What does LOVE YOUR ENEMIES mean?

The Bible says that when you feed your enemy, it’s like heaping coals of fire upon their head…

Proverbs 25:21-22

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
For so you will heap coals of fire on his head,
And the Lord will reward you.

So what’s with the coals of fire on the head?

God’s ways and thoughts are certainly different from ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).

This whole wording happens to be another Jewish idiom that makes absolutely no sense to us, in our Western mindset.

We’re told in the Bible that when you feed your enemy you will heap coals of fire on their head.

Heaping coals of fire on one’s head:

In the Bible lands almost everything is carried on the head water jars, baskets of fruit, vegetables, fish or any other article.

Those carrying the burden rarely touch it with the hands, and they walk through crowded streets and lanes with perfect ease.

In many homes the only fire they have is kept in a brazier, which they use for simple cooking as well as for warmth.

They plan to always keep it burning. If it should go out, some member of the family will take the brazier to a neighbors house to borrow fire.

Then she will lift the brazier to her head and start for home.

If her neighbor is a generous woman, she will heap the brazier full of coals.

To feed an enemy and give him drink was like heaping the empty brazier with live coals, which meant food, warmth and almost life itself to the person or home needing it, and was the symbol of finest generosity.

[From B.M. Bowen, Strange Scriptures that Perplex the Western Mind]

Agape love, as explained in the Bible, is the God kind of LOVE, that’s freely given and comes without strings; and is God’s true nature and our source of power to overcome this world.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love!”

— 1 Corinthians 13:13

This is what LOVE (Agape) looks like and how it is to be expressed in our life, if we are willing to get ourselves out of the way and be God’s conduit.

It basically means that we, as Gods ambassadors in the Earth, that we must learn to treat other people, based on the value God has placed upon them.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Living Bible (TLB)

4 Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, 5 never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way.

It is not irritable or touchy.

It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
Love does not demand its own way.

It is not irritable or touchy.

It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
6 It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.
7 If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.

Part of our “PUTTING ON THE MIND OF CHRIST,” every day (as we’re told to do in Philippians 2:5), involves our learning to think and react as Christ would in our everyday situations.

The reason being, we’re here as His ambassadors, to represent His interests and not our own.

We’re here to be His distributors of LOVE and LIGHT into all the dark places of this Earth.

So here are our marching orders from on High:

Matthew 5:43-48

The Message (MSG)

43-47 “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’

I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.

When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.

This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to EVERYONE, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.

If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that.

If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

48 “In a word, what I’m saying is, GROW UP. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it.

Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

Come join the Adventure!

Skip 🕊️

Author: SPARKS FROM THE ANVIL OF LIFE

This is an open forum where we look into and investigate the Rhema Mysteries of God's Word; and also other issues of importance for our day and time.

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