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.
2. Love is not blind.
3. Jesus saw through outward disguises to inner being. Jesus knew the evil in the world as only the sinless One could know it. Jesus did not trust himself to men because he knew what was in a man.
4. God is a loving Father who cannot ignore wrongdoing of a child but is nevertheless sorry to see it. Parents today are not showing true love.
5. Wrath is love reaching out against evil with deep concern. Love feels intensely.
6. It is our duty to be angry at wrong, but love puts divine sorrow into our anger. Must be learned at the foot of the cross.
C. Love does not rejoice in its own morality. This is evil.
1. Proverbs 14:12- There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
2. People who live together. But we love each other, if you loved each other so much why don’t you get married?
3. WE must go by the guidelines of the Bible.
D. Love does not rejoice in the misfortunes of others.
1. When we learn that someone in public life has been found guilty of wrongdoing, what is our reaction? President Clinton.
2. Luke 18:11-13- The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess. And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner!