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Seeking Wisdom, Day 25 – Backing Up The Enemy

March 16, 2016

The expression backing up has opposing meanings. When I say, “My enemy has backed up,” I mean my enemy is not pursuing me so closely; but when I say,  “I will back up my enemy,” I mean I am going to help him. Figure that one out, and laugh at the inconsistency of our language.

Proverbs 25: 21-22 says, “If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty give them water to drink. You will heap burning coals of shame on their head and the Lord will reward you.” One is meant to help or back up his enemy. That sounds good, but will it work?

Does returning evil with good bring punishment on the evil doer? There is a record of an Egyptian ritual in which a man would carry a basin of hot coals on his head to show he had repented, and there is value in the repenting of an enemy and the restoring of a relationship. Killing your enemy aggravates the hostility because his friends will want to avenge his death and kill you. We may need to disregard David’s Psalm 140 in which he wants God to cause great disasters to fall upon the heads of his enemies. Some of those disasters may spill on David’s head. God decides what is just.

Paul agrees with Solomon. “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of the Lord. For the scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge, I will pay them back’ says the Lord.” (Romans 2: 19) and Solomon says, “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” (Proverbs 12″21) Paul suggests that we stop condemning each other. “Live in such a way that you will not cause another to stumble and fall.”(Romans 14: 13) Living the life of goodness, peace, and joy serves the Lord, and others will approve of you.

Two wrongs never make a right, and we don’t need more evil in our world. We cannot live happily in fear of our enemies. There is a dilemma. Pray upon it before you act upon it. God will cause your enemies to destroy each other. Rejoice in your friends and help your enemies repent….. Amen?

 

 

 

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