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Good Morning.

If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it. (Exodus 23:4-5)

I’m going to tell you something that you already know: God expects us to do the right thing in every circumstance. To accentuate that standard, He tells us that we are to do the right thing even when it involves our enemy and the one who hates us. We cannot allow our grievance with someone else to influence us when our duty to him is clear. If his ox is lost and you find it, return it to him regardless of his feeling toward you — his evil toward you doesn’t justify evil on your part toward him. Messiah said: 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:43-45)

As He continued with His message, Yeshua challenges us with this question: How are we any different from the world if we only do good to those we like and who like us? Therefore, our response to someone’s need shouldn’t be determined by how they have treated us, good or bad. Our response to their situation should be based on what is right to do. That would mean that hostility toward those of another faith is not justified even if it is false faith. Unfortunately, as we know, many atrocities have been committed in the name of Christianity. However, the issue is not a Christian one but a human one. As followers of Messiah we are admonished to love our neighbor and do as Solomon exhorted us: 

“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.” (Proverbs 25:21-22)

Blessings and Shalom,  

 

Bill  

 

 

 

 

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