Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide!

SCRIPTURE STUDY:  Revelation 6:1-17

SINNER MAN –

I first heard this song on the car radio the year after my wife and I were married, in 1965.  I was struck by the question in the lyric, “Sinner Man, Where You Gonna Run To?”  I discovered later that the song originated from an African American spiritual song that had been recorded by a number of performers (Bob Marley, Peter, Paul and Mary, Les Baxter and more).

The lyrics go on telling the story with…He [the sinner man] runs to the rock, to the sea, to the Lord and ultimately to Satan because he comes face to face with the wrath of God and he’s so frightened he’s looking for ANY way to avoid God’s anger.  But there’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide because he had rejected God for so long there was no longer hope.

I thought to myself, now where would the writer for this old spiritual song get his idea?

Right here in Revelation 6.

That’s pretty scary stuff!

These SINNERS are running from God.  They’re RUNNING from the wrath of the Lamb.

In my reading of John’s words here, something just didn’t seem to correlate with my knowledge of the bible.  John 3:16 tells us that “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

And Jesus spent His time among the tax collectors, and the prostitutes and the SINNERS.

Over and over again we read throughout the New Testament hearing the message repeated and it all seems to be summed up in 2 Peter 3:9.  “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to yo repentance.”

BUT in our passage in Revelation Chapter 6, we have sinners running from the Wrath of the Lamb.  They are running from the wrath of the very One who died for them.  What’s going on here?

After re-reading and meditating on the previous verses in the chapter, the answer is found in verses 9 thru 10:

I see two things in play here.  1st – the scene here shows God’s vengeance on mankind.  As Hebrews 10:30 tells us and we know Him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.”

The major focus in Revelation 6 is GOD’S JUDGMENT on those who’ve persecuted and slain His people in the name of His Son Jesus.

Jesus, while on this earth, told us what was going to happen when He said “Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.” (Luke 6:22).

AND Luke 21:17 – “And you will be hated (despised) by everyone because [you bear] My name and for its sake.”  [AMP]

John wrote in 1 John 3:13 – “Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.”

DID IT HAPPEN?

Yes!  Within the first 3 years of the EARLY church’s existence.

  • The Apostle James was executed.
  • Peter was thrown into prison.
  • Philip was stoned to death.
  • And a man named Saul had Christians arrested, jailed, beaten and even killed.

And that was just the beginning.

Down through the ages Christians have been murdered and tortured for their FAITH.

In my research, for this study, I came across some statistics that shocked me. [See Footnote [i].]

Every month…

  • 255 Christians are killed.
  • 104 are abducted.
  • 180 Christian women are raped, sexually assaulted or forced into marriage.
  • 60 churches are attacked.
  • 160 Christians are detained without trial and imprisoned.

And this isn’t a new situation for BELIEVERS.  Christians have been suffering and dying for their FAITH for centuries!

And Jesus’ Revelation to John is telling us that God knew this would happen and it made Him angry.

And He was so angry that He said:  “Vengence is Mine”.

You REALLY don’t want to be on the receiving end of that kind of anger.

Paul wrote:  “God is just:  He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you”  (2 Thessalonians 1:6).

I literally feel sorry for the people who try to harm God’s people because I know the truth of Revelation 6.  You don’t mess with God’s people!

Hebrews 10:31tells us “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

So the 1st thing I see in Revelation 6 is THIS:

  • God will bring JUDGMENT on those who hurt His people.

But there is something else here that I almost missed:

God’s JUDGMENT isn’t just about VENGEANCE, it’s ALSO about reaching out to the lost!

In the Youtube video presentation at the beginning of this Blog, listen to this verse:

RUN TO THE LORD

“Lord, won’t you hide me?”

RUN TO THE LORD

“Lord, won’t you hide me?”

RUN TO THE LORD.

“Lord, won’t you hide me?”

“And the Lord said ‘sinner man’ – you shoulda been prayin.”

Do you know what this verse is saying?

It’s saying, it’s too late Sinner Man…you shoulda been a prayin!  BUT you didn’t, so don’t bother me.  You’ve messed up big time and now there’s no hope.

I have a real problem with that thinking.

