Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 10 : Love Your Enemies | Day 64

Welcome God's "Hewers"!

Do you ever wonder why God allows so many people to annoy, despise, and provoke us? They disrupt our lives and dominate our attention. One answer is given in a profound analogy. God compares believers to stones that are being perfectly hewn out so that they fit together with every other believer in God's Temple (see I Peter 2:5 and Ephesians 2:19-22).

The phrase fitly framed together is a present passive participle, which expresses continuous or repeated action that we receive. During the construction of Solomon's Temple, there were 80,000 "hewers of stone" in the quarries. Each stone was so perfectly prepared that it needed no further hewing after it was put in place for the Temple (see I Kings 5:15–18; 6:7). If we view those who are hostile toward us as God's hewers, we will be ready for the next command:

Command Ten: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

David describes the "hewing" action of opponents: “Before I was afflicted, I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. ... The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart. ... It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Psalm 119:67-71).

This testimony has certainly been true in my own life and ministry. The most powerful truths presented in the Basic Seminar have been "hewn out" by critics. They have motivated me to study the Scriptures more intently to clarify and refine what I teach.

The Basic Seminar itself was the result of hewers who were associated with the first youth ministry I directed. The Board fired me, with the challenge to prove the effectiveness of the Biblical principles I had been teaching young people. The promise expressed by the Apostle Peter has become a reality for me:

“... After that ye have suffered a while [the God of all grace] make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you" (I Peter 5:10).

One reason God commands us to love our enemies and bless those who curse us is that He has higher purposes for them than simply making our lives miserable. He wants us to cooperate with Him in the process of developing maturity in our lives. The command does not apply only to conflict from "outsiders," but also from those in our own families who "chip away" at us on a daily basis.

Let's purpose now to welcome those who react to us, not as intruders into our lives, but as hewers sent by God to assist Him in improving our character and conforming us into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you ...” (Matthew 5:44).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard