Apologies for falling off the A-Z wagon. I’ve been extremely busy over the last week or so and haven’t had a chance to blog. Today is my daughter’s birthday and she is busy in the basement with her friends, so I’m taking a stolen moment to write today’s post. I plan to do Q-U as soon as I can and am wondering whether to back-date them or to post them in May. Any preference, dear reader?
And now, on to V:
When we look around the world, we see it is in a lot of trouble, both on an individual and international scale. Man is set against man, nation against nation. Since each person wants his/her own way, and each country seeks to be the most powerful, the violence isn’t likely to decrease anytime soon.
Some war in God’s name, but the truth is not in them. It’s true that in ancient days God favoured the Israelites against their pagan neighbours, but this was only when the Jews walked in close harmony with Him and kept His commandments, when their hearts were inclined toward God. When they turned from Him to pursue their own interests and lusts, He allowed them to be crushed by their enemies. Their victories were His victories; their defeats were their own. God only blesses those whose hearts belong to Him, those who call on His name and are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
V is for Vengeance, and this is what the Bible says about it:
Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them. (Deuteronomy 32:35)
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18)
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord, Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:19-21)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (Matthew 5:43-46)
Our natural instinct is to strike back when someone injures or insults us. But God wants us to trust Him to take care of the situation. Our part is to show love where love would normally not be warranted. They will know we are Christians by our love, not by our witty repartee or ability to settle a score. Besides, violence often begets more violence, and isn’t there enough of that in this world? Aren’t many of us looking for a little more peace?
Today’s prayer: God, help us to turn the other cheek when someone offends or hurts us. Help us to do what we cannot do in our own strength, but only depending on Yours. You are just and fair. Let us leave revenge in Your capable hands, and instead pursue a path of love and peace-making that might change the lives of our enemies for the better. Amen.
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