Sunday, May 1, 2011

Enemy Mine

Job 31:29-30
29"Did I ever crow over my enemy's ruin? Or gloat over my rival's bad luck? 30No, I never said a word of detraction, never cursed them, even under my breath.

Proverbs 24:15-18
15Don't interfere with good people's lives; don't try to get the best of them. 16No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don't stay down long; Soon they're up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces. 17Don't laugh when your enemy falls; don't crow over his collapse. 18GOD might see, and become very provoked, and then take pity on his plight.

Proverbs 25:21-22
21If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch; if he's thirsty, bring him a drink. 22Your generosity will surprise him with goodness, and GOD will look after you.

Nobody questions what kind of a man Job was, really. He was a righteous man. And we regard Solomon's Proverbs with a general sense of wonder and appreciation for the wisest man of his day and age. Solomon had his issues, but being a fool was not high on that list, despite having too many wives to even begin to be a good husband to. We pretty much trust these guys to know what they are talking about. But is pretty much good enough when it comes to something as momentous as the death of a sworn enemy of our nation whom we have hunted for nearly ten years?

Let's go to the final authority. Let's go to Jesus. If rejoicing is the right move for when a national enemy dies, Jesus will tell us. Here is what Jesus says about enemies ...

What Jesus has to say about enemies …

Ralph and his neighbor, Fritz were talking …

R: “Hey, I met Jesus the other day.”

F: “Yeah? So what’s he like?”

R: “Kinda weird, actually.”

F: “You don’t say. How so?”

R: “He said the old love your neighbor and hate your enemy thing ain’t right.”

F: “No kidding! So did he say what it is supposed to be?”

R: “He said, ‘love your enemies and pray for people that abuse you.’ Can you
believe that?”

F: “You sure you heard him right? I mean, I know people say he’s pretty radical, but that sounds plain old crazy.”

R: “Yeah. He was giving a speech and they had his notes printed out and I got a copy. Take a look …”

F: “Hmm… yeah, you got it right, I guess. Can I keep this and read the rest of his speech?”

R: “Yeah, Fritz. You read it all through to the end. I just finished it and I think we need to talk about this stuff.”

F: “Okay Ralph. I’m going to go read it right now. See you back here after supper?”

R: “Absolutely, Fritz. I’ll bring something to drink; you bring some of your wife’s cookies.”

F: “Sounds good to me. See ya, Ralph.”

R: “Real soon, Fritz. Real soon.”

Here’s what Ralph had highlighted for Fritz to read … (borrowed from Matthew 5:43-48, the Message)

"You have heard that it was said, `YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.'

"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Fritz wondered to himself, “Why would he say that?” Then he kept on reading and it was like Jesus was answering his thoughts !!

"so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

“Wow!” thought Fritz. “I guess I never thought about God sending rain and sunshine for everybody; but it certainly makes sense to me.” And he kept on reading …

"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
"If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

By the time he got done with the whole speech, Fritz could hardly wait to go out and talk to Ralph again. He even talked to his wife over dinner about it. She was stunned to hear him speak and missed his question. “Wh-what did you ask me?”

Then she listened as her obviously excited husband read the section Ralph had highlighted and asked her again, “What do you make of that?” Bernie (short for Bernice) answered, “He sounds like the preacher at my mother’s church. You know, the one you liked when we visited there last year. You don’t have to share that with Ralph, though. And it looks like he’s ready to meet with you over by the fence again. Go ahead, I’ll clean up. Then you can come back in and we’ll talk when you two have it all figured out.”

Fritz was already headed out the door …

**** **** **** **** ****

What about it? Could you live out what Fritz and Ralph heard from Jesus?
Or is it too late already? Have you already been rejoicing over a fallen enemy?

God have mercy on us.

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