The Dangers of Vengeance

May 5, 2012, 1:36 AM |

You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am theLord.

Leviticus 19:17-18

 Vengeance, I think is a topic that is rarely spoken of or even taught about at church. I'm not sure why that is. There are a lot of topics that are rarely taught on just because of the fact that there are so many important ones to teach on.

We all have an innate “feeling” in us that urges us to “get back” and “get revenge” on others because of “all” that they have done to us to “deserve” it.


Genesis 4:15a says, And the LORD said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.”

What stands out to you in this passage? Is it God's power? Or maybe His promise to protect Cain? To me, the fact that the LORD would take time enough to answer Cain's worries about his own safety and to place a mark on him to show that He was God's is amazing. To be punished sevenfold? That is a lot. None of us could stand having God's vengeance placed on us sevenfold. Also, notice that God is the one who takes care of the vengeance. He is the one who gives it and not Cain.


Numbers 31:3
So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm some of yourselves for war, and let them go against the Midianites to take vengeance for the LORD on Midian.

The interesting thing that I noticed here is that Israel was instructed by God to take vengeance for Himself. So, God was using them to punish Midian while at the same time Israel was not punishing them for their own sake because they wanted to “get back” at them, but because they were commissioned to do it for the Lord and in His name that His power should be known that it was with Israel.


Dueteronomy 32:35a

Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; Their foot shall slip in due time...

Dueteronomy 32:41b

I will render vengeance to My enemies, And repay those who hate Me.

When God is executing vengeance on someone, you can be sure that they will end up less proud or even may perish by the power of God. Let us be the more earnest to give all glory to God, to remind ourselves through scripture that vengeance IS the Lord's and that He will take care of it better than you could (especially if you were angry when you tried to “punish” them).


Deuteronomy 32:43
Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, And render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”

I think it's a pretty good feeling that we can have when we read that God will provide atonement for His land and His people. That is His elect He is talking about. We are atoned for. God takes vengeance for us against our and His adversaries because anyone who is against us when we are promoting God through our lifestyle is actually against God because they oppose the path of righteousness which God commands us to live on.


Judges 16:28
Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, “O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!”

I thought that this verse was very interesting. There is an underlying, very important point. Samson prays this when he is chained to the pillars of the temple where the Philistines worshiped their god. Notice how he prays that he may have vengeance on the Philistines because of the loss of his eyes. He doesn't pray that God would have vengeance for him toward them, but he is asking God that he may take vengeance for himself. In the other verses, we noticed that God was the one that was taking revenge for Himself or for His people, Israel. The key thing I see here is that Samson knows his mistake and recognizes his punishment, but he is also showing that he knows that God is in control of vengeance. You know the rest of the story, how God answers Samson's prayer and gives him strength so that he pushes the pillars of the temple down and many ungodly Philistines are killed along with Samson. He used his last breath to do God's will because God allowed new strength to come to him.


Give your heart to God. Let Him take control of all of you especially when you want to return evil for evil. God knows all and sees all of what you are going through. So, be patient. Pray that God will help you bear it and give the rest to Him. He is more than capable of taking care of it.