Vengeance is Mine | Trusting God to handle wrongdoings

When someone has hurt you, is it right to hurt them back? When we are in the midst of enduring pain and suffering at the hands of someone else, do we take vengeance into our own hands or do we give it to God? What does God mean by 'Vengeance is Mine'? 🤔Let’s discuss!

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We have all been there, someone has wronged us and left us to deal with the hurt, the pain, and the collateral damage .. potentially even long-lasting consequences. There may be a group of people at work or at school or even in the family that has a constant and persistent way of causing you harm.

What do we do when we are wronged? The world has a concept of an eye for an eye, that revenge is sweet. We are surrounded by all sorts of examples of human behavior that we see play itself out on the news, streaming entertainment, and in movie theaters.

The popular and even correct thing in today’s culture seems to be to hurt someone back who has hurt you.

Society says that revenge is normal and perfectly fair to do, but what does God say? 

To many, what God says about revenge will seem reprehensible. To many, we live in a world where we must take things into our own hands. When we are far from God, this is all we know. We must fend for ourselves in the world and that includes how we interact with others who mistreat us.

I talk a little bit about this in a previous message titled “How to be a light to the world: Do no harm” In that message, I tell you a story in my life about how I was mistreated in the workplace very badly.  I invite you to check out that message if you have not already done so.  

The instinct in me at the time was to return the pain to the individual that was inflicting pain upon me.  I was being yelled at in a very condescending way.  My integrity was assaulted, and accusations were made about my experience. I wanted to yell back in a condescending way, attacking the individual’s integrity and making accusations about their experience.

This desired reaction came from a combination of my upbringing,  influences from my social life, and exposure to the culture of our world. Perhaps, if I was not walking with God at the time, the outcome of that situation would have been very different and potentially with far more harmful consequences for everyone involved. What I did however at that moment was remember that God was with me. Even though I was being mistreated, God was aware of the situation and would handle it. I may not know how He would handle it or when He would handle it or who would be involved or affected but I knew as I was being yelled at in my face that God would handle it. So I did what I know God would have me do which was give the entire situation to Him.

So now let’s turn it back to you. Is there someone that has hurt you in your past and you are still dealing with the consequences today? There could be emotional consequences, financial consequences, or even both. 

Is there a situation that is happening right now in your life where a person or people are mistreating you and the mistreatment is clear and present? Are you are tempted to lash back or strike back in a way that reflects the pain that is growing in you?

I am here to tell you that we need not take things into our own hands to avenge the wrongs that are done to us.

When it comes to vengeance and even justice for a situation that is out of our hands, we can go to God.

Vengeance is mine saith the Lord

So what does God mean by “Vengeance is mine”? We must understand that despite how things might appear to our eyes and ears, God knows so much more about the circumstances you are in than you ever could or ever will.

When God says that vengeance is His, it means that He will handle it. He will handle ensuring that justice is served to the individual or individuals who are persecuting you. It means that He will repay the individual or individuals for the wrongs that have been done or are being done to you.  God will decide the appropriate response that is necessary for there to be justice. 

As I have done in many messages I’d like to actually show you examples of how this has been explained to us in the Bible. Let’s look at a few scriptures to see what God says about vengeance. The following examples are taken from the Amplified Bible.

Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
Wait [expectantly] for the Lord,
and He will rescue and save you.

Proverbs 20:22

In this scripture, we learn that we should not contemplate a return of evil for evil deeds done to us. We should wait – expectantly – for God to come to our rescue.  I’d like to dial in on something with this scripture.  It does not necessarily mean that all suffering will stop, what it means is that God will intervene in a way that He knows best for all parties involved – even if the justice served is not immediately noticeable to you.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way
open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness];
for it is written [in Scripture],
“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

Romans 12:19

Again, we see the same theme in this scripture.  The message is loud and clear. Do not take vengeance into your own hands.  We will not fully escape those who seek to do evil to us.  When that evil is done do not repay evil with more evil. Give it to God. God knows what you have endured, are enduring, and even what you will continue to endure for His sake. Know that God is with you wherever you go and regardless of the circumstances,  there is nothing that you can do to someone who has wronged you that will repay them in the way that God will repay them. Give it all to God. 

