Bless your enemy.

Genesis 47:10 “Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence.”

Joseph received instruction from Pharaoh to go and retrieve his father’s family and to bring them back to Egypt, where they would live in the choicest land of the nation – Goshen. When Jacob arrived in Egypt, he met Pharaoh and spoke with him. One of the things he spoke of was a blessing upon Pharaoh for his kindness and generosity. Jacob displayed a virtue that would later be known as a NT principle of giving honor where honor is due. God has always required that we honor those who deserve it.

Technically, Pharaoh was the enemy of the nation of Israel in a spiritual sense because he was the leader of the world system that rejected Jehovah and worshiped a pantheon of gods. However, the Bible teaches us that even the wicked are the servants of God and do His bidding when need be. God used the wealth of wicked Egypt to bless and prosper His chosen people, Israel, into their long-awaited nation that God promised to the patriarchs. The Israelites had the best land in Egypt on which to raise their livestock and to have large families. Because of the generosity of Pharaoh, Jacob did the right thing and blessed Pharaoh. Jesus would later teach that we are to love our enemies.

Do you bless your enemy or curse him? Do you love them? Do you pray for those that spitefully use you? Somethings of God are timeless. Sure, he taught and commanded the Israelites under Moses to exact an “eye for an eye,” but the love of God exacted that people show mercy and compassion. It is easy under any system of laws to exact what is considered justice, but it is much harder to forgive someone for their wrongs and bless them instead. On the other hand, it is easy to withhold honor from people who deserve it because of our pride and selfishness. It is much harder to humble ourselves and give honor to whom honor is due regardless of whom they are or what they have done.

Father, help me to always honor those to whom honor is due. Even my enemy will at times show kindness, and they are to be recognized for such. On the other hand, when a person shall do so, please allow it to be an opportunity for me to share an even greater honor with them by sharing the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection with that one and how that person can be saved by the grace of God through faith. Thank You for showing me today that everyone deserves to be honored, if it is due to him, regardless of whom it is. In Jesus’ name, Amen.