29. Enemies

In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Exodus 23:4

Memorise This Verse:  Proverbs 25:21 ‘If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat if he is thirsty, give him water to drink’

Afterwards Talk About This:  How can we put into practise giving to our enemies.

Something To Do Before Next Time:  If possible, seek out someone who has, or is opposing you and try to bless them in some way.

Written Diploma Work:  Write one side on how giving to our enemies strengthens the preaching of the gospel to them.

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse:  Luke 6:35

There is a further area that we should consider giving to that would appear to be the exception rather than the norm and that is giving to our enemies and those who oppose us, and the message of Jesus. As Christians we should of course have no enemies however there will be those who are opposed to us in the same way that there were those who were opposed to Jesus.

It would seem that through our giving and our generosity we can turn these enemies into friends and win them over to us (and to Jesus) by overcoming their resistance and opposition with Christ-like love and generosity.

The first biblical example of giving to those who oppose us is found in Genesis chapter 26 in the story of Isaac. Isaac was a man who walked in the blessing of God verse 12 shows that not only did he sow and reap a hundred fold but he did so whilst there was a famine in the land. In verses 19-21 Isaac experiences opposition from the herdsmen of Gerar and twice when he sought to dig wells and draw water, they quarrelled with him and opposed him.

However when Abimelech who was King over the area of Gerar came to make peace with Isaac he holds no bitterness and not only makes a feast for them but also sends them on their way the next morning. It would appear that if Isaac was going to continue in his God given prosperity he had to give and extend generosity towards his enemies.

As we read on in Genesis we find another person who walked in the blessing of God and who also gave to those who opposed him and that is Joseph the story of Joseph is one of the most delightful in the bible.

Joseph’s brothers become jealous of him and sell him into slavery Joseph goes from someone who received a personal dream from God to being in slavery in a foreign nation. Joseph had every reason to be bitter and harbour unforgiveness against his brothers but as we shall see he chooses forgiveness and generosity towards his brothers as opposed to hatred.

You simply can’t keep a good man down! and when a man is blessed of Almighty God he will never be kept down and will prosper in the most unlikely of circumstances and by an amazing intervention of God Joseph goes from an Egyptian jail to being the second most powerful person in the whole of Egypt.

Later on he finally meets his brothers who don’t actually recognize him and when he has the opportunity to extract his revenge he manifests the Spirit of Christ and in Genesis 45:1-11 we see him vowing to provide for all of them and in Genesis 50:19-20 he re-affirms his vow to his brothers.

Both Isaac and Joseph are two Old Testament figures who not only walked in the blessing of God but gave to those who mistreated and opposed them.

With the introduction of the law the commands to extend goodness towards your enemies were given to the people of God (see Exodus 23:4) and the need to give financially to our enemies is seen in Proverbs 25:21 ‘If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you’.

Notice how the previous quote shows that God will REWARD those who give to their enemies as we are givers into the work of God the bible speaks of us receiving a reward from God – even when we give to our enemies! Paul later applies the above quote from Proverbs in Romans 12:20 to show it to be part of our witnessing to unsaved people and how by doing good and giving to our enemies we can win them over as friends and make them friends of Jesus.

Furthermore in the gospel of Luke, Jesus himself teaches love and practical giving to our enemies in Luke 6:27-36 we see that those who release the true love of Christ to their enemies will lend to them without expecting return and do good to them.

Moving on to Luke 10:30 and the Parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus again speaks of the love that his followers will have for those who are their enemies – have you noticed that the Good Samaritan not only gave the inn-keeper two silver coins but was also prepared to pay for any further expense? – (verse 35). Clearly giving to our enemies can be a tremendous weapon in our evangelism of hostile people groups as the gospel goes into the uttermost parts of the earth.

It was stated at the start of this section that it would appear that giving to our enemies would appear to be the exception rather than the norm so how can we apply this practically to our giving?.

The point has been argued that all of our giving should have world mission and saving men and women from hell as the basis for it and we should not give to anyone or anywhere that is not producing sufficient fruit for the Kingdom of God. Consequently one application could be a missionary who is working in a land with people who are of a different religion and are fiercely against the gospel.

You could give financially to this missionary and the missionary could use this money to buy food and medicines if there is famine or hardship in the place that they are working.

This act of love could melt the hearts of those who formerly opposed the message and could be the open door to seeing the gospel being preached in a lot of the countries of North Africa and the Middle East where there is much fanatical opposition to the gospel, the use if money to bring aid and food and medicines could be a key factor to help support the preaching of the gospel.

A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations 

Pray for Cuba

11,200,684 people, 46% Christian

Growth of church has replaced the previous 40 years of Marxism.

This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.

The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.

Share Button

Also available in: Spanish Indonesian