Retaliation #2 – I for an Eye
Phil Piasecki | Worship Leader
Have you ever been driving down the road and a car passes you going significantly above the speed limit? I am sure that has happened before, and you have probably had similar thoughts to mine. “Man, I hope that guy gets pulled over.” Then a couple of minutes later, boom! You drive by that person as they are handing their license and registration over to that state trooper. You know that person is getting their due punishment. Anyone going 100 MPH on the freeway deserves a ticket. However, that punishment is not something that is for us to decide. It takes a police officer to hand out that punishment.
In the same way, vengeance and retaliation towards sin is something that is not in our control, but it is God’s responsibility. Romans 12:17-21 says, “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 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.’ 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.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Scripture instructs us that vengeance is not ours to be had. We are not to retaliate with evil when we are sinned against. This is a command that feels so unnatural because our sin nature desires that we get revenge ourselves when we are wronged. Scripture tells us that we should actually meet the needs of our enemies instead of getting revenge. When we take this instruction and apply it to our own families, it hits even closer to home. If my wife does something that upsets me, I have no right to turn around and “pay her back” for what she has done. I am instructed to love her and forgive her. When we think about our relationships, we need to look at the example Christ gives us with the Church. Believers continually sin against God, yet He continues to love and forgive us. We need to apply that same love and forgiveness to those who wrong us in our lives. If a family member has hurt you, you need to love them. If a family member has sinned against you, you need to forgive them. There are people in this world who have done terrible things, and we can trust that God will deal with them in the way that He sees fit. Vengeance is not our job, and I am glad for that. We get the privilege of reflecting Christ’s love to a broken and hurting world. Let us strive to do that better and better each and every day.