Another enemy verse in Proverbs. Throughout the Bible, my enemy is not someone I hate – it’s someone who chooses to hate me. Jesus doesn’t allow us to hate our enemies (Mt 5:44), so if there is any hating going on, it’s their choice, not mine!
The first verse says if I see that someone who hates me, my enemy, “is hungry” or “thirsty” I am supposed to “give him food to eat” (and don’t poison it!) and/or “given him water to drink.” That is not generally my first response!
But the second verse adds, when I do respond like this, I “will heap burning coals on his head.” And, on top of that, “the LORD will reward me.” Now, that’s what I’m talking about!
Of course, literally doing this burning coals thing would kill them. But our verses are using such an action as a metaphor to feeding that person and giving them drink.
So, taken together, these verses suggest – when I see my enemy struggling with something (hungry, thirsty), I should do something to help (food, drink). In doing so, I can really destroy my enemy – destroy them by making them my friend. As the modern wise saying goes – “kill them with kindness!”
The Apostle Paul restated this amazing truth in his list of attitudes and actions we are to practice in our dealings with others (Romans 12:9-21). Of course, sometimes we have to do this even when we don’t feel like doing it. But the LORD honors such choices on our part.
If I become this kind of guy or gal, two major things will happen. It will make an impact on my enemy! But, maybe even more important, it will also change me!