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Posts Tagged ‘vengeance is mine’

“Break the arms of these wicked, evil people! Go after them until the last one is destroyed. The Lord is king forever and ever! The godless nations will vanish from the land. Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.”(Psalm 10:15-18)

This Psalm is King David’s and it is essentially a prayer. Does it seem harsh to you? That’s because it is harsh, so it deserves an explanation.

First, keep in my mind that God has told us that vengeance is His, not ours, but He is not saying we can seek justice through our legal system when we are wronged. The vengeance being spoken of (and implied in David’s Psalm) is as severe as it can get and the type of punishment only God is able to dispense. It is also eternal.

Second, we don’t know who is deserving of this kind of punishment. We think we know, but only God knows. For example, we look at Hitler and think, “Surely he should go to hell,” but the truth be told we ALL should go to hell; Hitler could have ‘sincerely’ repented and came to believe in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, just as we did. Let us not waste our time in pondering that that was highly unlikely. Accept these 2 facts: we do not know and Jesus does know. Consider the Apostle Paul. The guy was a mini-Hitler. Instead of Jews, he exterminated Christians, but yet he saw the light and repented. Aren’t you glad that some vengeance-minded posse didn’t take him out?

I am.

King David’s prayer reflects his understanding of God’s sovereignty in this regard. And since we cannot inflict our own sort of revenge, and since we don’t know who will be damned (by God) and who will not, our call is to love our enemies, that is to say to love them enough to share the Gospel message with them, wearing our faith and ambassadorship on our sleeves. We surely don’t condone evil behavior, but if given the opportunity (by the Holy Spirit, mind you) we attempt to side-step evil to reach the soul of the one doling it out.

In summary:

1) If you’re wronged, try to settle it in a Biblical manner. If you don’t know what that is, ask your pastor or google it.
2) Protect yourself and others as the law permits.
3) Call the police, a lawyer, etc. if necessary.
4) Vengeance is God’s. Don’t go there. Pray has David did.

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“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” (Romans 13:1)

As per chapter 13 of the Book of Romans, God appoints governing authorities for a specific purpose. Here it is: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” (Romans 13:3-4)

But if you do evil, be afraid

In theory, those who are appointed by God to these authoritative positions, be they police officers or Presidents of the United States, are Obama Face Palm-240x180to be ministers of God’s goodness, but this is not their only calling. They are also avengers (those who take vengeance), called to execute wrath (strong and fierce punishment) on those who do evil, for the sake of God’s righteousness and for those who abide by His laws. Never should they condone evil practices or suggest that those who long for justice are ignorantly riding their horses highly.

But Wait!

Didn’t God say, “Vengeance is Mine!” Is there not coming a day when God will pour out His wrath on an unrepentant world?

Yes, these things are true, but clearly, as the Romans 13 text demonstrates, God does not expect (or require) that the law-abiding world stand idly by while satanic-driven terrorism floods our streets. Prior to proclaiming [that] vengeance belongs to God, the Scripture maintains that whenever possible we’re to live peaceably with all men and to not exact punishment ourselves – God has appointed governments to exact certain punishments. The ultimate vengeance that belongs to God alone concludes with condemnation. Men and governments have no such authority, but neither must we wait to douse the fires of those who desire to set us ablaze. We are free to eliminate them and then trust God to judge them and us accordingly.

Meanwhile…

With God’s help, we’re to love and pray for those folks who do evil, remembering that Jesus took their sins to the cross, as well as ours. If they’re not aware of that Good News, then it’s our duty to tell them, if and when God affords us the opportunity to do so.

Hold Them Accountable

Don’t be fooled into believing that our only option is to be found in the voting booth. In America, the authorities that govern us (appointed by God) have also provided us many liberties. Let us boldly utilize them, while never forgetting to pray for the leadership of this country and also how God would use us.

Frankly, our leadership is not effectively doing the job God appointed them to do. The Romans passage quoted above tells us that ‘if you do evil,’ you should be afraid of the governing authorities. When I look around the world today, I don’t believe anyone looks at our president with fear. Based on his words and actions they may in fact see him as an ally or a sympathizer. This should not be and it’s okay to say so.

In this light, it’s okay to vocalize our concerns and to pray for these problems to be rectified. All of this certainly, and yes Biblically, falls into the category of submission to authority. So pray for salvation for those who may need it and also for Holy Spirit revival for those who need that. Pray for obedient boldness for those [who] God may be calling to leadership positions and that others may step down for their failure to uphold the tenets of their offices.

Hope

Our ultimate hope is in Jesus Christ, but let us also be good stewards of the goods and governments He has provided. Let no one neglect them as they wait for Christ’s return.

“Jesus taught peace, love and forgiveness. He came to give His life for the sins of mankind, not to take life. Muhammad on the contrary was a warrior and killed many innocent people. True followers of Christ emulate Christ — true followers of Muhammad emulate Muhammad.”

Franklin Graham

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