Isaiah 55:7 – “Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.  Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”

As Long as the wicked are willing to REPENT…God will forgive. 

That’s the MESSAGE throughout Scripture.

Hebrews 9:27 tells us “And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment”  [AMP].

But these guys (in Revelation 6) aren’t dead yet!  Until they die they still have the opportunity to REPENT.

And besides, it doesn’t say that the “Sinners” were appealing to God.  These folks weren’t running TO Jesus…they were running AWAY from Him.

Revelation 6:15-16 says they “hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains”

These folks aren’t appealing to God to hide them, they “called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne’.” 

They were calling on the rocks and Mountains to fall on them and protect them.

I remember growing up in a home where the punishment my folks dealt out to my brother and I definitely got our attention.  So much so, that even a slight look of dissatisfaction was all that was needed.

And there are times in Scripture where God disciplined entire nations in order to get their attention to REPENT–“turn from their wicked ways”  (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Psalm 32:4, we see David speaking about how God dealt with him after he had sinned with Bathsheba.  He wrote: “For day and night Your hand [of displeasure] was heavy upon me…”  (AMP).

It was a repeated theme throughout the Old Testament.  God would slap the people in order to wake them UP!

And God hasn’t changed.  He’s still working on sinners NOW as He did back then.

One of my favorite bible verses is where Jesus says:

What does Jesus mean when He says the Holy Spirit (“the Helper”) will CONVICT?

It means that someone has been convicted of their GUILT.

It means to make a person FEEL their Guilt.

AND that’s the Spirit’s job–to CONVICT people of their SIN.

CONVINCE them of the need of RIGHTEOUSNESS and remind them of the coming judgment.

Now, how’s the Holy Spirit going to do that?

As my mother would try to explain when I was a child:  “That small voice inside of you will make you very uncomfortable, Mel, when you are doing something you shouldn’t.”

Being AWARE…

Being aware of what the Spirit of the Lord is trying to get your attention for.

Be open to receiving His correction and what He is showing you that you need to REPENT of and change direction in your life.

The word REPENT means to turn in the direction you were headed; change the way we did something or the direction we are thinking of proceeding.  [See Footnote [i].]

Remember always, the Holy Spirit is CONVICTING and NOT CONDEMNING us! 

That’s what the enemy does.

HOLY SPIRIT is NOT going to badger or nag us about the same thing.  He is going to show us the MISTAKE–laying it on our hearts to REPENT and ask for forgiveness and then… He is going to expect us to move on.  He will keep on until we do something about it!  That’s not “nagging,” that’s the Father’s LOVE for us.

In reflection and asking myself the question. who do I know, or don’t know today who are living in the ‘spiritual caves’ right now while shaking their fists at God?

Should I be praying that the Holy Spirit might CONVICT them to REPENTANCE?

QUESTION:  “But aren’t these people really God’s enemies and if they are God’s enemies, they have to be mine too? And shouldn’t God’s enemies be put in place–PUNISHED?”

MY ENEMIES–GOD’S ENEMIES deserve to be punished!!

Well, here’s the deal.

If I rejoice when my enemy falls, I prove I’ve missed something.

You see, Jesus came to die for SINNERS.  Now–are my enemies…SINNERS?

Yeah!  I’m pretty sure that’s part of the reason they’re my enemies.

There’s an interesting passage of Scripture from Proverbs 24:17-18 (AMP).

[17] Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles or is overthrown.  [18] Lest the Lord see it and it be evil in His eyes and displease Him, and He turns away His wrath from him [to expend Thit upon you, the worse offender].

There’s a hint given in the verses at the fact that your ENEMY is being punished for a reason.

THE REASON is this:

God is punishing your enemy so that you can show them GRACE.  You see God punishes your enemies so that you can come into their lives and show them God’s LOVE for them which lends to REPENTANCE.

You and I need to be constantly reminded by God’s Spirit that we were not SAVED so we could be pampered.

We were SAVED because we were going to HELL!

We were SAVED because we didn’t stand a chance without God’s MERCY!

It’s not that God doesn’t want you to have a better life than you’d have if you didn’t become a Christian; it’s just that God has SAVED us to become something more than just self-centered and self-serving individuals.

