Key Passage: Romans 12:14-21
Key Text: Romans 12: 19 – “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God,”
The ways of the world are diametrically opposed to that of the kingdom of God. The world teaches that we should push and shove our way to the top; the bible teaches that the way to the top is by humbling ourselves and serving others. The world teaches that we must avenge and revenge if we are wronged, but the bible teaches the exact opposite.
In today’s simple passage, God instructs us clearly not to avenge ourselves. But we should leave this to God. The way it is said is that one should give place for wrath. The wrath of God comes to those who offend us and we refuse to avenge ourselves upon. Wrath is God’s anger towards the offender.
In 1 Samuel 25, David was offended by a man called Nabal. David was so angry he was about to go and kill Nabal and his entire household, when Abigail met him and told him not to be a fool by avenging himself. David understood exactly what Abigail meant and he relented. Soon afterwards, God struck Nabal with a heart attack and he died.
Quite honestly, it is not ones wish for anyone to come under the wrath of God and we actually pray for those who offend us that God will forgive them and not visit them in his wrath, because it can be quite severe. But the first step to this is to recognise that it is not our business to revenge or avenge ourselves. We must roll all our offences to the Lord and allow Him to defend us.
It is hard not to want to avenge oneself. Something in every one of us wants to fight back and retaliate for ills done against us. Some people just love to revenge and they are proud to be called vindictive. Some leaders are known to be so vindictive that anyone who offends them will not escape their wrath. This is not the way of God or the way of Christ. Jesus prayed that God will forgive those who were insulting Him and crucifying Him on the cross, because they know not what the do.
It is worth reading again today’s passage and let it minister to you.
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. 20 To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
I have heard people say, ‘I can’t let go. I can’t forgive. I have to revenge’. Please understand that you may also be guilty of offending, when you avenge yourself, because you do not know when you may have crossed the line and over avenged yourself. Take the case of a man whose son was killed by a neighbour, and the man goes into the neighbours house and kills the man and his son in vengeance. Who is now guilty of double murder? That is why God says, “Vengeance is mine!”
If you let go and allow God to come to your defence, you would be surprised at how God will avenge and recompense at the same time. So leave this vengeance to God. If you are struggling, ask God for His grace, never to avenge yourself.
Let’s Pray: Father God, I ask you to forgive me for all the times I have tried to avenge myself and revenge for ills done to me. Today, I release all who have offended me into your hands and ask for your mercy in dealing with them. Father, it is not my right to avenge myself, it is yours. Give me the grace to never avenge myself again. Thank you for helping me in this matter in Jesus name I pray. Amen.