Bible Studies/Love your enemies psalm.
Dear Dr Shirley
In the Holy Bible - Matthew - 5:43, Love your enemies, Forgive your enemies I have the following questions.
1 In the 21st century, is it possible to achieve the above?.
2 Will the enemy think in the same line,as we think?.
Thank you for submitting your Bible questions. I'm more than happy to answer them below.
Before I answer your questions, however, I'd like to preface my answers by making note of two important facts that we must know:
1) The commandment to love your enemy is an ordinance that God gave His people long before Jesus came to Earth. Contrary to popular belief, Jesus was not the first who commanded people to love their enemies--the first One is Yahweh God Almighty. In The Mosaic covenant, given to His people about 1448 years before Jesus was born on Earth, Yahweh instructed Israel, "If you meet your enemys ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. If you see the donkey of him who hates you fallen down under his burden, don't leave him, you shall surely help him with it." (Exodus 23:4-5, WEB) Then about five centuries later, King Solomon wrote this under divine inspiration: "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat. If he is thirsty, give him water to drink: for you will heap coals of fire on his head, and Yahweh will reward you." (Proverbs 25:21-22) Simply put, the way we love our enemies is to help them when they are in need. In doing so, God will be pleased by our good deed and may judge our enemies for their ill treatment of us. We should leave all vengeance to Him.
2) "Our enemies" is not the same as "God's enemies." There is a big difference between the two groups. We are to love our enemies, but we are never instructed to love God's enemies. Unfortunately, many people equate the two. We are not to love God's enemies unless they turn to God. For instance, God ordered His people to either drive out or annihilate the Canaanites because the Canaanites were extremely wicked people. Yet, when one Canaanite prostitute Rahab demonstrated faith in Yahweh, her life was spared. But when Israel showed mercy to other Canaanites by sparing their lives, it became a great sin to them for which God was immensely displeased. However, we only know who are God's enemies when God identifies them to us. For this reason, it is safe for us to show love to everyone, even to those who persecute us. Generally, our enemies are those who have wronged us in some way; they may be members of our family or co-workers.
Now, here are my answers to your questions:
You asked: In the Holy Bible - Matthew - 5:43, Love your enemies, Forgive your enemies I have the following questions. 1 In the 21st century, is it possible to achieve the above?.
My answer: All of God's principles are timeless, for His Word is eternal (1 Peter 1:25). For this reason, so long as we obey the love commandment (to love others including your enemies), it is certainly achievable. We can achieve anything through the power of Christ (Philippians 4:13).
You asked: 2 Will the enemy think in the same line,as we think?.
My answer: It is unlikely that our enemies will think in the same line if they are not fellow Christians. In actuality, our enemies may be puzzled by our love for them. Some may even take advantage of our kindness. Yet, there may be some who will be deeply touched and consequently become believers because they are attracted to God by our love which reflects God's love. When we do good, we glorify God and bring others to Him. Regardless of how our enemies will react to our love, we are instructed to repay evil with good. We do so by helping our enemies when they are in need and praying for them where we ask God to soften their hearts so they can yield to Him and accept Him as their God.
Yahweh's love for us sets an example for us on how we should love our enemies. When we were still His enemies in our sins, He let His Son die for us to pay the penalty for our sins (Romans 5:10). He allows anyone to receive eternal life. Anyone who repents and accepts Jesus as their Savior will be saved from the penalty of their sins: eternal death. It's God's goodness that compels many of us to repent (Romans 2:4). In like manner, when we do good to our enemies, our goodness may attract them and cause them to feel shame and thereby to repent of their sins.
I hope I've fully answered your questions. Please let me know if you have any other question or if you'd like me to clarify anything, and I'd be glad to do so.
Thank you for your questions. Keep up with your diligent Bible study!
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