The God Of No Pleasure

Psalm 16:11 declares that at the right hand of the LORD there are pleasures forevermore. I’m often refreshed by considering that verse, because deep down inside, we all know that we were created to enjoy God and to drink deeply and eternally from the river of His pleasures.

However, there is one thing (at least) that God takes no pleasure in, and that particular thing is articulated in Ezekiel 33:11 (ESV) - 

Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

We are living in a tremendously volatile season in America right now, in which the Spirit of God is exposing evil and sin in all its ugliness at many levels. National leaders in government, media, sports, entertainment – all through the seven spheres of influence – are in the spotlight as things that have been hidden are brought out into the open.

In such a time as this, there is a temptation, even as godly people, to rejoice over the downfall of people who have acted wickedly, especially when they have presumed to stand in judgment of others who fell short of God’s perfection. We must beware of this temptation to rejoice or gloat, because that attitude is contrary to the heart of our Father, God. His purpose in bringing such matters to light is not destruction, but repentance, and His heart is grieved over the brokenness of humanity, and of the individuals whose lives are crumbling before the glare of the spotlight.

We Christians are not to gloat or rejoice over such things. We are to weep and intercede, to be agents of mercy even as we speak the truth in love. We are to be without compromise, even as we hold out arms of compassion to those whose failure is being exposed. 

None of us is without sin – I certainly have no room to cast stones of judgment or celebration at the demise of another, even if I vehemently disagree with their politics, their worldview, or their orientation on a number of issues. When I speak, I must speak truthfully but kindly. When I criticize, I must do it with a gentle spirit, lest the same thing come my way – see Galatians 6:1 about that.

The assignment given to us as God’s representatives in this world is the same as it was in Moses’ time, as he recalled God’s instruction to the Levitical priests: they were to be carriers of God’s presence, they were to minister to the Lord in worship, and they were to speak blessings in His Name (Deuteronomy 10:8). If we are faithful in those three things, the power of God will indeed be released in our time, and we will see His Kingdom come like never before.

Gary Wiens

Gary Wiens, 12/15/2017