Wednesday, August 24, 2022
21-22 If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch;
if he’s thirsty, bring him a drink.
Your generosity will surprise him with goodness,
and God will look after you.
23 A north wind brings stormy weather,
and a gossipy tongue, stormy looks.
24 Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack
then share a mansion with a nagging spouse.
-Proverbs 25:21-24 The Message
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
22 for you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
23 The north wind brings forth rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24 It is better to live in the corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
-Proverbs 25:21-24 ESV
Verses 21-22 studies: God has a way of retaliating in the most challenging and effective ways. Romans 12:19-21 is where Paul quotes this proverb. Matthew 5:44, Jesus encourages us to pray for those who hurt us. Returning good for evil, we acknowledge God as the balancer of all accounts and trust him to be the judge.
Verse 22 study: You will heap burning coals on his heads. There is a metaphor behind it. It means a few things. An image of overcoming evil with good. Psalms 140:10 uses a phrase as a description of punishment. It is the meaning of penitence through a burning sense of shame. The Egyptian penitential rite in which coals were carried on the head to show contrition is how some associates imagined it. The proverb comments on divine recompense: “the Lord will reward you.”
Exodus 23:4-5 Israel was ordered to show kindness to the enemies, which is rare. It could be the sign of the enemies as those who oppose God’s kingdom and also threaten Israel’s survival as messianic people. Jesus developed implications of the gospel for the treatment of personal enemies in Matthew 5:43-48.
Verse 23 study: Take note of both lines’ inevitable cause and effect relationship.
Verse 24 study: Proverbs teaching is an example of controlling your tongue. Contentious also mean quarrelsome.