Do Not Take Revenge

Rom 12:19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord.

This verse is poetic and easy to follow… when one has not experienced vile betrayal and offense, when one has not seen the blatant in-your-face cool and collected lying, when one hasn’t seen viciously wicked actions. But experiences such as those are the times when the rush of adrenalin increases the voltage of vengeful thoughts. Those are the times when this verse matters the most.

“Do not take revenge” is a command, probably because it is among the fight-flight-freeze instincts for animals to fight (back) for survival when attacked. To withhold revenge takes a great power, a supernatural power, the same power available “for us who believe”:

Eph 1:19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms

What is it like to leave room for God’s wrath? It is to give Him the space and time to work both in ourselves and in our attacker: in ourselves to heal us and rid us of the host of destructive feelings and give us the light and peace of the Lord of Hosts; in our attacker in fulfilment of His promise that vengeance is His (Rom 12:19).

Rom 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Through Moses, the law of tooth-for-tooth rule of restitution was given (Lev 24:20). When Jesus came, He taught grace and love.

Matt 5:43 Love for Enemies
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Dear Lord,
We need You. Work in our hearts to nip vengeful thoughts in the bud. Give us a sign of Your goodness, we look to You to be our Defender, Avenger, Healer. You are the God of Justice who gets weary when we doubt this (Mal 2:17)

Breaking Covenant Through Injustice
Mal 2:17 You have wearied the Lord with your words.
“How have we wearied him?” you ask.
By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

Help us to remain in You when Satan uses others’ choices )to give us evil) make us doubt Your goodness. You remain the good, loving God You are yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We praise You and thank You for how You will show Yourself faithful in Jesus’s name amen.

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