Skip to main content

Why Does God Forbid Humans to Enact Vengeance for Offenses Done Against Them?

I had my thoughts in the past of, "I've been insulted, I've been cheated, I've been (insert offense) by for the nth time and that's it, no more.  I've done with it!  I won't until 70 x 7!  You're going down!"  Isn't that often how you feel when you've been wronged far too many times?  It sure does.  In fact, forgiveness can be mistaken as condoning wrong and negating justice while revenge can be mistaken as punishing wrongdoings and enforcing justice.  However quite the contrary, you will see why vengeance is not justice.  Also take note that forgiving is NOT condoning wrongdoings.

A picture of this is that a teacher may punish a student for cheating the exam not for her own personal reasons but to enforce justice.  However he has forgiven the student in the sense that he doesn't hold it against him personally.  By executing justice, he does not negate forgiveness.  Rather he enforces it and teaches the student the need for it.  That's what God does whenever He enforces His Law.

While trying to justify revenge, just anyone and I mean anyone could mistakenly appeal to Old Testament law without even realizing what Exodus 21:24-25 was and it was HORRIBLY perverted by the Pharisees for personal vengeance rather than limiting offenses or giving just punishment.  In fact Old Testament law taught forgiveness and compassion.  Leviticus 19:18 is clear saying, "Thou shalt not avenge nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself for I am the LORD."  

 Now here are reasons why God forbids revenge: 

1.) Vengeance is His to start with, not ours.

Deuteronomy 32:35 is clear, "To Me belongeth vengeance and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste." which Paul quotes in Romans 12:19.  God's justice is holy, it is not our right for revenge.  Understanding God's holiness vs. ours- we are in no position for revenge because we are but dirty rotten sinners.  Christians though sanctified and given new lives, are only holy by imputation and sanctification, not by their own inherent selves for they are but sinners saved by grace from living sinfully to living holy.

God has His timetable to punish people for their sins no matter how small.  I could remember how much I was once bullied by some people who thought they were somebody in society or worse, by some one who believed he was on the top.  The next thing I knew, he was already indebted with millions of pesos and with his hypocrisy unmasked, he really had to suffer for all he did to everyone he wronged.

Again, God's vengeance will hit in due time no matter how long it may be.  God delays vengeance for a reason so grace will come, but His grace is not infinite to the lost sinner, every lost sinner has a time bomb ticking on them for even much bigger judgment.  Some people I've known who were living wickedly eventually have died really horrible, disappointing deaths while the righteous though they may even die early, die peacefully like my fellow church member who left the Earth peacefully while a lost sinner cringed, hoping to survive so he can still do more wickedness.  

2.) More often than we hate to admit, personal revenge ACTUALLY violates the eye for eye principle more than it does enforce it.

How can I say that?  I could remember how I hated somebody for insulting me for WRONGFULLY calling me a homosexual because I do not conform to his chauvinistic ways or told me I am stupid because I made a mistake.  What I did was as I hate to admit it, I really pointed a sharp object at him and threatened to MURDER HIM for that offense.  In another case, punched the person really hard until she cried and I continued to torment her with angry words, even afflicted her with more slaps and wrung her neck out of anger for one single incident of a teasing- even I told the teacher after being scolded I was seeking for justice and realized that I wasn't being just, I was being petty instead towards the offender with my violent behavior.

Now that really is an insult for life?  Seriously, have I become more important than God I could demand for that person's death or am I anybody holy and special that to insult me means I have the right to demand for death?  If we are to consider it, it definitely is disproportionate punishment.  Not every offense is punishable by death- you don't stone a person for insulting another, you stone them for blaspheming the Name of our LORD in the Old Testament Law.  In the New Testament law, capital punishment was reserved for heavy sins.  The death penalty was reserved only for the most horrendous criminals like Athaliah who massacred her own family to stay in power.

Think about how foolishly Samson did against the Philistines when he let revenge blind him.  Even if you may escape the manmade laws, God's Law cannot be escaped when you inflict revenge.  In fact, talk about the person who made a fool out of himself by inflicting public injury to a person who wronged him when they were just in elementary.  Truth is, like when I met my enemy, I forgave him, yes but I decided not to fellowship with bad influence... that's how forgiveness works.

3.) Seeking revenge is an unhealthy habit.

The Bible is clear about that in Hebrews 12:15 saying, "Looking diligently lest any man faill of the grace of God lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you and thereby many be defiled."  Matthew 18:35 says, "So likewise shall My Heavenly Father do also unto you if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."  The story of the unforgiving servant may picture the false convert, or two, the sad fact that unforgiveness may remain in Christians due to the flesh.

When I became a new Christian, I had a hard time forgiving (because of the flesh) but eventually I gradually began forgiving people of their faults while being careful not to fellowship with sinners in the process by God's grace.  In instances I refused to forgive, God had placed his chastising hand against me because I would not forgive the unbeliever who wronged me.  What clearly happened was that, God was showing me the consequences of things.  My grades went low, my self-esteem went low, I would not listen to rebuke, even I antagonized my friends because they were telling me to let the incident go and leaving it to God's hands or that I should not take the Law into my hands.  People who seek revenge will normally acquire ill thoughts.  

4.) Nobody really deserves forgiveness.

