In my Bible Study Group we’re reading the Book of Ezekiel. As I was praying on what to write this week, the verse in Ezekiel 5:13 caught my attention. I’ll let you grab your Bible and read it for yourself, but this verse struck me when God said “Then my anger will cease and my wrath against them will subside, and I will be avenged…I immediately thought — Wow, God will avenge himself. Isn’t this what he says to us in Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: It’s mine to avenge, I will repay,” says the Lord. It may be hard to remember when someone wrongs us that the sin is committed against God and not us, but it is for Him to avenge and not us.
How many of us wait on the Lord for this? This is a no judgement zone. Only you know deep down, and God, if you’re persecuting someone (e.g., this could be your spouse, coworkers, friends, etc.) for something they have done to you, or are secretly seeking revenge. If you have told someone you forgive them, but are intentionally throwing it in their face or waiting for the opportune time to “get even” with them, then you are doing what God says not to do in Romans 12:19 and that is a sin. Even with this verse, sometimes people feel God is taking too long to avenge on their behalf, or what is seen does not repay enough (meet your expectations) for the pain the person caused you. But are we really capable of making the appropriate decision in this matter?
God is not led by emotions, but humans are at times. James 1:20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. God does not want us to be led by our emotions because He knows how it can lead us down a path of hate that is against what He is – God is Love and full of mercy and grace. We make matters worse when we’re led by the flesh and not God’s Spirit. It’s not that we’re not expected to become angry as believers, as it is written in Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry, yet do not sin.” Do not let the sun set upon your anger, but it is how we address the situation that can cause us to sin. Personally, I try not to let matters fester, because it is there that anger grows and leads me into thinking “stinky” thoughts that do not line up with the Will of God. In the Bible, God says in His Word:
Proverbs 20: 22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you.
Leviticus 19:18 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.
Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Proverbs 24:29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.”
I know I have provided you several scriptures from the Old and New Testament, but God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday as He is today (Hebrews 13:8). Man may change, but God does not. Since He said it yesterday, it still stands true for today. God does not want us taking matters into our own hands. In the beginning, Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:…; therefore, it is God’s Will for us to walk in love, forgive each other as He has been faithful to forgive us when we fall short, and extend grace to one another.
If you are holding something against someone today or plotting revenge, my prayer is that you will turn to God and cast all your cares upon Him. Allow God to heal your broken heart and avenge you at the right time in your situation. I am a witness that He will do it and set your heart free from the pain the person has caused you.
You may or may not see what happens to the person, but try not to focus on that. Just know you have a heavenly Father who loves you more than anyone on this earth, and an advocate by the name of Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us (Romans 8:34). His Word is true and flawless. He will take care of you and the concerns of your heart.
Love flows together, but hatred does not…
Be still and wait on the Lord. Have a blessed remainder of your week in the Lord.
Love you in Christ,
Ayesha L. Shoulders
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