Forgiveness is turning the debtor over to God’s judgment:
Vengeance is a normal reaction to wrong doing.
Vengeance is a righteous reaction to abuse.
Vengeance is retaliation, revenge or proper confrontation toward someone who has harmed you.
Vines: That which proceeds out of justice. Most frequently used of divine vengeance.
The emotion is right, but human method and motive is often wrong.
- Getting even.
- Showing them a thing or two.
- Making them “pay”
- Getting them back
Therefore Christians are instructed to…“Leave room for the wrath of God, vengeance is mine says the Lord, I will repay.” Romans 12:17-21
Trusting the “righteous Judge”
Forgiveness is trusting God to take care of those who wrong you.
We see Jesus doing this: on the cross He states, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
In this manner He turned His case and cause over to the righteous judgment of God.
I Peter 2:22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
B. Because the judgments of God are holy and right and free from any element of self gratification or vindictiveness.
Vengeance (revenge) is something that God works out perfectly. He knows all about our perpetrator.
He knows what judgment they need.
He knows what will bring them to their senses.
Many Christians never see God work vengeance on their enemies because they don’t leave room for it.
Through forgiveness we leave room for the wrath of God. We turn over our cares and offenses to Him and He takes care of them and us.
“Leave room” means:
- Back off before you blow it.
- Let God take the stress of such care.
- Let God defend you.
- Let God do your fighting for you.
- Commit your enemies into the hands of God and let Him take care of them.
Perfect vengeance might be judging wickedness and then also converting a person and turning them around to punish the devil.
- See Acts 9 with Saul and the vengeance of God on him…
One element of the vengeance of God is the legal system. In a orderly society the legal system punishes those who choose not to love and respect one another.
Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.
Psalm 7:10 My shield is with God, Who saves the upright in heart.11 God is a righteous judge, And a God who has indignation every day.12 If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready.13 He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons; He makes His arrows fiery shafts.14 Behold, he travails with wickedness, And he conceives mischief, and brings forth falsehood.15 He has dug a pit and hollowed it out, And has fallen into the hole which he made.16 His mischief will return upon his own head, And his violence will descend upon his own pate.17 I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
Psalm 55: 22 Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.