To the human condition, vengeance means only one thing: enthusiastically and boldly making right a situation in which you have been wronged (preferably with an audience). Everyone of us has been there. We’ve each experienced deep hurts beyond expectation, and somewhere inside of our limited existence we imagine (and sometimes dream about) what it would look like to make it right; to have the wrongdoing avenged. It is here, in the midst of our limited thinking, where we must rely on God who has a slightly different take on vengeance as we know it. Yes, one day He will avenge all the wrong that has been committed in this world but His words to our anxious souls literally redefine what vengeance is all about; it’s much bigger than us or our situations.
Isaiah wrote: “Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.’ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;” (Isaiah 35:4-6 ESV)
When God sends His vengeance into the world, His creation begins to be made right. However, the theme of his vengeance goes beyond the hurt inflicted by men. His vengeance is on the fallen creation itself and His weapon of choice is Jesus.
“Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.'” (Matthew 11:2-6 ESV)
So, here’s the takeaway in the midst of your hurt from a wrongful situation: trust in Jesus, give it to Him completely, and look for opportunities to get in on His vengeance on the human condition. Pray over children in cancer centers, help feed and clothe the homeless, help support the struggling single mom; the list is endless. Jesus is still changing the world for the good and He wants to use you and me to do it…but we must let go of our desire to be avenged before we can be used by Christ to avenge creation.
Here’s how:”Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:4-9 ESV)
Now go; change the world today; and let God use you to make things right in this world. #healingbeginsnow