Thursday, August 3, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 66, God Will Avenge Us

Solomon advises us to let God avenge us on our enemies instead of taking revenge for ourselves. He also points out the importance of obeying God even when it isn't convenient or easy. We've all made sinful decisions that we regret, but when did we ever regret doing what God says to do?

"Do not say, 'I'll pay you back for this wrong!' Wait for the Lord, and He will avenge you." (Proverbs 20:22) The Lord makes this promise to His children who have been wronged, "It is Mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them." (Deuteronomy 32:35) The Apostle Paul quotes this same verse from Deuteronomy in Romans 12:19, "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is Mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord." Why is it God's place to avenge us and not our place to avenge ourselves? I think because it's God's holy laws that have been broken and He is the one who has been offended most of all. It's because His morals for living have been scorned. And I also think it's because this can be said of the child of God, "Whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye." (Zechariah 2:8b)

God is a good Father. He takes note of any harm done to His children and He will not let it go unpunished. In due time and in the right way (often in a brilliant 'poetic justice' sort of way) the Lord will pay back whoever hurts His children. I can confirm the truth of this, having actually witnessed God paying back someone who caused me a great deal of grief for no other reason than their perverse enjoyment. It was stunning how perfectly and poetically God took care of the situation. Having seen the proof of God's promises in action, I can rest assured that my Father is on the job and He will avenge me of anything that needs avenging. I don't have to worry about it; I can leave it all up to Him and go on with my life.

"The Lord detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please Him." (Proverbs 20:23) Several times we've seen Solomon mention shady business practices like this. The Lord is displeased when we cheat and take advantage of others. The Lord Jesus said, "Do to others as you would have them to do you." (Luke 6:31) I doubt any of us would be happy if we found out we had been cheated in a transaction; therefore, let's not cheat our fellow man.

"A person's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?" (Proverbs 20:24) We can make all the plans for our lives that we want, but God has sovereign authority over us and over all creation. He has the right to change our plans. I certainly am glad He changed some of mine, because my plans would have led to disaster. I'd rather be in the will of God, even though obeying Him isn't always easy, than to be out of His will and to make choices I'll regret later. On the Christian radio station yesterday I heard one of the DJs ask, "When was the last time you regretted obeying the Lord?" I thought, "What a powerful question!" I can't recall any time I regretted obeying the Lord. I can recall many times I've regretted not obeying Him. Disobedience is often the easy way out. It's the path of least resistance, but it's also the wide road that leads to destruction. (Matthew 7:13)

Solomon leaves us with two very profound ideas to ponder today. First, God will avenge the one who belongs to Him. We don't have to lift a finger. We don't have to dirty our hands. It's quite difficult for a human being to take vengeance without also falling into sin at the same time. Second, let's think about the last time we regretted obeying God. I can't think of one, can you? But I bet we'd have quite a long list if we started writing down all the times we disobeyed God's word and lived to regret it. So let's just take Him at His word and trust Him. Let's trust Him with vengeance and let's trust Him with planning our lives. Our earthly fathers made plans for us as it seemed best to them with their limited human knowledge, but our heavenly Father makes plans for us according to His perfect and infinite wisdom. He loves us and has our best interests at heart.

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