2 July 2010 (Sheshi/Kippur)|
Day #109, 5934 AM
Love Your Enemies
Make Sure You Do It Yahweh's Way
One of the distinguishing diferences between true Christianity or Messianism and all the other religions of the world is the way we are commanded to deal with our enemies. Incidentally, I should point out that when Yah'shua said, "You have heard it said", he was not speaking of the Torah, Tanakh or any other Word of Elohim otherwise Yah'shua's would have been attacking His own Father's Word! This was a tradition probably originated by the rabbis. No, the Tanakh or Old Testament also commands believers to love their enemy:
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matt.5:43-48, NKJV).
Loving your neighbour as yourself, which originated in the Old Covenant and which was reitterated by Yah'shua and applied to everyone (Mt.22:39; Mk.12:31), was called "the royal law" by the apostle James (Jas.2:8) and similarly upheld by the apostle Paul (Rom.13:9; Gal.5:14), and goes back a long time.
"You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbour, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am Yahweh" (Lev.19:17-18, NKJV).
Loving your enemies as people - not the evil that they do (which we are to hate) - is therefore a commandment binding on all true believers. However, there is one exception:
We are to love our enemies provided it is not at the expense of our friends and loved ones! To set your enemy ahead of those who love and are loyal to you is to hate the ones who by their love are giving you a part of their lives. Therefore the ahavah or love we are to show to our enemies must not compromise the ahavah we show to our friends. This King David did, favouring his rebellious and murderous son Absalom above his own people who had laid down their lives to restore David to rulership on account of his son's treason.
"Then Joab came into the house to the king (David), and said, 'Today you have disgraced all your servants who today have saved your life, the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines, in that you love your enemies and hate your friends. For you have declared today that you regard neither princes nor servants; for today I perceive that if Absalom had lived and all of us had died today, then it would have pleased you well. Now therefore, arise, go out and speak comfort to your servants. For I swear by Yahweh, if you do not go out, not one will stay with you this night. And that will be worse for you than all the evil that has befallen you from your youth until now.' Then the king arose and sat in the gate" (2 Sam.19:5-8, NKJV).
If we love our enemies more than our friends then we are not loving our enemies at all - we are betraying our friends and giving something to our enemies that they have no right to: our recognition and trust. So, yes, love your enemies, but do it Yahweh's way and not the way of the flesh!