Revenge. Just that word conjures up a positive vibe for most of us. Time to get even, time to see that justice is done! How many books and movies have been written over the years about the subject of revenge. One of my favorite Western movies is one called, “Nevada Smith.” The plot of the movie starts with the main character’s parents being killed by 3 men. So “Nevada” starts out on a quest to find these men and, one by one, exact justice. He kills the first 2 men and then finally tracks down the 3rd. He wounds this killer several times in the leg but refuses to kill him despite the man yelling, “finish me!”. Yes, justice is served!
Well, not exactly. Romans 12:19 says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Did you take notice to Paul’s words? “Avenge not yourselves.” In other words, don’t take revenge. Wow, doesn’t that fly in the face of what our sinful nature wants to do? How many times have kids gotten in trouble for doing something and their response was, “well he/she did this to me.” And it’s not only kids, how many adults have essentially said the same thing? For that matter, how many times have we been guilty of this. Or, if we are “spiritual” enough not to do or say anything, have we imagined or even dreamed of an opportunity to exact revenge?
The rest of the verse explains that revenge is simply not our role or responsibility. Why? It’s God’s. And that revenge/justice may very well not happen in the time frame we would hope or even in this life at all. But it will come in God’s time. May we not be one that looks to exact the revenge we feel is due but to instead be a gracious people and allow God to take of the rest. After all, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.”