June 2, 2015
More than likely all of us are familiar with a portion of Romans 12:19, “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. (emphasis mine)” We know from this that we should not seek revenge on those who have wronged us but rather we should leave it to the Lord to deal with them.
In our Proverbs of the day there are two selections that underscore the truth of Paul’s admonition. The first is 24:17-18. “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.” Not only are we not to seek our own revenge, but neither are we to take pleasure when God brings his discipline upon the one we think has wronged us. God takes no pleasure in punishing and we should reflect the heart of God in forgiveness and love, even for our enemies.
Also, Proverbs 24:28-29 teach basically the same thing Paul said in Romans. “Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips. Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done.” God is the one who repays discipline/punishment for evil, not us. We should have a loving concern for the eternal soul of the one who has wronged us. It’s difficult to share gospel grace with one to whom you are giving revenge.
We should practice love to all, even those who have unjustly dealt with us.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for the times I have taken pleasure in the bad times of those who have hurt me. Forgive me for not showing your heart of compassion and love, even to those who have rejected me. Father, we all have rejected you with our sin, yet you demonstrated your love for us at the cross. Give me your heart of grace and mercy toward all.