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March 17 – Love your enemies and do good

“… the leaders said to all the congregation, “We have sworn to them by the LORD, the God of Israel, and now we may not touch them.”” – Joshua 9:19 

Scripture reading: Joshua 9:16-21

In light of this passage, we can make a point about how we need to do what we promise. That’s an encouragement we definitely need to hear. But we can also understand why the people felt like they had plenty of reasons to break their word and wipe out the deceptive Gibeonites. But they had sworn their oath in the Name of the LORD. That was the great issue: the glory of the Name of the LORD.

God glorifies His Name in the salvation of His people. He makes us live a new kind of life in the midst of the world. He redeems slaves through the blood of His Son and He puts His Spirit in those slaves, writing His law on our hearts, to show that we are sons of God that we might display the heart and the character of God.

We carry God’s Name in the world. The morality and the lifestyle of God’s people are the salt of the earth. It is the light that God sets in the darkness. The congregation wanted to attack Gibeon and wipe them out because they had been cheated; they had been deceived and they wanted to make the Gibeonites pay. That’s natural. We want revenge too when someone cheats us or deceives us. But standing up for your own rights and taking revenge is not the culture of the kingdom. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the grace and humility to do good to those who hate you, to pray for those who abuse you, to turn the other cheek to those who strike you and to love your enemies.

Rev. Dick Wynia is currently the minister of the Vineyard Canadian Reformed Church in Beamsville, ON.


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