“But to do good and to communicate forget not:
for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Heb. 13:16).

We might also read this phrase as doing good by sharing.  There are numerous ways of doing good (Matt. 25:35-40; Luke 6:35-36; 1 Thess. 5:15; Heb. 13:1-2; Gal. 6:6), but sharing what we have is one of the ways God specifically tells us to do good (Eph. 4:28).  The phrase to communicate means to impart or give to others; that is, to share with them what we have (1 Tim. 6:18). The Greek word means having in common with others. In other words, they were to show liberality to those who were in need, and were to take special pains not to forget this duty. We are prone to think constantly of our own interests, and there is great danger of forgetting the duty which we owe to the poor and the needy. We might also consider the admonition in 2 Cor. 9:12-13 and in Gal. 6:10, which tells what our priorities are to be in giving.

Finally, we know that God is pleased with the sacrifices of prayer and of praise; with the offerings of a broken and a contrite heart: but he is especially pleased with the religion which leads us to do good to others (2 Thess. 3:13; Luke 18:22; Rom. 12:13). This was the work of Jesus (Acts 10:38); and to this work all true religion points (Acts 9:36). The word “sacrifices” here is not taken in a strict sense of what is offered as an expiation for sin, or in the sense that we are by doing good to attempt to make atonement for our transgressions, but in the general sense of an offering made to God. God is pleased with this: 1) because it shows in us a right state of heart (3 John 1:11); 2) because it accords with his own nature. He does good continually, and He is pleased with all who demonstrate the same spirit.

“Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:7-8).


“If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray,
thou shalt surely bring it back to him again” (Exodus 23:4).

The Old Testament Law was given to the Israelites as a nation for their government as well as for their spiritual training.  On the surface it was merely a set of rules regulating the people as they lived among other such nations.

A man like King David might see the principles behind the laws and learn to have the heart of God while others merely observed the outward show and did not discern the justice, judgment and equity cloaked within. 

Having studied the New Testament principles today makes it easier for us to see that much of the Levitical system had to do with a higher standard of living than just legalistic obedience.  Such was the command to do good to their enemies by having compassion on the enemy”™s animal that was in distress.

What New Testament command is there for us today concerning our enemies?  How are we to do them good and why?

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, 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; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?” (Matt 5:43-47).

From this passage, what good works are we to do?  Whether or not we like the idea, we can see that we are to love our enemies.  We are to bless them that curse us and do good to them that hate us.  Then as if that were not hard enough, we are told to pray for them that despitefully use us and persecute us.  Some would say this is impossible for humans to do.

Why should we do this?  We want to be children of the Father (our Heavenly Father), and what is He like?  He makes the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and He sends the rain on the just and on the unjust.

What further reasoning is there for this action?  If we love the ones who love us, what reward is there?  Even the publicans do that much.  If we salute our brethren (and friends), what do we do more than others in the world?  Even the publicans do the same things.  We must reach for a higher standard and learn to treat people like our Heavenly Father treats them.  That truly is a good work.