If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the LORD will reward you.
Humans classify people around them, known and related, in two broad categories: enemies and allies. All is seen in terms of war and we look at everybody else as people who support us or as people who oppose us. Those who think like us and therefore are friends and those who assume positions different from ours automatically become our greatest adversaries. We see everything from the utilitarian point of view. If a person is useful for our purposes we consider him as an ally and if the person does not contribute towards achieving our goals we consider him as a personal enemy. The way we treat our neighbor depends on which category he belongs, all in accordance with this simplistic classification to which we subject him.
This is not the way that God has taught us to behave through his word. He has shown us something profoundly more radical that flows counter-current to the practices of the world. According to what God teaches us, our love can not be oriented according to our understanding of the world or to the rationale we use to classify people as enemies or friends. Treatment should be equal for both because God commands it. As with all of God’s commandments, obedience brings blessings and rewards but they do not come until we have fulfilled our part of the agreement which is to obey God. Let’s not see our neighbor through the glass of the categories and let us share with them the love God has poured into our hearts, regardless of the position they hold in relation to ours. Enough of hatred, envy and war. Let us obey the Master. To God alone be the glory!
It is not for kings, Lemuel—
it is not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
He who assumes a position of power must also accept the responsibility that implicitly carries authority. A person who is controlled by a constant and chronic alcohol consumption is not able to fully utilize all his skills and capabilities at the service of the position he has been assigned. History is replete with examples of leaders who lost power by letting alcohol lead their lives. And all this without taking into account the terrible consequences that impact the health of those suffering from alcohol dependency syndrome. The most significant impact, however, can be observed in those who are the subjects of government. Because of the irresponsibility of the ruler important issues are neglected and in the end who suffers most is the people who are subjected to poor management. This disastrous situation can also occur at other levels of authority such as, for example, at the level of the head of the family and home
In any case, most of those who aspire to positions of power only care about achieving the authority so they can later dedicate themselves to exploiting the resources and political influence associated with the dominion; which then enables them to increase their wealth and probably also their fame. They can care less if the oppressed remain oppressed, or if human rights are being respected. God grant that better and more educated leaders ascend to power and govern with moderation and justice for the benefit of the people in general! To God alone be the glory!
Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
he refreshes the spirit of his master.
For those of us who are “enjoying” a very hot summer, the image of snow certainly gives us a nice sense of freshness. In a year when the drought has ravaged crops and decimated the water resources that are within our reach, we cannot wait for autumn and its inseparable successor, winter, to come with their cold and refreshing breaths. Enter a room with air conditioning after exposure even for a short time to the relentless and oppressive heat of the street and you will feel a pleasant sense of relief and tranquility. Likewise we can feel that we renew our spirit and relief takes the place of concern when we have someone responsible in charge of performing the tasks that have been assigned to him and he engages them with great commitment. As we apply the golden rule that Jesus taught us, when we happen to be the executors of the plan we must be very accountable and effective in performing the tasks under our responsibility in the same way we would like that others would carry out the activities we entrust them with.
Many times we do things just for the sake of seeing them fulfilled and to get rid of the concern that bothers us when the tasks have not been fully carried out. There is nothing wrong with that but it is better when the same activities are executed considering the welfare and peace of mind of those who ordered them. Let us be responsible with everything, small or large, that we have been given for our action. The joy of accomplishment and the satisfaction of he who has given us the responsibility of completing the task are the best awards that we can receive. To God alone be the glory!
If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
For the Jewish people, events and ceremonies in which they offered a scapegoat at the altar of the temple of Jerusalem had become a mere ritual that simply took care of a requirement of the law and had lost the meaning for which these acts had been instituted . They thought they were doing God a favor by presenting these sacrifices of blood, as if God were thirsting for it. This perception had infiltrated their midst because of the careless exposure of the Jewish people to idolatrous cults that were part of the everyday life of villages in Israel. The author of Hebrews makes it clear, “the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.”
Now, under the new covenant of grace, shedding the blood of animals is no longer necessary because everything has been replaced by the final and perfect sacrifice of Christ on the cross of Calvary. Now the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit was offered himself unblemished to God, “cleanses our consciences from acts that lead to death,so that we may serve the living God!” Let us not allow that the acts and reflections that celebrate the memory of that perfect sacrifice become a ritual and a repetitive action for our lives. God does not need us but we do need him a lot. Let our service offering be a pleasant smell that rises unimpeded to the very presence of God. Let us not do it as if God needed it, because he does not need it, but rather let our service be a sign of the deep gratitude we feel for the salvation that we have undeservedly received according to His perfect will and love. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged blood, bulls, Christianity, drink, eat, flesh, goats, God, hungry, Jesus, Psalms, righteousness, spirituality