7 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Judges 4:1–5:31
Luke 22:35-53
Psalm 94:1-23
Proverbs 14:3-4

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Psalm 94:1-3 (CSB): “LORD, God of vengeance — God of vengeance, shine! Rise up, Judge of the earth; repay the proud what they deserve. LORD, how long will the wicked — how long will the wicked celebrate?”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Many in current Christendom do not believe that it is ever appropriate to find satisfaction in the fact that God is going to judge those who have hurt us or hurt a loved one. I didn’t say “find happiness.” I said “find satisfaction.”

The Bible makes it clear that is wrong to rejoice when someone who has wronged us experiences misfortune:

Proverbs 24:17-18 (CSB): “Don’t gloat when your enemy falls, and don’t let your heart rejoice when he stumbles, or the LORD will see, be displeased, and turn his wrath away from him.”

So, we cannot be happy when bad things happen to someone who wronged us.

But, is it wrong to find satisfaction that God will bring justice upon them? Is it wrong to find comfort in knowing that there is a God in Heaven who notices injustices and will take care of it?

Can we pray the following prayer?

Psalm 94:1-3 (CSB): “LORD, God of vengeance — God of vengeance, shine! Rise up, Judge of the earth; repay the proud what they deserve. LORD, how long will the wicked — how long will the wicked celebrate?”

As I have studied God’s Word, I absolutely believe that we can pray these words as long as our heart is right with God.

“Really?” you may ask. “Where in the New Testament are we allowed to pray and think such things?”

I’m glad you asked!

Listen to the Apostle Paul as he wrote to his protege, Timothy.

2 Timothy 4:14-15 (CSB): “Alexander the coppersmith did great harm to me. The Lord will repay him according to his works. Watch out for him yourself because he strongly opposed our words.”

A man named Alexander had done something really bad to the Apostle Paul. We aren’t sure what it is. But, Paul found satisfaction in knowing that God was going to make things right one day.

Since Paul had this conviction, he was free to let the matter go. He wasn’t dwelling on it. He didn’t stay angry. He was able to let it go because he knew God was going to bring justice upon Alexander.

Now, let’s go to the letter that we call “Romans.” Listen as the Apostle Paul encourages them to refuse to retaliate against those who had wronged them but to rest in the fact that God would deal with it.

Romans 12:19 (CSB): “Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.”

Paul, led by God’s Holy Spirit to write those words, essentially told us not to get in the way of God’s justice. If we take revenge on someone who wronged us, two things happen: 1) we have sinned, and 2) God will not bring justice upon them.

So, we are encouraged to step out of the way and let God bring justice upon those who have wronged us, in His own time and in His own way.

Now, friend, notice this. When we read Romans 12:19, we are told to step out of the way and let God deal with the person who has wronged us. But, when we read the very next verses, we come to realize that comforting ourselves in the fact that God noticed the injustice and will make things right frees us to be kind to those who have wronged us.

Romans 12:20-21 (CSB): “But ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.’ Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.”

Friend, if you try to love those who have hurt you, you simply won’t be able to do it. You need to rely upon Jesus to love them in and through you. But, the mindset of truly loving one’s enemies is also only possible when we realize that injustice does not go unnoticed with God. He sees and He will make things right. Knowing this, we can exercise “agape” love to our enemies.

You see, friend, we are called to love others. But, when we get into our Bibles, we also realize that our God is a God of justice. When others wrong us, it doesn’t go unnoticed. While it is biblical to desire for God to bring about justice, it is wrong for us to harbor feelings of anger at the injustice. Why? Because anger will ferment in our hearts and turn into bitterness. So, find comfort in the fact that God took notice and will make it right. Therefore, you are free to love that person.

One more thing – if someone wrongs you, you can certainly find comfort in knowing that God will make things right. But, since the offense was against you, did you know that you can drop the charges before Heaven’s court?

Remember the verses we just read about Alexander the coppersmith? Remember how the Apostle Paul found comfort in knowing that “the Lord (would) repay him according to his works“? Well, let’s read the very next verse:

2 Timothy 4:16 (CSB): “At my first defense, no one stood by me, but everyone deserted me. May it not be counted against them.”

Well, I’ve given you a lot to think about. I hope this has helped. There are too many angry and bitter Christians. We need to rest in God’s justice that will free us up to love like He has commanded us to while finding satisfaction that He will administer justice in His own way and in His own time.

If you want to read a little further on this topic, you may want to click on the following title, a blog post I wrote  in August 2014 when Americans were watching ISIS soldiers beheading helpless captives: “On loving and killing our enemies.”