Navigating the path of evil done unto you

So we’ve discussed so far that God will handle justice and it is for Him and Him alone to repay someone for the wrong that has been done to you. So what do we do after we’ve given it to God? After we’ve asked for peace in our hearts to deal with the consequences that have come upon us because of this individual? How do we navigate the path of persistent and constant persecution by one or many that continue to do wrong to us?

Let’s discuss a few ways that we can posture ourselves to navigate these circumstances. 

#1 Love your enemies

That’s right. I said to love your enemies. Just as we have learned that God will repay those who have wronged us, God also gives us guidance on how to handle our enemies. 

Here is an example of what to do as explained in the Bible:

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls and let not your
heart be glad when he stumbles[.]
Proverbs 24:17

As with many topics we have discussed over the months, this is contrary to how the world tells us to act. We live in a world that says we must destroy our enemies at all costs. God says to love your enemy.

Why on Earth would we love our enemies when they have harmed us? Well, let us consider that God loves you despite all of your past mistakes and missteps and every mistake and misstep that you will ever do.  God asks us to treat our fellow man with love even if they do evil to us.  It does not mean to not defend yourself against harm. It means to not plot or construct evil plans in response to evil done to you. As I have touched on in past messages, sometimes restraint can be a very powerful move against an enemy.  Restraint, paired with trusting God for justice to be done. 

I am not going to sit here and suggest that this is easy to do. As a matter of fact, it may feel impossible to reconcile how to treat someone with love that has hurt you so badlyhttps://www.traditionrolex.com/3. The good news is that you can ask God for help with this as well. 

Let’s move on to the second way we can navigate the right path when we are wronged.

#2 Ask God for strength

As you seek to take a posture of patience and restraint to inflict revenge upon those who have wronged you, do not feel that you should have the strength in and of yourself to remain calm; to remain patient to allow God to work on the individual or individuals in the way He sees fit in the timing He sees fit.

It is absolutely and completely reasonable (and often necessary) to ask God each day – even each and every hour –  as you are around this individual or individuals for the strength to not react in kind to the bad behavior being afflicted upon you. Ask God to keep you safe. Ask God to keep you strong.  Ask God to help you turn the other cheek.  Ask God for the will to not return evil for evil. 

Here are a couple of examples of how this is mentioned in the Bible:

My soul is weary with sorrow; 
strengthen me according to your word.

Psalm 119:28

He who is slow to anger is better and more honorable
than the mighty [soldier], And he who rules and
controls his own spirit, than he who captures a city.

Proverbs 16:32

Ask God to give you peace of mind and peace in your heart as you walk tall regardless of how people are acting toward you.

Let’s talk about one more thing we can do when we seek to walk with God when we have been wronged.

#3 Ask God for Justice

As we have been discussing through this entire message the other thing we should keep in the front of our minds is to continue to ask God for justice. If you have been wronged and it is in your past and the pain haunts you to this day ask God that justice be done. If the evidence from your point of view and perspective suggests that an individual got away with things that were wrong, ask God for justice.  

You see, no one can escape the arm and eye of God.  No one.

If you are dealing with someone in your current day-to-day life that is treating you in an unjust way or doing things that are unfair to you, ask God for justice each day. Ask God to defend you behind the scenes. Ask God to orchestrate justice for you even if it is unbeknownst to you and out of your sight. God has a way of getting people’s attention for all kinds of things and if you ask God for justice He will see to it that there is justice.

… no one can escape the arm and eye of God.  No one.

One of the most powerful verses I know in the Bible on this subject:

“No weapon that is formed against you will succeed;
And every tongue that rises against you in judgment you will condemn.

This [peace, righteousness, security, and triumph over
opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the
Lord, And this is their vindication from Me,” says
the Lord.”

Isaiah 54:17

I mentioned this earlier and I’d like to touch on it again.  Keep in mind that God’s form of justice may not match your idea of justice, but we must trust that God knows best – whatever the circumstances may be. Trust him with how He chooses to deal with the situation to enact justice according to His will. 

In this message we’ve talked about how to deal with the temptation for vengeance when we have been wronged by someone.  We’ve discussed that any form of vengeance is for God and God alone. That there will be times when evil is done to us but that we can look to God to keep us strong in the midst of adversity and persecution. That we can look to God to give us peace in our hearts. That He can even give us the strength and resolve to love our enemies even as they seek to continue to cause us harm. All of these things can be difficult in our humanness, but with God, we can accomplish all things. No one, not even our enemies will escape the eye or the arm of God. 

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