What does it mean to love your enemies?

What does it mean to love your enemies?

Numbers 14:19 “In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”

The spies had just returned from their scouting of the land of Canaan and brought back their bad report, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. … We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (13:32-33) The people had made up their minds to stone Moses and Aaron and return to Egypt. (14:10) After all of the trouble Moses had had with these people, now they were plotting to kill him. The Lord was so angry with the people for their sin that he said he was going to destroy them completely and raise up Moses’ descendants to be his chosen people (14:12). Finally Moses’ troubles would be over and to top it off he would be rewarded!

If I were in a similar situation I think I might just pray, “Yes, Lord, give them what they deserve!” I find it amazing that Moses prayed for the Lord to forgive Israel. It is a real lesson in love and forgiveness. It reminds me of David when he wept over the death of his son Absalom, who tried to kill him and take the throne, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18:33) The fact remains that one day the wicked will be judged in righteousness, but at the present time, God is extending mercy to those who will repent.

Lord help us to love like Christ. Help us to pray for the salvation of our enemies and forgive them just as you forgave us.

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