“If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”
I don’t know if you have ever had an enemy, but I did a really good job of obtaining one when my children were small. One day I walked outside and my 6 year old daughter and the little boy next door were getting into some mischief. I sent her inside to deal with her personally and sent the little boy home with a brief reprimand.
The next thing I knew his mom, who lived across the street from us, was at my front door. She gave me a very good tongue lashing and proceeded to inform me that her son didn’t get into mischief and it was likely my daughter’s fault. She stormed away in wrath.
I had made an enemy!
Being the peace-at-all costs kind of gal that I was, I began to pray about how I could renew a relationship with this hotheaded woman. I knew the only way we could talk this out was to establish some kind of speaking terms.
I made her a gift.
She refused it
I left it with her.
She probably threw it away.
What to do?
I decided to give her “food to eat.” But I knew that she wouldn’t receive it face to face, so I began to look for times when she would be gone and left it on her doorstep (well covered from the elements and the ants!)
In the remaining two years that we lived in Florida, she never spoke to me again. So what happened?
1. I heaped “burning coals” on her head.
"It is clear that the 'coals of fire' which are to be heaped on the head are meant to melt and soften the heart, and cause it to glow with love. There may be also included the burning pangs of shame felt by a man whose evil is answered by good. But these are secondary and auxiliary to the true end of kindling the fire of love in his alienated heart" (Maclaren, p. 302-303).
2. I trust that the Lord rewarded me.
God’s favor is our great reward. What an incredible blessing!
As we seek His favor,