Open Heavens Daily Devotional For 19th April, 2018
Theme – Choosing To Die With Your Enemy?
Memorise: “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21
Read: Romans 12:9-21 (KJV)
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Bible in One Year: Judges 9, 2 Timothy 2.
The simple and expected response to the thought-provoking question in today’s topic is “no”. In practice however, this may not be the case. It is true that the people of this world can be terribly wicked, so much so that one may find it difficult to let go when the opportunity presents itself to pay them back in their own coin. Nevertheless, this is contrary to the nature of God that we bear as Christians. Speaking to us about this in Romans 12:19, the Holy Spirit says:
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
The story of Samson is a good example of someone who chose to die with his enemies. Although he was born a Nazarite to God, he had many flaws in his character, the most lethal of which was vindictiveness. When a person is vindictive, such a fellow will be unforgiving, merciless and absolutely cruel. When his enemies bound him in chains and plucked out his eyes, instead of calling on God for the forgiveness of his sins, he chose to pray to God to avenge his eyes. Judges 16:28 says,
“And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.”
When one listens to the prayers of some people who ordinarily should be on their face asking God for mercy, one cannot but wonder if they are not praying to die with their enemies. Such people ask God to avenge them of their enemies, when they are the ones whose sins empowered the enemy to buffet them. No doubt, God will honor His word to recompense the evildoer. However, what do you stand to gain if your enemies die as a result of the evil they did to you, but you also die in your sins? That is not a wise thing to do. This is the reason why Romans 12:17 warns us that we should not repay any man evil for evil, but rather, we should overcome evil with good. When someone offends you and you decide not to settle with him or her, what you are indirectly saying is that you are ready to die with that enemy. You put the forgiveness of that fellow on hold and yours will not be released to you either. Mark 11:26 says,
“But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
We need to forgive those who wronged us for our own sake because the Scripture is clear that unless we do, we are in danger of preferring to die with our enemies instead of saving ourselves from the judgment to come upon this world.
Prayer Point: Father, please forgive my trespasses as I have forgiven those who trespassed against me.
Hymn 12: Take My Life, And Let It Be.
1. Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.
2. Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
3. Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
4. Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.
5. Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.