Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:19-21 NIV).
Beloved, I’ve previously shared that I used to think BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD meant the more good I did to my offenders, the greater their punishment would be. I was wrong. ‘Heaps of coal’ is about the emotional discomfort one feels when you arouse their conscience about how they’ve treated you with the aim to make them repent.
Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery but when he had an opportunity to revenge, Joseph was kind to them instead. He provided for them and also brought them and everything they had out of suffering to a land where they were well taken care of.
However, his kindness made them uneasy… “when Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, ‘thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father…” (Genesis 50:15-17 NKJV)
Though Joseph told them it was all in the past, they still lived in fear because we always expect people we’ve offended to hit back but Joseph didn’t… Joseph said to them… do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones…” (Genesis 50:18-21 NKJV).
Beloved, can you see how ‘heaps of coal’ works? Joseph’s actions led them to repentance. But what about God? Did God avenge? Oh yeah! However, it was a sweet revenge done in many ways but I like this one. Joseph was forced to leave his hometown on the backs of camels but the first time he visited Canaan again, he came with… all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt… And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen, and it was a very great gathering” (Genesis 50:7-9 NKJV).
God definitely knows how to showcase those that leave it up to Him to fight their battles for them. I remember asking a friend whether she was still bitter about what someone did to her and she said its only when you don’t have anything that you are bitter but when God has so blessed you, you have no time for bitterness. Joseph focused on God’s goodness and not his brother’s evil and God rewarded him greatly; far more that he could have ever dreamt of. God elevated him to a place of honour. He is bound to do the same for you if only you let Him.