When to Seek Revenge

5 05 2010

1 Samuel 25:38 “And about ten days later the LORD struck Nabal, and he died.”

Interesting way to start a blog, I know.  In the book of 1 Samuel we find the story of Nabal and David.  The gist of that story is this: Nabal wronged David, and David was on his way to take revenge.  Abigail, Nabal’s wife, intervened before David could carry out his vengeance.  Barely a week and a half later God took care of Nabal as He intended.  If David would have carried out his vengeance it would have caused him much greater grief in the long run.  Instead, by the Grace of God, David was persuaded to allow God to handle the situation…

How does this apply to us?

Well, I think all of us have been in a situation where we have been wronged by someone else.  There’s no doubt that Nabal was the one who insulted David.  We’ve all also probably had the opportunity to carry out our own form of vengeance.  In fact, most people probably felt David had every right to carry out his plan against Nabal.  Perhaps you too have been encouraged by friends and family to respond in vengeance against someone who has done you wrong.

The Bible, however, is clear on how God feels about this:  Romans 12:19 “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.”

The truth is that God handles our situations much better than we do.  There may be times in ministry or other areas of your life where people honestly deserve to be mistreated by you because of some of the things they have done.  However, if we can have patience and trust God, He will take care of it!

Now, this doesn’t mean we sit back and get ready to see God smite somebody within 10 days! Pray for the person who has offended you!  The best thing that can happen is for God to show him or her the wrong so that you and that person may be reconciled… Most (if not all) of the time we take things into our own hands we make a huge mess out of it.  Remember too, that just because you may be doing everything right doesn’t mean the situation is going to go away.  We live in a fallen world and sometimes relationships are broken and it can take a long time to heal.

 This also doesn’t mean that you are to be ran over all the time by others.  It’s okay (and commanded) to let others know when they’ve wronged you (Matt. 18:15).  But if you are asking yourself “When is it okay for me to take revenge?” The answer is NEVER! Leave it in God’s hands…