2001-01-08 - Revenge
Hebrews 10:30 "For we know Him who said, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.'"
In Saudi Arabia, a group of baboons hell bent on revenge waited at the side of a mountain road for the driver that had killed one of their own. The primates laid in wait and ambushed the driver on the same mountain road in southwest Saudi Arabia where the baboon had been run down earlier in the week. After spotting the car responsible for the death, one of the apes screamed out a signal to the rest to attack, provoking the frenzied stone throwing. Although the driver was able to escape, the apes reportedly broke the windshield of his car.
Now, I recently read this story on the Internet, and I have never doubted anything I have read on that particular page before, but this one does seem a little far fetched. However, it is a good lead in to my question, do you ever wish you could take revenge? Probably everyone wishes they could take revenge at some time, but I am talking about a constant wishing ill upon someone because of what they have done to you in the past.
It is very easy to wish revenge upon someone. However, in so doing we are really letting that person get the best of us, without them making any effort. In Luke 6:35 we are given a tough task. "Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men." When we desire revenge on someone for what they have done to us, we need to remember this promise, but also remember that Christ did not seek revenge on us for the sins we committed that He paid for with His life.
In fact, in 1 Samuel 25:30-34, we are left the example of David who was about to seek revenge and did not because of the kindness of another. Kindness was what averted revenge. Smothering, with kindness, those who we wish revenge upon, or those who might be seeking revenge upon us, is no easy task. However, there is an example in Scripture that tells us the kindness averts revenge.
This is also the concept in Romans 12:14. "Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not." Who said being a Christian was easy? We are to bless those who persecute us? Can this really be? Well, hard as it sounds, and as easy as it is to wish revenge upon others, we must rise above those carnal thoughts and follow the teachings of Scripture.
Our culture would have us seek revenge in the name of justice, but this is not the way of the Christian. This is also the example Christ left for us in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:38-40. Verse 40 say, "If anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also." There is no doubt that this is not a common practice in the world today, nor is it, I think, among Christians. However, it is the teaching of Scripture. And while faithfulness to these verses might look variously in different people, I think it is one of those characteristics that, while hard to define, is known when it is seen.
Soli Deo Gloria,