Journal – September 13, 2020

Published September 12, 2020

Dominion Baptist Church
September 13, 2020 AD

1 Samuel 21:12-13

12 And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath.

13 And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

ROMANS 12:17-21

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 Vs. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. Paul continues to address the individual Christian’s personal relations with other individuals. There are some individuals that get confused when they try to apply these prohibitions to law enforcement officers or as he will say in chapter 13, the magistrates, the civil, judicial and penal institutions God has provided to maintain order. (We have just witnessed a great breakdown in order and law enforcement where several liberal controlled cities in our country, where the elected officials, failed to protect property and citizens.) Repay no one evil for evil. The Greek word kakos translated evil means whatever is evil in character, destructive, injurious, base, whatever is morally or ethically evil, whether of persons, or qualities, emotions, passions, or deeds. Notice there is no retribution considered here, it is just love your neighbor as yourself.Paul is continuing the thought he established in verse 14 where he wrote Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. This applies to our individual relations, even to the crimes which the civil magistrate should handle. I am not saying that a husband or father should not protect wife and family if threatened by a criminal, or that a woman living alone should not protect herself; all should have safety. But I am saying that if God’s providence has not gotten us directly involved in a matter, and we see hurt and pain in others, we should help them as much as we are able. The Christian, when struck on the right cheek is to turn the other cheek instead of striking back—its evil not to do so (Matthew 5:39). This is a sin that is easy to fall into, because it is the world’s way, and hard to conquer. Paul then tells us to Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. The Greek word kalos translated good, admirable, becoming, and the ethical meaning of what is right and honorable. Such conduct as deserves esteem. This is the first time in this chapter the apostle makes this type of consideration,  which is the need for maintaining a character which is acceptable in the sight of men.

Vs. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. If it is possible, we have the Greek word dunamai which means to be able, to have power, whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or through favorable circumstances. We see by the definition coupled, with the fact that Christians are living in a corrupt world and we are to be at peace with all men. If it is possible means that it may not always be possible. Now if there is any weakness on our part because we could not restrain our tongue from speaking in anger or resentment, God forbid that we would have a physical altercation, we need to get away and cool down, confess our sin to our Father and seek His  forgiveness. For your part in this, as much as depends on you, strive to live peaceably with all men—but not at the sacrifice of or the expense of Gods truth. James tells us in 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Its hard to learn because we still have a sin nature and it is so easy to strike out with a hasty word or a doubled-up fist to settle the feud; this is something that must be worked on and prayed about, I know that it is not easy to conquer, but it is Christ-like.  No one has ever been so provoked as He was in His daily life by a bunch of religious hypocrites followed by a false trial and crucifixion. And Paul tells us in Hebrews 12:14 to pursue peace with all, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. Our pride being pampered is not worth missing the Lord!

Vs. 19 Beloved do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. The apostle started off this chapter in verse 1, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, now he addresses those Christians in Rome, Beloved, revealing his great love and esteem for them. Beloved do not avenge yourselves those Paul has great affection for he implores not to give way to avenging retaliation. Calvin suggested that, “this was a more serious kind of injury inflicted (than that covered in verse 17) and of recompense contemplated in this instance.” The Christian is not to seek vengeance (or get even) over something said or done to him, instead but rather give place to wrath. The Greek is didomi topos orge which means give place, room, or opportunity by being settled or abiding in a condition of mind. The meaning is for us to reckon with the retribution we think is due though we ourselves are not to execute the same. It is interesting to notice that commentators give many different opinions as to what wrath is that we are to give place to: the first is the wrath of our adversary—give way to his wrath. If wrath is to have a place, if it is allowed to be considered, let it be that of your adversary and not yours; therefore, there is no place for your wrath. The next view is that we are to give place to our own wrath. Give it time to spend itself, give it a wide berth so that it may be dissipated. Pent-up resentment is always ready to explode. A third view is that which we will cover next time in chapter 13 regarding the judicial penalty given by the civil magistrate. The final view was that the wrath is the wrath of God. Now our vindictive anger is not to be vented; this is the force of the prohibition. In order to curb our anger, if it is not to be allowed to fester within us Paul tells us: Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:26-27). for it is written “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. John Murray writes in his commentary on Romans, “The essence of ungodliness is that we presume to take the place of God, to take everything into our own hands. It is faith to commit ourselves to God, to cast all our care upon Him and to vest all our interest in Him. In reference to the matter in hand, the wrongdoing of which we are the victims, the way of faith is to recognize that God is judge and to leave the execution of vengeance and retribution to Him.

Vs. 20 Therefore, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
A Scriptural example of providing food and water for your enemy is contained in the life of Elisha in 2 Kings 6:11-23. Briefly, the Syrian king would send out raiders to invade Israel for revenue enhancement, the raiders would take anything of value. Now the king of Israel would be told by Elisha everything the Syrians planned to do and he would be ready to defend Israel.11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?” 12  One of his servants said, “None, my Lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.”13So he said “Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him.” And it was told him, saying, “Surely he is in Dothan.”14Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”16 So he answered,  “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed,  and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.19 Now Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” But he led them to Samaria (Israel).20 So it was, when they had come to Samaria, that Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and there they were, inside Samaria!21Now when the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?”22But he answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those whom you have taken captive with your sword and your bow?  Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23Then he prepared a great feast for them; and after they ate and drank, he sent them away and they went to their master. So, the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel. (Paul was repeating what the Holy Spirit had recorded in Proverbs 25:21-22.) Charles Bridges wrote in his commentary on Proverbs: “No man ever conquered his enemy by revenge; but many have been won by love.”  For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. John Murray writes that, “No warrant can be solicited from Scripture by which the execution of God’s vengeance could be pleaded as the reason for bestowing kindness upon our enemies. That vengeance belongs to God is the reason why we are not to mete out vengeance but not the reason for acts of beneficence. Whatever may be the state of mind brought about in the enemy, whether that of shame or the softening of repentance, it is one that softens his enmity, and the action of heaping coals of fire on his head is for the purpose of keeping that effect constant.” I hate to make this statement of fact; but you would be surprised at the number of professing Christians that believe the reason why we should be kind to our enemies is so they will have a hotter fire in hell.

Vs. 21 Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.  As we saw in Elisha’s life the reason for our acts of mercy is that evil may be overcome. By resisting the impulse to get even, and instead bestow kindness on our enemy we overcome temptation and promote our own sanctification.

Catechism Question 37

Q: What is Adoption?

A: Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God. 

1 John 3:1

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.