I was taught quite early on that it was wrong for me to seek to avenge myself for real or imaginary wrongs. It was even more unacceptable to succeed in that art form. After one such success, I was compelled to write “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord” 1,000 times in an attempt to curb my robust carnality.
What if we flipped the verse around? Instead of focusing on the fact that it is NOT ours, what happens when we focus on God as the One Who DOES Avenge Himself?
Ponder how unambiguous Scripture is on this point.
“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 NIV
“Rejoice, O nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.” Deuteronomy 32:43 NIV
“The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies.” Nahum 1:2 NIV
“For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’, . . . ” Hebrews 10:30 NIV
I find it odd that the Western church broadly has no theology of vengeance. It is not part of most people’s prayer life. Yet David the Mercy had no particular hang-ups on the topic!
“O LORD, the God who avenges, O God who avenges, shine forth. Rise up, O Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve. How long will the wicked, O LORD, how long will the wicked be jubilant?” Psalm 94:1 – 3 NIV
Whether you care to indulge in asking God for vengeance is secondary. We should at least acknowledge that facet of His nature and worship Him when He chooses to walk in that.
We see that so clearly in the Exodus.
God was crystal clear in Moses’ first demand to Pharaoh. Talk about complying with “full disclosure laws.” Moses was impeccable!
Then say to Pharaoh, “This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son, and I told you, ‘Let my son go, so he may worship me.’ But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.” Exodus 4:22-23 NIV
And God did. He walked in vengeance. Tit for tat.
Join me in celebrating other occasions where God avenged Himself on His enemies.
Copyright November 2015 by Arthur Burk
From Centurion, Guateng, South Africa, where I am recovering from jet lag, which is why this is one day late being released!