Living Sacrifice 30

This post is Day 30 in a series of studies about “A Living Sacrifice”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.

Feel free to comment below with your own thoughts about each verse and how you will be acting on each thought. Also, if you haven’t yet signed up to receive the notifications of new studies, you can do that today (the form is at the bottom of the page).

A Living Sacrifice – Day 30

Romans 12:20

In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.

The Thought

This sounds like a horrible thing to do to anybody. I can’t imagine wanting to heap burning coals on anyone’s head, even my worst enemy! But this expression and the part we looked at yesterday are a direct quote from Proverbs 25:21-22. So we can suppose that Paul knew the expression from his early days studying the Jewish writings. It was probably a proverb in regular use at that time.

One of the first mention of “burning coals” in the Bible is in Leviticus 16:12 where Aaron was instructed to take burning coals behind the curtain into the “Holy of Holies” to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of his sons.

Another very interesting story of burning coals, once more because of sin in the Israelite camp, can be found in Numbers 16. Both Leviticus and Numbers can be difficult books to read, but have some very interesting facts about the holiness of The Lord, and they help us to realise just how much Jesus has done for us in opening up the way to Him, and to His Father.

Numbers 16 tells us the result of a rebellion in the camp. Korah and his friends were fed up with Moses being the boss, and just unhappy with everything that was happening. They were expecting a promised land and it seemed as though they would never arrive.

They didn’t realise how many lessons they had to learn along the way.

In the context of Romans 12, we understand that forgiving and being friendly to your enemy has the same effect. It leads the other person just a little bit nearer to God whether they realise it or not.


Read Numbers 16 and ask Jesus to help you understand what God thinks about rebellion against Him.

Pray again for your attitude to those who don’t like you or who you find difficult to love.

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