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…

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Church Covenant?

16 02 2010

In most Southern Baptist Churches in some corner of the building or posted on the fellowship hall is the Church Covenant. 

In order to keep this blog fairly short and readable I don’t have time or space to go into all the details of a church covenant other than to say this: I do think it’s biblical for people to write out what they believe and hold one another accountable for their actions.  Obviously a covenant should be based solely on the Bible. To read more about covenants in detail please CLICK HERE.

The main thing I wanted to write about today was this: Did you even realize that your church has a covenant? Do you even know what it says? You see a covenant helps us to keep one another accountable by expressing what it is that a church believes and how a church expects it’s members to live.  It’s not a “legalistic” tool, but rather it is to be used for the type of discipline Jesus spoke of in Matthew 18. CLICK HERE for what a typical SBC Church Covenant says.

When we join a local body of believers shouldn’t we know what it believes? Don’t get a Covenant and a Constitution confused (see one of the links above).  Pastors and other ministers: Are you helping your congregation know what the church expects from them? Of course we should say: “Read the Bible”. But a Covenant helps us write out what the Bible says about our conduct in a shorter, “easier to remember” statement.  There are many SBC churches in the Reformed movement that have covenants that the church recites together before the Lord’s Supper.  In this way, each member can be reminded of what the church expects from them.

Another important reason for a church covenant, as alluded to above, is for use in church discipline.  If you want to bring discipline (for the purpose of reconciliation) against a member who is always gossiping, it is much easier if he or she has already signed a church covenant agreeing to keep certain standards in their walk.

Anyway, please email or comment below for more discussion.  I am interested in other people’s take on this issue… Also, please visit the 9Marks site (the first link above) because they write much better than I do and it will give you some more insight to the history and biblical basis for church covenants…