GOD SAVED you and I–and enlisted us to be His Ambassadors (His missionaries) to a lost world.            (2 Corinthians 6:20)

Now here’s the deal–you may be thinking that you are not qualified–not important enough to become a missionary–an ambassador.  But if you are willing to go to the “sinner man” during their struggles and SHARE with them the LOVE of God and HOPE of His forgiveness…then you have a chance to change the world!

Are you willing to take a chance?

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

CREDITS & FOOTNOTES

Footnote [i] :  Statistics –  https://www.opendoorusa.org/christian-persecution/

Credit:  Charisma News – Discerning the Difference…Between Holy Spirit Conviction and Demonic Condemnation.

Photos/Images:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  The New International Version (NIV), or elsewhere noted in the text.

Media:  Sinner Man by the Seekers, 1965.  Courtesy of YouTube. 

 

The “Honey Bee” Prophetess (Part Two)

The HONEY BEE
The HONEY BEE

Let’s pick up the story of the “Honey Bee” (Deborah) in Judges 4:14-17:

[14] And Deborah said to Barak,  “Up!  For this is the day when the Lord has given Sisera into your hand.  Is not the Lord gone out before you?”  So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him.  [15] And the Lord confused and terrified Sisera and all his chariot drivers and all his army before Barak with the sword.  And Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled on foot.  [16] But Barak pursued after the chariots and the army to Haro-sheth-hagoiim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the sword; not a man was left.  [17] But Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.

Up!” and Go… NOW!  

The king of the enemies of Israel was being DELIVERED into the hands of Barak.  

By the spirit of prophecy, DEBORAH knew this was the time to attack.  So, Barak did.

Sometimes, God speaks to us TO UP and GO!  We may wonder, why now?  Always remember that God’s timing, though it may not seem right at the time, is always perfect.  Sometimes we are told to go talk to someone we haven’t even noticed before around us.  Then, wonder how God’s purpose will play itself out and finding ourselves in position do nothing else… but patiently WAIT for His plan to be revealed.

Proverbs 19:21 addresses this plainly:  “Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.”

Does God really have a specific purpose for lives in this world today?  It might not seem like it, but it is there alright.  We just have to seek the wisdom and understanding to discover His plan and through His Word.

Some Scarey Stuff – (verses 18-22):

[18] And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him,  “Turn aside, my master, turn aside to me!  Do not be afraid.”  And he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug.  [19] And he said to her, “please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.”  So she opened a bottle of milk and gave him a drink; then she covered him.  [20] And he said to her,  “Stand in the doorway of the tent, and it shall be if anyone comes and inquires of you, and says, ‘Is there anyone here?’ that you shall say, ‘No.’ ”  [21] But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent-peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through to the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted.  So he died.  [22] and BEHOLD, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, ” Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” And he entered with her, and behold Sisera was lying dead with a tent-peg in his temple  (NASB).

It’s almost fearful to read the words laid down in front of our eyes.  Samson falls asleep in the “barber chair” of Delilah and gets his hair cut off; Sisera falls asleep in the tent of Jael, getting a tent-peg driven through his skull.  Hmmm, anything here about going asleep while the women of the house may be angry at us?

PROPHECY FULFILLED:

This is the fulfillment of the prophecy by Deborah to Barak earlier in the story:

“But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman”  (Judges 4:9).

Great Lessons to Learn–THINGS aren’t always what they appear at first!

Yes, I found some great lessons from this particular passage of Scripture.

1.  JAEL broke a fundamental principle of hospitality. 

2.  JAEL broke her promise to Sisera and killed a man that her own husband had made peace with. 

And yet… God used even her treachery to accomplish His purpose.  Surely, Sisera deserved to die; he fought against God’s people on behalf of a leader; he harshly oppressed the people of Israel (Judges 4:3).  Could this be a NEWS HEADLINE in the Middle East and today’s world?  You bet!

The LESSON for us is important.  God can make even the evil of men serve His purposes:

“Surely Your wrath against men brings You praise; and the survivors of Your wrath are restrained”  (Psalm 76:10 NIV).

Yet, that never lessens the personal responsibility for the one doing the evil.  JUDAS’ betrayal of Jesus served the eternal purpose of God, yet he still answered for the evil deed.