If we are to talk about it, Christians are forgiven sinners.  All people deserve if God was only justice, no mercy- EVERYBODY deserves Hell.  Romans 3:10-19 is clear that all men are guilty before God.  James 2:10-11 is clear that it only takes ONE SIN for a man to break the entire Law.  Nobody has to be as wicked as Cain or Nimrod in order to go to Hell.  Adam and Eve only needed ONE SIN to be cast out of Eden yet God promised them a Savior (Genesis 3).  Does anybody deserve mercy?  No.  In fact, if that is the case then Christians who are forgiven ought not to seek revenge.

Popular posts from this blog

Who Will You Believe: Pope Francis or the Bible?

Here's a cartoon of how tragic the afterlife for Roman Catholics would be when they realize that they needed a real, personal relationship with Christ to enter into Heaven. As I grew up as a Roman Catholic I didn't really care about the Bible. I even hear some Roman Catholics are told to never read the Bible for themselves because not everyone should be allowed to read it. The priest often says that reading the Bible alone will confuse you so you need their extrabiblical doctrine. Worse, they are confusing Sola Scriptura with Solo Scriptura. Born again Christians have their tradition but it's dictated by the Bible as a guiding principle to one's lifestyle. It's not that they read only the Bible but rather they have the Bible as their only principle for Christian tradition.

What is this personal relationship? As much as some pastors feel like the term personal Lord and Savior can be dangerous or "personal Savior" may suggest that Jesus is a genie than Lor…

When God Says No, He Means No

When God says no He means no! Do you know why the world is in a mess right now? It's all because Adam and Eve couldn't follow one simple rule that was to never eat of the tree of the fruit of life. I'd like to imagine it that God may have even put an "Off Limits" sign on it. But Satan himself always finds a way to convince people to break the rules.
Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
G…

What Christians Can Learn From Joshua and Caleb's Confidence in Seizing the Promised Land

Being a Christian means you can be stuck in a pickle. Today's lesson will be from Numbers 13-14 which talks about the twelve spies to the Land of Canaan. I think any Christian leader going into much trouble today may find this as both a source of vexation and encouragement at the same time. It's a source of vexation because there are so many people like the rebellious Israelites in the wilderness. It's a source of encouragement because it's a reminder that God is still in charge.

The story of Numbers 13 talks about the spying. We see one member of each of the tribes that were given a political inheritance were there. We can see their names are as follows:
Numbers 13:4-13 And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur. Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori. Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph. 8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun. Of the tribe of Benjamin…

Drunk Driving is Dangerous to Society

Consider this picture of a drunk driving incident. This is the car that the late Princess Diana Spencer, the late Dodi Al Fayed and the late Henri Paul (the driver) were using before their tragic demise. What was also interesting to note is that their driver had high dosages of alcohol prior to this gruesome incident. I don't want to talk about the conspiracy side of things but the whole ugly picture that drunk driving kills. But even after this incident and many similar ones before it is that many people still do it even if the consequences are clear as day.

The Bible warns that being a drunkard is one of the marks of an unsaved person:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 
Those who argue that …

Modernization is Not an Excuse to Dismiss Badly Needed Old-Fashioned Revivals

I remembered reading through Jeremiah can be a chore because the events of that book continue to repeat itself. At the same time, reading through Jeremiah can be a comfort because the prophet chose to stand by God's command even if he momentarily stopped preaching (Jeremiah 20:5). One verse that is used to call for old fashioned revivals is Jeremiah 6:16 which says:
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
It's a problem you start calling for old-fashioned revivals and people will call you outdated or a neanderthal. While there's nothing wrong with modern technology but the problem is when people only care if something is modern. While modernization can be used to evangelize but it can also be used to spread the influence of sin. The same printing press that allowed the late Martin Luther to publish Bibles was also u…

The Prosperity Gospel is an Enemy of Cheerful Giving

I remembered having a lecture on the prosperity gospel. One of the worst lies of the prosperity gospel is that giving money or the tithes and offerings to their pastors will turn you into a millionaire, God will spare them from trouble and that they can have the desires of their wicked heart. That's one of the worst heresies I've heard. On the contrary the more faithful you are to God the more you should expect enemy attacks. Some people I know are faithful in giving and their tithes and offerings yet they are not living as billionaires. The motive of giving in the prosperity gospel is to gain the false promise that God wants us happy, healthy and wealthy all the time. That's not cheerful giving isn't it?

If you give money to God in exchange for material blessings then something is pretty wrong. It's a terrible misapplication of Malachi 3:9-10. Do they even know that the blessings where there isn't enough room to receive it isn't all about becoming a billio…

Politically Correct Parenting Raises Spoiled Brats

Politically correct parenting is already the norm of parenting in this fallen world. What most parents don't see is that everyone needs a healthy dose of both Vitamin Yes and Vitamin No. But like anything beneficial in excess or in scarcity too many people have either too much or too little of Vitamin Yes and Vitamin No. While it's not okay to have an overdose of Vitamin No but what's so upsetting is that many people today take the opposite extreme. They aren't giving enough Vitamin No ad are given too much Vitamin Yes. Either way both are overly misguided approaches in parenting.

Is there anything wrong with giving the child what they want? It depends on what the child wants. If a child wants something that's going to honor God (ex. They want their own copy of the Bible that they can read for themselves) then the parent should say yes if what the child wants is God honoring. But if the child only wants to be like the secular children with all their nice stuff the…