But there's another facet to God's character we need to remember—and as His children, emulate. It's summed up in these verses. Ezekiel 33 says "As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live." Or we have Proverbs 24:17: "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles." Teaching and preaching about sin, the need for repentance, and God's certain, coming judgment has its place. We don't hear enough of it these days.
But believers also need to remember the depths of sin from which the Lord Jesus saved us by His grace and through His sacrifice on the cross. We dare not get a prideful, boastful, self-righteous attitude. Especially when we see someone particularly wicked "get theirs." The human side of us loves it when that happens, but we see from God Himself that this does not reflect His character. He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, and neither should we. He wants their repentance and restoration. So should we. And I love the Apostle Paul's warning . . . "Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." Let's not get cocky. Stand for truth and righteousness, but let love be the motivator and let love shine out of us even as we confront the sin of our culture.