CONCLUSION OF THE PASSAGE– (verse 23-24): 

[23} “So God subdued on that day Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites.  [24] And the hand of the Israelites bore more and more upon Jabin king of Canaan until they had destroyed [him].”

DEBORAH (the “Honey Bee”) was a prophetess and intercessor who had been placed to judge the things of God; used mightily to free her people from their enemies.

Our Enemies Today–

Our enemies we face are more internal than external.  We are enslaved by our hearts and minds, unwilling to follow the precepts of the Lord and rather “play the harlot after other gods.”

Oh how the Body of Christ (The Church) needs more DEBORAHS to lead us away from the circle of apostasy.  Now not ALL women in your church are going to be “DEBORAH S”, and not ALL men will be “Barak s”; but that doesn’t change our God given responsibilities as true believers in Christ Jesus.

Some of you reading this may be “Deborah’s” in waiting.  Perhaps it’s time for you to STEP UP and be REVEALED– and you will say as she did in Judges 4:9 (NASB):

“I will go with you.

But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours”

Dumping “Burning Coals” On Your Enemies Head?

PROVERBS 25:22 and ROMANS 12:20,21

Have you ever been so ANGRY with someone, because of what they did to you or a member of your family that you wanted God’s revenge NOW?  Maybe even grabbing your Bible Concordance, looking up the word REVENGE (VENGEANCE) and wondering when you could use God’s Word on your enemy.  Here’s one example I found that seemed appropriate at a time and at an unrepentant moment:

“And Samson said to them, If this is the way you act, surely I will take revenge on you, and after that I will quit”  (Judges 15:7).

At that moment, what was good enough for Samson, was good enough for me!  The Lord dealt with my attitude sometime later and repentance set in sometime later.  Actually, it took years later while writing my first and only fictional manuscript.  Had I come to the realization it was all for naught.  God is full of mercy and grace in our lives!  But sometimes, we just might ignore it until pointed out.

THE MEANING BEHIND “HEAPING COALS OF FIRE” ON SOMEONES HEAD:

I’ve been reading in the Book of Proverbs now for almost a month.  Several of my past blogs have been launched by God’s Word through king Solomon; Wisdom, knowledge and understanding–(Who Are God’s ‘Wise Guys?, Prov. 1); Aren’t the BENEFITS OF WISDOM Worth the Effort? (Prov 2); Lessons Learned from An ANT FARM (Prov. 6).  And now over the past few days, reading in Proverbs 25, I ran across these curious verses and I was moved by God’s Spirit, to start a detective’s investigation.

[21]  “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. [22]  For in doing so, you will HEAP COALS OF FIRE upon his head, and the Lord will reward you.”

Looking back on my Christian life of 40 years, there were times I wished I could quote this last verse (verse 22) from memory.  I became so emotional over one particular incident in the workplace, I was ready for the charcoal; let’s get the BBQ ready!  But I regress.

THE CURSE OF DUMPING:

In Psalm 140, the psalmist begins the lament:  “DELIVER ME, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men.”  (verse 1).  Now watch carefully as his emotion transcends and look at verse 10:

“Let burning coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the fire”

It’s obvious that the psalmist wanted burning coals to be used as a weapon of death against his enemies.

By contrast, lets look at Proverbs 25:21-22, for a similar reference to burning coals being used against ones enemies:

“If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.  [22] For in doing so, you will heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord will reward you.”

WAIT JUST ONE MINUTE HERE…  Is God’s Word telling us, if we dump some hot coals, out of my Weber Grill, upon the heads of my last employer, I’ll get a REWARD?

THE REWARD OF “REDEMPTION” IS AVAILABLE:

The reward is a redemptive purpose for the GOOD of the enemy; and not a CURSE.  If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; if thirsty, give him water to drink.  For in doing so, you will dump or heap coals of fire upon his head and the Lord will REWARD you with good!

