Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Proverbs 24: 28-29 commentary; Do unto others NOT as they have done to you

28 ¶ Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips. 29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.

Again, we have something that is rarely preached on today, along with not getting revenge nor gloating over the catastrophes that come upon your enemies. Here, in the Old Testament is a form of a command given by Jesus Christ. This specifically tells us not to falsely accuse our neighbor nor to give him what you think are his just desserts.

Matthew 7:12 ¶ Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Rendering to any man according to his work is not Christian. It is certainly not our place to falsely accuse a neighbor and it is neither our place to give paybacks. If we received from Christ what we deserved for our own wickedness we would never stop suffering. In God’s provision of grace mercy is not found by rendering to any man according to his work. We are to treat other people according to what Christ has done, not what they have done.

And who is our neighbor? Wasn’t Christ asked the same thing? In Luke 10, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, anyone we come upon in our daily business is our neighbor, not just the person who lives next to us in the three bedroom rancher with the noisey car, the loud teenagers, and the ugly fountain in the front yard. So, these verses extend far beyond our neighborhood. And remember, concerning your neighbor, even the stranger you meet on the road, that Jesus had said just before this parable that for a Jew to inherit eternal life one of the things he had to do was to love his neighbor as himself.

Of course, then you say, well he was talking to his Jewish disciples and the Jews in general, still under the law. So, why does this apply to me? He wasn’t risen yet, faith in Him and trusting in Him wasn’t the grounds for salvation, salvation wasn’t predicated on belief in a risen Saviour. So, you want me to show you out of the doctrines given specifically to the church?

Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

1Thessalonians 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

These things are standards that God has laid on us under the Law and under Grace. Do not bear false witness against someone and do not pay back wrongs done to you. Anything else is a lack of faith and is disobedience to God. We fundamentalists are all big on a literal interpretation of the Bible and we say you have to be baptized to be in obedience to Christ because of a verse and you have to go to church functions whenever the door is open because of a verse but there are many verses in the Bible about not getting revenge, about not giving someone their comeuppance, their just desserts for their wicked behavior against you, and about not delighting in your enemy’s trouble so why are you ignoring those?

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