Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
God carefully watches how you treat your enemies. If you rejoice when they fall or are glad when they stumble (Pr 24:17), this will displease the LORD, and He will deliver them and punish you! God protects righteous men by bringing trouble into the lives of their enemies; but He will lift His wrath and punishment, if He sees you gloating about it.
Solomon by divine inspiration wrote Proverbs to raise his son and citizens to greatness of heart - noble and virtuous in thought, word, and deed. Here is one of the keys to such greatness: you should not gloat about trouble in the lives of your personal enemies. This requires character of the highest order, possessed only by exceptional men, true princes.
David taught Solomon this wonderful character trait. "False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother. But in mine adversity they rejoiced ..." (Ps 35:11-15).
King Saul was David's enemy for a number of years. He tried to kill David on several occasions and caused enormous trouble in his life. Yet, David sought to serve him as well as he could. He forgave Saul's outbursts of rage and attempts to kill him. David spared his life several times, and he wept bitterly for him when he died on the battlefield.
But God Himself is the great example every day. How? He sends sunshine and/or rain on both His friends and His enemies. We approach the character of God when we learn to love our enemies and show them kindness, which is totally contrary to the evil heart of man by nature. Such thoughts and actions show us to be God's children (Matt 5:43-48).
God hates the selfish cruelty of gloating at calamities of your enemies (Pr 17:5; Zech 1:15). The inspired history of the Old Testament shows numerous cases of even nations being punished for their delight or participation in the troubles of other nations (Ps 137:7-9; Jdgs 16:25-30; Mic 7:10; Isaiah 10:5-15; Lam 4:21-22; Ezek 26:2-3; Hab 1:5-11; etc.).
However, hating God's enemies is different. If you are not involved personally, you are encouraged to hate the enemies of God and righteousness. David also wrote, "Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies" (Ps 139:21-22).
Reader, how do you measure in nobility and virtue by this proverb? Are you as much after God's heart as was David? Do you grieve to see your enemies in trouble? How do you compare to Jesus of Nazareth and Stephen the deacon? Jesus prayed for those crucifying Him, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). Stephen prayed for those stoning him, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" (Acts 7:60).
If you want to be righteous and wise to please the blessed God of heaven, then your duty and privilege are clear (Rom 12:17-21). Identify your enemies and pray for them, right now! Purpose in your heart that you will do what you can to help them, if you find them in need. Purpose in your heart you will greet them warmly, if you encounter them. This is the character of God, and it is the character of all those who are truly His children.