This practice is not to be understood as a revengeful act intended to embarrass its victim, but just the opposite.  The picture here in Proverbs is that of a high priest (Leviticus 16:12) who, on the Day of Atonement, took his censor and filled it with “coals of fire” from off the altar of burnt offering, and then put incense on the coals to create a pleasing, sweet-smelling fragrance.  The cloud or smoke of the incense covered the mercy-seat and was acceptable to God for atonement.  Samuel Wesley wrote: / “So artist melt the sullen ore of lead,/ By heaping coals of fire upon its head:/ In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow./ And pure from dross the silver runs below.”

The Apostle Paul Quotes Proverbs 25:21-22:

“Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone.  If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written,  Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord.  [20] BUT if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap [dump] burning coals upon his head.  [21] Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good”  (Romans 12:17-21 AMP).

William Sandy and Arthur Headlum (1902: 365) raised some questions and came to conclude:

But with what purpose are we to “heap or dump coals of fire on his head”?  Is it (1), that we may be consoled for our kind act by knowing that he will be punished for his misdeeds? This is impossible since it reveals a malicious motive and is inconsistent with the context here and in the O.T.  Scripture mentions a reward, implying the deed is a good one; we are then immediately told in Romans 12:21 and clearly implies, what we are to do is for OUR enemies benefit.  (2), “Coals of firetherefore means, the burning sensations of shame which man will feel when GOOD is returned for evil; which just might produce remorse and repentance of the enemy.

Now, It Even Gets Better From Here!

There was an Egyptian ritual of old, that the one who is in repentance carries on his/her head a dish of burning charcoal as an expression of remorse for the offenses they’ve committed.  Similar to the picture I found below of spinning dancers with bowls of fire on their heads in India.  As you can see, the dancers are definitely NOT in remorse.  I wanted you to notice, putting fire on top of the heads of others isn’t physically impossible.

Kindness then, to an enemy, makes him express his sorrowfulness before God.

Matthew 5:43-48:

“You have heard that it was said,  You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy;  [44] But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  [45] To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike].  [46] For if you love those who love you, what REWARD can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that?  [47] And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that?  [48] You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

We are to do “good” to our enemies because that’s how Jesus treated His enemies and we are to imitate Him in LOVE.  The closest we are ever to come in seeking revenge is… doing “good” for our enemy.  Putting our full trust in God and He will set things straight in our forgiveness.

I’ve sometimes found myself down a blind alley when my anger rises up and motivates me reward evil with evil.  Whether it’s my sharp tongue or by the pay-back system–“I’m going to get you back you blanket y-bland-blank!”  And then I came upon this verse that has ‘stuck’ with me over the years when I reach the boiling point:

“Whoever rewards evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house” (Proverbs 17:13)

How does that verse fit in with everything?  It ties it all together with the verse in Romans 12.  When you do good to those doing evil to you. it may cause them to STOP!

–STOP their slander.

–STOP their gossip.

–STOP their back-biting.

–STOP their evil.

Bit this isn’t ALWAYS the case.  As born-again believers, we can’t count on our enemies repentance!  It’s called FOR- GIVE– NESS, not FOR- SALE– NESS   We are good to our enemies because we want to be like Jesus and God is LOVE, even toward those who don’t deserve it.  At one time, we surely didn’t deserve His love.

“BUT I DON’T HAVE ANY ENEMIES. NO ONE HAS PERSECUTED ME!”

Well maybe not but…let’s go to Scripture and take a look at what JESUS said would happen when He would leave His disciples, being again with His Father in heaven:

“If they persecuted Me, they WILL [not “might] also persecute you’

Let’s stop there to meditate on what Jesus has just told His disciples.  When I leave this earth to return to My Father, you being a Christian isn’t going to be easy, for you WILL be persecuted!  So if you are a born-again believer, you do have persecutors all around you whether you are aware of them or not.

Unless…continue reading on in verse 20:

“IF they [you, me] kept My word and obeyed My teachings, they [you, me] will also keep and obey yours [ours].”

I love when I read God’s Word in my Bible, to write personal pronouns for “they”, “yours” and etc.  I did so in verse 20 how to make Scripture personal.

HOW CHARITY & HOSPITALITY TO OUR ENEMY LEADS TO PEACE:

Elisha Showing Hospitality to the ENEMY…

“And when they had come to Samaria, Elisha said, Lord, open the eyes of these men that they may see.  And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw.  Behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.”

