Summary: 4th in a series on love from 1 Corinthians 13
Sermon for 2/22/98
What Do We Rejoice In?
Jonathon deserves to be called the “prince of friends.” He was the son of the king and the heir apparent to the throne. Suddenly David looms upon the horizon with his beauty, his courage, and that nameless magnetism and heroism that surrounded him and marked him as the coming leader of the people. A small man would have been insanely jealous. An ordinarily wise and good man might have expected to have nothing to do with David. But Jonathon was a rare soul. He cast all ambition out of his heart, and his soul was linked to David’s. 1 Samuel says that Jonathon loved David; for he loved him as he loved his own soul. 1 Samuel 23 says Then Jonathon, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God. And he said to him, Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that. So the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. What would our response have been to David’s troubles? Their friendship lights up the pages of a warlike and corrupt time. It was a golden thread that runs through all the later years of the story of Saul’s reign. Great friendships can grow up only between large and generous natures. Jonathan had true godly love. Sacrificial love.
A. Summary of last week. Love is not rude, love is not self-seeking, and love is not easily angered.
B. Love thinks no evil. Two things this means. Talked mostly about the record of wrongs last week. Expanding on last point.
Thesis: Let’s examine what love does and does not rejoice in.
I. Love does not rejoice in evil.
A. Love does not rejoice in ignorance.
1. Love is not so superficial. Ignorance is not bliss, it is ignorant. Ignorance leads to sin and to a lack of love.
2. When Marie Antoinette came to Paris as a bride, not a single ragged or starving person appeared on the streets along which the splendid procession passed. France was seething with discontent at the time, born of dire poverty- a discontent that was later to break out in the horrors of the Revolution- but Marie Antoinette was not to know anything about that. So the poor starving population was swept into the side streets where they could not be seen, and kept penned up there so that Marie Antoinette might think all was happy and prosperous in Paris. When she was asked about the poor and how they should be fed, she said that they should eat cake. She had no idea. Optimism based on ignorance is not optimism at all. It is only self-deception. Many people do this. I am a good person.
3. Selfishness turns its face away from sorrows, shames, and the failures of others. Love does not turn away from lonely, broken lives.
4. Love faces the facts with confidence that God is able to deal with them.
B. Love is saddened by sin.
1. Love has 20/20 vision. Love sees more clearly. Paul was not blind to the grave sins and weaknesses of the Corinthian Christians.