October 9, 2018: Day 59 – Proverbs 17

So verse 13 doesn’t quite have my benediction covered, in fact, it is probably the opposite.  Every Sunday I charge the congregation to return no one evil for evil.  Vs. 13 tells us “evil will not depart from the house of one who returns evil for good.”  That is a logical sensible statement.  But a less sensible statement we find in Matthew 5:44 where our Savior, you know Jesus, states the following:  “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  That is very different, especially since we are told that those who are evil, we should pray for them.  Another less sensible statement we find in Romans 12:17 where we read that we are not to return anyone evil for evil.

So all that we are reading in Proverbs is just incredibly sensible.  There are no ultra radical thoughts, but rather it just reflects the common sense of that day and the common sense of today.  But what we often find is that what we consider to be common sense, is not at all common to the Lord.  The common sense at times is our own thinking, when the Lord demands, at times, that we take risks which would be frowned upon by society, and probably by Solomon as well.  If you love your enemies and pray for them, aren’t you also enabling someone to do the wrong thing?  

I’ll never forget the crisis we had in our food bank in Florida when a police officer caught one of our food clients selling the food that they got from our church in order to get crack/cocaine.  We almost shut down the program because we did not want to enable anyone in their drug addiction.  But then we realized for every one person who was an addict and used our food to help their problem, we had 20 who were using this food as a supplement to their already stretched budget.  We kept it up and running.  We are told to love our enemies whether it enables them or not.

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