there’s coming a day
17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 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.” 20 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.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21
We live in a day of immense injustice. Perhaps never before in human history have more people lived and died under such unpunished wrongdoing. The media can’t begin to tell the horrid tales of the immeasurable wickedness. On the international scene there is genocide, vigilante governments, and “ethnic cleansing.” Closer to home we have bankers that embezzle, doctors that deceive, ministers that molest, and on and on.
Doesn’t it disturb you?!
We are to fight for justice and speak up for those who can’t defend themselves. But there’s also something we need to remember. The Word of God says, “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’” (Romans 12:17).
The world says, “Don’t get mad, get even.” God says, “Leave it with me—I’ll handle this.” But when our desire for revenge rears up within us, it’s tough not to take matters into our own hands.
God knows how hard this injustice thing is for us, and so he begins his action plan by calling us “Beloved,” and letting us know we, the precious people of his love, shouldn’t avenge ourselves. Instead, he says, “Leave it to the wrath of God” (v.19). Vengeance is God’s responsibility. When we try to get even with people who have injured us or others, we are taking responsibility that belongs to God. He reminds us, “I see what they’ve done. I may let the hands on the clock go around a few more times, but I have a perfect memory. Trust me with the whole thing.” He says, “I will repay.”
There’s a day coming, circled in red on the calendar in heaven. I don’t know how many pages will be turned until God balances the books of justice, but the day is coming. In the Bible it’s called “the day of the Lord,” the “great day,” or “that day.” It’s when God will right all the wrongs, even the score, and bring awful judgment on everyone who has not sought forgiveness from Jesus.
Take the injustices of life that outrage and crush your spirit, do what you can, and give them over to God. Vengeance is God’s job and he will take care of it all in a way that defies explanation and staggers the mind. —James MacDonald walkintheword.com
seeking: Father, how has my vision of your justice just been altered? What praise for you is welling up in my heart?
responding: Has personal or wide-scale injustice hindered my ability or willingness to trust God? • How can I stir the faith of others who are bothered by God’s seeming lack of response to injustice?
God, please give me a heart of compassion and wisdom to do what I can when I see or experience injustice. Grant me a willingness to trust you to bring about perfect justice one day.
following: Don’t get in the way of God doing his job.