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  1. When Vengeance is an Honourable and a God-Honouring Thing - CultureWatch
  2. Christians Should Beware of Vengeful Actions
  3. The Desire for Revenge

If an assailant knew he would suffer in return the equivalent of the pain, injury or suffering he inflicted, he would not, in most cases, inflict the injury. Civil government has as both its right and responsibility the administration of this justice Rom.

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When it fails to do so, as in our nation today, crime is rampant Eccl. The judge who fails to administer such justice neither fears God nor regards man Lk. Furthermore, Moses never intended this principle as a license for personal revenge, but as a guide to judicial equity. The Old Testament specifically forbid the taking of personal vengeance Lev. A final consideration which demonstrates the lack of brutality of the command was the fact that, in practice, except where murder was involved Num.

However, the scribes and Pharisees had used this principle in much the same way most people use it today, to attempt to justify personal vengeance. Since the law of Christ clearly approves the essential and righteous role of civil government as an avenger Rom.

When Vengeance is an Honourable and a God-Honouring Thing - CultureWatch

Must one watch a maniac kill his family and destroy his property, without lifting a finger to resist? Is this an injunction against Christians serving in the armed forces or on a police force? Several years ago I heard brother Bryan Vinson, Sr. A young preacher foolishly jumped brother Vinson in the aisle before other members after services, contending the Lord demands total passivity on the part of Christians. If not, why not? I believe two key rules of Bible study will rescue us from this absurd position.

Since the Scriptures are truth Jn. No New Testament doctrine conflicts with any other. The Gospel instructs by apostolic approved example as well as by precept. There are clear apostolic examples that teach a Christian has the right to take all legal measures at his disposal to protect his rights against the onslaughts of evil-doers, even to the use of the armed power of the state.

When the Romans in Jerusalem threatened to beat Paul without a trial, the great apostle insisted on his rights as a Roman citizen Acts When the radical Jews of that same city bound themselves under a curse to kill Paul, the beloved apostle made use of. When Festus would have sent Paul back to Jerusalem, where the Jews still waited to kill him, again the man of God demanded his citizenship rights and appealed to Caesar Acts In all of these instances, the apostle Paul in all innocence appealed to the armed power of civil government.

Another basic rule of Bible study draws us to the same conclusion. Every statement must be taken in context.

Jesus set a contrast between that which the Jews imagined the law of Moses allowed v. He should do good to the evil-doer and leave vengeance to the Lord Rom. God has at least three means of accomplishing this vengeance.

Romans #24: Avoiding Vengeance

He has authorized the punitive power of civil government, which involves the police officer Rom. God will reap final and complete vengeance in the last judgement of all men Rev. The Master stated four examples to illustrate this principle. Each teaches that we should not seek personal vengeance. Jesus commanded:. Thus, the illustration is simple but demanding. When wicked people heap upon us the lowest and meanest insults, we must not retaliate in kind.

Any loyal Christian has been called all sorts of demeaning names, has endured ostracism and has been the object of vicious lies. One must never angrily turn on such an attacker as a dog on its tormentor. When Jesus was so stricken, he rebuked the offender, but refused to retaliate, although all the forces of heaven were at his behest Jn. He is our perfect example of enduring suffering without retaliation 1 Pet. The Jew would usually possess only one such garment and used it both as a robe by day and a blanket by night Barclay, Ibid.

The law forbade taking this cloak as a pledge. This is a case of judicial injustice. It does teach that, even should one use the courts to persecute us, we should not seek vengeance. Be rather willing to lose that which by right cannot be taken from you than to seek personal vengeance cf. The Master enjoined:. The sense of oppression is involved, subjection to arbitrary military power Expositors Greek Testament.

Christians Should Beware of Vengeful Actions

Palestine was an occupied country. Here it is those Midianites associated with Moab that are picked out for vengeance. Yet, in the right context, vengeance is something good that God is interested in. The Scriptures repeatedly speak of the vengeance of God as a positive thing.

The Desire for Revenge

Evil comes when we take vengeance into our own hands. So, when God-ordained instruments of authority such as government take vengeance on evildoers, we as Christians can be at peace, knowing that good has been done when vengeance has been executed. Afterward you shall be gathered : As it turned out, not immediately afterward, but afterward none the less. A thousand from each tribe of all the tribes of Israel you shall send to the war.

Then Moses sent them to the war, one thousand from each tribe; he sent them to the war with Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, with the holy articles and the signal trumpets in his hand. Balaam the son of Beor they also killed with the sword. And the children of Israel took the women of Midian captive, with their little ones, and took as spoil all their cattle, all their flocks, and all their goods.

They also burned with fire all the cities where they dwelt, and all their forts. And they took all the spoil and all the booty; of man and beast. He sent them to war with Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, with the holy articles and the signal trumpets in his hand : Significantly, the priests went with the nation into this battle, and the priests went with the holy articles.

And they warred against the Midianites : According to the custom of the day, all the males were killed, and the women and children were taken as servants, with all the possessions being taken as spoil. Balaam the son of Beor they also killed with the sword : Balaam, who had masterminded the strategy by which Israel would be seduced into sexual immorality and idolatry, and who did it all for money, was now dead. He was judged by the vengeance of God, and his money did him no good. There is reason why Jude 11 speaks of the error of Balaam for profit ; it is just plain error to sell out God for money — you end up a loser every time.

Balaam had longed, Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my end be like his! Numbers But Balaam had no interest in living the life of the righteous, so he died the death of the sinner, in the company of sinners. Then they brought the captives, the booty, and the spoil to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the children of Israel, to the camp in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho.

And Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the congregation, went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was angry with the officers of the army, with the captains over thousands and captains over hundreds, who had come from the battle. Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man intimately. But keep alive for yourselves all the young girls who have not known a man intimately. And as for you, remain outside the camp seven days; whoever has killed any person, and whoever has touched any slain, purify yourselves and your captives on the third day and on the seventh day.

Have you kept the women alive?

Moses was angry because the children of Israel failed to see the great danger of sexual immorality and idolatry posed by these women who before led the men of Israel into these exact sins. Christians are often tripped up by things that were a threat, but they did not see them as a threat. Though most Israelites thought these women were safe, they were more dangerous to Israel than an army of mighty warriors. Israel could overcome mighty warriors if they were spiritually strong; but if they were seduced into immorality and idolatry, they would certainly fall.

We often think of many things as dangerous to us as Christians — hostile government, secular humanism, academic attack, and so forth.