourself by coming down from the cross!” In the same way, the chief priests with the scribes were mocking Him to one another and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself! Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now form the cross, so that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him were taunting Him. (Mark 15:29-32)
That a holy Messiah suffering in the most unimaginable manner could be mocked and taunted by His own countrymen, reveals the blackness of their wicked hearts.
Obadiah 12—Do not gloat over your brother in the day of his calamity; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction; do not boastfully mock in the day of distress.
God raised up the prophet Obadiah to warn the nation of Edom of His impending judgment. He was angry with the descendants of Esau because they were related to the Israelites yet took no action to help Israel during her time of plight. They gloated at Israel’s misfortune and were smug in their own security. Today, there is no Edom.
Do you take satisfaction seeing someone who is a rival or enemy suffer? Stop. Why bring God’s hand against yourself? Do you observe others around you gloating? Remind them that it takes but a moment to die—we have no mocking ground, no taunting foundation or gloating rock to stand upon. More importantly, we are made in the image of God and we ought to act like it.
I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.—Mother Theresa
©2011 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)