“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The first verse here parallels Proverbs 25: 21-22, which ends with the line “and the Lord will reward you.” And for what will the Lord reward the one who obeys this instruction? The next verse tells us. He will reward the faithful for conquering evil. This is a spiritual battle we fight as warriors of God’s army. As with any battle, our enemy uses certain tactics to try and defeat us. This scripture describes a common trap.
Evil baits us to be evil. It does so by providing apparently sensible justifications for responding to our enemies with anything but love. We all have heard and likely felt many of these justifications. Some of them might even seem not so bad as they are presented behind the veil of misinterpreted or misapplied scripture. We need only read the account of Jesus being tempted by Satan in the wilderness for an illustration [Matt. 4:1-11]. But when we aren’t careful and discerning, when we aren’t in tune with God’s Spirit, we open the door to falling for this scheme and acting outside of love. In turn, we place victory in the hands of the enemy.
When we respond to every person, every circumstance, every trouble with the love of Christ, we reap victory after victory. For this, the Father rewards his children. And the basis of that reward lies in being in spiritual alignment with God and knowing his will in that moment, knowing his truth and walking in the obedience that He desires. Father, keep us sharp and spiritually aligned to You, discerning your truth and your will as we walk in obedience and love.