“When the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha,  My father, shall I slay them?  Shall I slay them.”

“[Elisha] answered,  You shall not slay them.  Would you slay those who have taken captive with your sword and bow?  Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and return to their master.”

“So [the king] prepared great provision for them, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master.  And the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel”  (2 Kings 6:20-23 AMP).

What has happened in this story, that we may learn the truth from?  Elisha’s showing of hospitality and charity to the Syrian prisoners was an act of enlightenment; to his fellow Israelites and the Syrians.

Although Elisha didn’t say so, in my opinion, he was actually casting burning coals upon the heads of their Syrian captives.  i.e.,  the Syrians LEARNED from their enemy a lesson, leading to PEACE.

Word Meaning in Proverbs 25:22:

“To cast burning coals upon the head” becomes a metaphor for “teaching someone a GOOD LESSON.”  This is based upon my investigation, presented with the different meanings found in the (Arabic, the related origin, cognate of the Hebrew).  The word used “teaching” is a synonym for “glowing coals”; Proverbs 25:22.

In Justrow’s lexicon (1903:611), the Hebrew/Arabic contained varied definitions:

“to press, to squeeze, to subdue, to conquer.”

“to grade, to make a path or opening.”

“to put on head.”

“hot ashes, coals.”

“kiln, furnace.”

In the Arabic (gabasa nar an) means, “he took fire” and (gabasa alnar an), means, “he lighted the fire”;  But (gabasa ilman) means, “he acquired knowledge, he sought knowledge.”

So, the fiery coals have to do with HEAT, then heaping coals on someones head actually was an act of torture to the enemy.  However, if the fiery coals have to do with LIGHT, then crowning someone with “coals of fire” became an act of illumination to the recipients; becoming enlightened to their persecution.

“Turning On The LOVE Light”:

I want to get real practical in conclusion:

“But when ANYTHING is exposed and reproved by the LIGHT, it is made visible and clear; and where EVERYTHING is visible, and clear there is light”  (Ephesians 5:13).

Floyd Filson is absolutely right when he said “the LIGHT of God’s kingdom is invading enemy territory!”

People we come in contact with often need to be illuminated

[14] “That what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be brought to pass:  [15] The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, in the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles [of the people s who are not Israel]–  [16] The people who sat (dwelt enveloped) in darkness have seen a great LIGHT, and for those who sat in the land and shadow of death Light has dawned”  (Matthew 4:14, 15, 16 AMP).

Six Steps To Take In the Lands of Zebulun & Naphtali:

1.  Be CONFIDENT in ‘difficult’ situations; of persecution.

“And if you are CONFIDENT that you [yourself] are a guide to the blind, a LIGHT to those who are in darkness, and [that    You are] a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the childish, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth–”  (Romans 2:19, 20 AMP).

2.  It might be a difficult problem face in the midst of your enemies BUT you are filled with LIGHT, so have FAITH in the outcome.

“While you have the Light, BELIEVE in the Light [have FAITH in it, hold to it, rely on it], that you may become sons of the Light and be filled with Light”  (John 12:36 AMP).

3.  FOCUS the Light on the Enemy–“There it was–the true Light [was then] coming into the world [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] that illumines EVERY person”  (John 1:9).

4.  LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven”  (Matthew 5:16 AMP).

5.  LOOK CAREFULLY HOW YOU WALK!

“THEREFORE BE imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-loved children [imitate their father].  AND WALK IN LOVE…”  (Ephesians 5:1-2a).

6.  PRAY FOR YOUR ENEMY and for your ATTITUDE through it all!

“Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty.  To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints”  (Ephesians 6:18 AMP).

I wish that all of the enemies that I have run across in my Christian life were non-Christians; it might be what I expect.  But in some cases, the enemy can be your Christian brother or sister.  That’s why the apostle Paul speaks about intercession in behalf of ALL the saints.  If your enemy at hand is a Christian, yep, you are to pray in the Spirit for them too.

I hope that attitudes will be change when you are attacked by someone.  I know that my attitude in writing this blog has refreshed my attitude towards neighbors, church members past and present and even to that unknown motorist, shopper, etc.