Used Heaping Coals of Fire on an Enemy

“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.” Romans 12:20

In the Bible era an extremely important matter was the ability to provide fire. Such fires were often started by a single coal. 

Before going further it should be noted there are commands in the Bible that relate to persons and others that relate to governments. This one relates to persons.

In this narrative an enemy has a need for a coal. To illustrate the way to respond to an enemy in need, that of a coal is used. The proportionate response was to give the enemies so many coals they had to be carried in a receptacle on his head. Carrying weights in such a way was common in the Bible era.

The story is a metaphor advocating repaying a wrong with a right. Generosity is encouraged by the instruction to give your enemy more than requested, surely more than deserved.

By abundantly giving an adversary more than needed it is equivalent to giving a person in need of a single coal so many he has to carry them on his head.

This is a hard command. Perhaps you, as I, have found it very hard at times. However, you can see it would go a long way in conflict resolution. In doing so we are modeling Jesus who gave us, His one time enemy, what we didn’t deserve, and more. Let your adversary know it is being done in Jesus’ name.

Formerly we sang, “Let others see Jesus in you…” Compliance with this instruction would surely go a long way toward doing so.

It might help if after doing so you went back to Jesus in prayer and said, “That’s one for you.”

Oh, note the last line in the above text.

“And the Lord will reward you.” (Proverbs 25:21, 22)