Text: Proverbs 25:16-28 (KJV)
16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.
17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.
18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.
19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
20 As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.
21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.
24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.
25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.
27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
Key Verse: “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.” – (Proverbs 25:21,22)
The law of a tooth for tooth and an eye for eye prevailed in the mosaic laws. The wrongdoer was then seen as an enemy that needed to be paid back in his own coin. He was not to be shown any forgiveness or any kind of consideration. He must be made to suffer for the ill he has done.
However, in the New Testament, the standard is higher. This was what Christ came to teach and propagate in His earthly ministry, when He said, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven… For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?” (Matthew 5:43-47).
When a believer suffers unjustly, instead of reacting in bitterness and anger, he should treat the wrongdoer as a friend. In this way, the believer, through his clemency and forgiveness, proves his Christ-mindedness, love and maturity over the offender. This may make the wrongdoer ashamed, and may lead to repentance and a change of his evil ways. When a wronged believer behaves like this, the word of God says “coals of fire” are being heaped on the offender. A believer is not to avenge himself. Since vengeance belongs to God, believers are to bless and pray for those who persecute them (Romans 12:18-21).
Believers need to possess the mind of Christ. Christ Himself prayed for those who crucified Him on the cross. We must follow the example of the Master because “it is enough for the disciple that he be as his master”.
Thought For The Day: Love and forgiveness will enhance God’s purpose for the sinner’s repentance.
The Bible In One Year: Hosea 5-9
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.
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