Want to be part of what God is doing? Focus on advancing His kingdom, in glory and in people.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. 22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.
Solomon was referring to a custom of mourning where a person put on sackcloth and a type of hat that could hold coals and ashes without burning his head as a sign of personal repentance. By giving aid to his enemy, one caused the other to come under conviction of the Holy Spirit, thus winning his enemy.
Paul quoted this proverb in his letter to the Romans. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are to adopt this way of thinking and acting:
17 Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21
There is nothing here that speaks of us doing what we want to do, but rather that which is best for our enemy- adversary may be a better word. An adversary is someone against whom we take an opposing stance. It can be an enemy, but just as easily our spouse, family member, or friend. The idea is NOT peace at all cost, but for the Lord’s will to be done. That in itself will bring peace-or, at least, harmony.
God’s wrath, as demonstrated on the cross, is designed to bring conviction. In His greatness and power, He is also GOOD, and doesn’t want anyone to perish, but come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
Our relationship with Him is all-important. We who already have a relationship with Him are guided by the same conviction of the Spirit, but in regard to godliness rather than salvation.
Let’s focus on Him and His kingdom work today. Don’t know what that is? Ask Him! He will reveal it to you–one step a time.