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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.

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