Daily Devotion: Vengeance Belongs to God

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.”

Recently, the U.S. Senate failed to pass a bill that would protect defenceless infants who survive an abortion. I am filled with utter rage. I am filled with hatred for these people who murder infants and go so far as to murder them when they survive the wrath of mankind against the womb. I prayed for our nation’s judgement, and I still do, for I do not believe for a second that our nation will repent. That leaves only God’s judgement.

I am filled with so much indignance that I desire they face God’s wrath. Many, I think, would say, “That’s unchristian!” No, it is not. It is Christian righteousness to yearn for God’s justice. In this passage, Paul commands the Roman Christians not to avenge themselves, but to leave their vengeance to the wrath of God. How, then, can it be unchristian to desire God’s wrath against injustice? It would be unchristian to take that vengeance into one’s own hands.

I want to take vengeance into my own hands, but I will not. Rather, I pray for God to have His vengeance. Just as God heard the cries of His people in slavery (Exodus 2:23-25), so He must hear the cries of the infants as they are torn apart, limb from limb, with metal instruments whose own mothers permit their untimely death; and so, He must also hear the cries of the righteous who cry out to God on their behalf.

O God, why do You wait to avenge the innocent? One thing I know for sure from Scripture is that God always and eventually exacts His vengeance in His own timing. God will avenge these murdered infants, for vengeance belongs to Him. In the meantime, let all Christians cry out in unison the prayer in Psalm 94 (NKJV):

O Yahweh God, to whom vengeance belongs—
     O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth!
Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
     render punishment to the proud.
Yahweh, how long will the wicked,
     how long will the wicked triumph?
They utter speech, and speak insolent things;
     all the workers of iniquity boast in themselves.
They break in pieces Your people, O Yahweh,
     and afflict Your heritage.
They slay the widow and the stranger,
     and murder the fatherless.
Yet they say, “Yahweh does not see,
     nor does the God of Jacob understand.”
Understand, you senseless among the people;
     and you fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, shall He not hear:
     He who formed the eye, shall He not see?
He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct,
     He who teaches man knowledge?
Yahweh knows the thoughts of man,
     that they are futile.
Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Yahweh,
     and teach out of Your law,
that You may give him rest from the days of adversity,
     until the pit is dug for the wicked.
For Yahweh will not cast off His people,
     nor will He forsake His inheritance.
But judgement will return to righteousness,
     and all the upright in heart will follow it.
Who will rise up against the evildoers?
     Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
Unless Yahweh had been my help,
     my soul would soon have settled in silence.
If I say, “My foot slips,”
     Your mercy, O Yahweh, will hold me up.
In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
     Your comforts delight my soul.
Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law,
     have fellowship with You?
They gather together against the life of the righteous,
     and condemn innocent blood.
But Yahweh has been my defence,
     and my God the rock of my refuge.
He has brought on them their own iniquity,
     and shall cut them off in their own wickedness;
     Yahweh our God shall cut them off.

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