Seeking or obsessing about revenge is not good. God doesn’t quite desire you to harbor feelings of resentment, hatred, or retribution. The Lord intends for you to experience abundant compassion, kindness, and reconciliation.
Revenge is a topic discussed in the Scripture. The Bible teaches that vengeance belongs to the Lord and that we should not seek it out for ourselves. In Romans 12:19, Paul urges his readers not to seek vengeance. God should be allowed to display his fury.
What is Revenge?
Vengeance is a concern of the heart, and as people of faith, we may reach a deeper understanding of it by turning to the Word of the Almighty for clarification and guidance in this subject.
To take vengeance, as defined by Dictionary.com, denotes to seek retribution or supplication for a violation on behalf of, particularly with a bitter or spiteful attitude.
The following are some further definitions: to retaliate with action against someone who has wronged you; It is an act of retribution for harm that was thought to have been done; The feeling that one should make amends for a transgression or damage.
What Does The Bible Say About Revenge?
The Bible discusses the topic of revenge extensively. Both the Hebrew and Greek terms for “vengeance,” “revenge,” and “avenge” share the concept of punitive action as their true sense. Knowing this is essential for comprehending why God chooses to hold vengeance for Himself.
Several New Testament passages refer back to the same Old Testament scripture that establishes this fundamental reality. The Lord proclaimed:
“It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them” (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30)
In the above passage, God expresses His displeasure with the stubborn, disobedient, and blasphemous Israelites who had provoked His anger by their sin. He said He would take revenge on sinners in His chosen timely way and for His good reasons.
Both verses from the New Testament emphasize that Christians should not act in a way that undermines God’s rule. Instead, we should allow Him to execute His holy vengeance against His adversaries as He deems appropriate through fair and righteous judgment.
Is There A Point When Revenge Is Justifiable?
God will inevitably deliver judgment for His people. Thus there is rarely a good point to exact vengeance. When mistreated or harmed by others, we may be certain that God will exact justice. If we put our confidence in Him rather than intervene in the matter, which would only make things worse, He will avenge us since He understands all the intricacies.
Believers should embrace their adversaries and leave revenge on the Father, teachings that echo those of Jesus and the disciples who spread the Gospel following his resurrection.
Forgiving His executioners was so important to Jesus that He did it even while dying (Luke 23:34). Even though Jesus had every opportunity to seek vengeance, He instead chose to show mercy and compassion. When we have been wronged, we may take a cue from Jesus and act in a way that brings glory to God.
Revenge Belongs To The Lord
“The Lord is a God who avenges. O God who avenges, shine forth. Rise up, Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve” (Psalm 94:1-2).
When we say, “Revenge belongs to the Lord,” we are saying that we, as humans, have no business taking revenge and meting out our brand of punishment for crime. God has the authority to remedy wrongs and will do so by meting out vengeance.
The Lord is the only just judge. God determines every act of vengeance. In cases of wrongdoing, only God, who is omniscient and almighty, can bring both restitution and fair revenge.
Scripture often instructs readers to let the Lord take care of their vengeance instead of taking matters into their own hands. He is an excellent and compassionate adjudicator who vows to care for His children in every manner because He cherishes them.
Since it is God’s responsibility to exact vengeance for the wrongs committed against His followers, Christians are urged to trust Him rather than seek revenge for themselves.
Has God Ever Delegated Revenge To Humankind?
God only authorizes vengeance in His honor twice in the Bible.
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered with your people’” (Numbers 31:1-2).
One example is when Midianites committed unspeakable acts of brutality on the Israelites. God’s wrath against the Midianites was at its maximum, and He commanded Moses to lead the Israelites in a holy battle against them. But Moses wasn’t an autonomous actor; rather, he served as God’s instrument to carry out His perfect plan.
Secondly, Christians should be subject to the authorities the Lord has instituted since these authorities carry out God’s “vengeance on evildoers.” Like Moses, these kings and queens are forbidden to lean on their understanding and take matters into their own hands but must execute God’s decrees about the chastisement of the sinful.
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.” (1 Peter 2:13-14)
Doesn’t The Proverb “An Eye For An Eye” Go Against This?
The next verses from Exodus include the Mosaic Law that The Lord gave to Israel via Moses.
“But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” (Exodus 21:23-25)
This law dealt with the punishment meant for those who cruelly harm their fellow citizens. The Lord established the law to ensure that the penalty meted out was neither too mild nor too severe. The Jewish people had corrupted this Mosaic rule to rationalize vengeance by the point Jesus was born into the world.
During His time on earth, Jesus delivered a bold teaching that His believers must renounce that kind of vindictive pseudo-justice, using a verse from the Book of Exodus regarding retribution in the iconic Sermon on the Mount. However, he added: “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to the other cheek also. (Matthew 5:39)
The juxtaposition of these two texts might be seen as in conflict. In light of the greater perspective, it seems obvious that Jesus addressed the major problem whenever He told His disciples not to get back with those who wronged them.
God’s Vengeance Is Far More Effective and Righteous
You may believe you can exact justice on your adversary, but the Heavenly Father can accomplish a considerably superior deed. God’s vengeance for our wrongs is far superior to any punishment we could devise for our wrongdoers.
Our opponents get no more or less than they deserve in God’s eyes. Furthermore, he is aware of the correct course of action we must take if our opponents are persuaded to abandon their evil ways. David gave his adversaries up to God in several Psalms: “The Lord is a God who avenges. O God who avenges, shine forth.” (Psalm 94:1). Instead of seeking personal vengeance, we need to follow suit.
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