Thursday, March 22, 2012

What Does The Bible Say About Revenge Proverbs 20:22

God Loves You

There are times in our life when others do some really mean hateful thing to us and we are deeply hurt.  We would like to get back and settle the score.  The feelings that drive us to revenge are powerful and strong, their destructive nature are like a cancer that consume us and their bile can destroy those around us.

"Do not say, 'I'll pay you back for this wrong!' Wait for the Lord and he will deliver you."Proverbs 20:22 NIV.

A COMMAND
The Bible responds with a "Do not..." statement, not just a word of teaching or advice but this verse is worded with the strength of a command.

HOW TO START
We need to stifle the thoughts of revenge early and quickly; we should not even speak about it.  When thoughts of revenge come we should redirect them to thoughts of waiting on the Lord.

WAIT
The teaching to wait comes up often in scripture.  There are many reasons why:
     * To wait without giving in or compromise is a statement of faith.
     * To wait reaffirms the lordship of God over us and our situation.
     * To wait is a testimony seen by men and angels that we believe in the promises of God and His commitment to us.

We wait, not for time to heal, or for some opportunity, or wait for the sake of waiting, we are to wait for The Lord. We wait on purpose for the one who created all things by His mighty power and who has power to change all things, the one who rules the universe and will judge the hearts of all men. We wait with a focus on the Lord and not our grievances.

GOD'S PROMISE
This verse ends with a conditional promise.  The condition is not to act on our desire for revenge but to wait for the Lord instead.  The promise is that he will deliver.  That the Lord will make things right, it may be that the Lord deliver us from our enemies, or the situation or from ourselves and our bitterness.

DELIVERANCE
As much as we need to be delivered from our enemies we also need deliverance from our desire for revenge. Though God is a just God He may be more interested in changing our natures than balancing justice.  He allows circumstances in our lives to give us the challenges we need to grow. He may deliver us from ourselves and not our oppressors, that may be the greater deliverance.

A prayer:
Lord I feel wronged and victimized.
I feel I do not deserve this.
I have an idea of justice,
Forgive me my anger
And my bitterness.
Waiting is hard Lord.
I want to see action now,
And change right away.
Please fill me with your Spirit
That we may be in accord
And accept your deliverance.
Let your divine will be done;
If it is to make right this wrong
Then I thank you,
If it is to make me a better person
May it be one in the image of Jesus
Who though he knew no sin
Died in the place of sinners.
As in all things let you will be done.

Post Script;
To learn more about what the Bible teaches about how to get saved follow this link: Jesus and Salvation


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