Thursday, April 2, 2015

Obadiah 1; Jonah 1-4

(April 1, 2015)
                It is a common flaw to rejoice in others’ misery.  After all, we aren’t rejoicing in the misery of those we like, or our friends.  If we are tempted to rejoice in someone else’s misery, they are usually someone who we are opposed to (or who have hurt us).  It is easy for us to say in our hearts that the person who hurt us is only getting their just deserts, or deserves what they get, or anything of the sort.

                Of course, those who rejoiced at the fall of Israel had similar reasons to rejoice – Israel took land from them, and oppressed them, and so forth.  But Israel was more than a mere country – it was a people with a special relationship with God.  So too are those who we see that we might be tempted to experience a similar joy in misery in a relationship with God.  The one suffering is a child of God, and we should never enjoy their suffering for suffering sake.

                On the contrary, it is possible to see their challenges and rejoice (as did Alma with his son) when it seems the challenges are the works of God bringing the person back to the fold.  But to rejoice in another’s misery as ‘punishment’ not only places us in the position of judge, but it also ends up causing us to account good for evil.  We view the Lord’s efforts to bring His son or daughter back to Him as the cruel and capricious actions that we would take were we in His shoes.

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