Romans 12-16; Vengeance is Mine

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Romans 12:19

I used to read this and think that God meant that He would pay the people back who hurt me, by hurting them back. Recently, while reading this passage it dawned on me that maybe Paul meant it another way. Maybe he meant that God Himself would repay me what my enemy owes me. If someone has stolen from me, whether it be money, or any other blessing, God will pay me back so that I don’t have to get it from the person who tried to hurt me.

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

The law defines what love is. Love is putting others first. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please [his] neighbour for [his] good to edification.  Romans 15:1-2 If we love others, we will automatically be keeping all the commandments. The first four are about putting God first. The last six are about putting family and friends first.

Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, [be] glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.  Romans 16:25-27

Redemption in Romans, Lesson 12

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

This week’s  SS Lesson covers Romans 12 and 13. Romans 12:19 reads, “…avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” A while back I was reading this and I saw it in a light I had not seen before. When God says “I will repay” could He mean not so much that He will pay the offender back for his wrong, but even more so that God Himself will repay the offended party what the offender owes them?  In the plan of salvation we see that *Jesus was treated the way we deserve to be treated so we may be treated the way Jesus deserves to be treated. Has it dawned on us that Jesus was also treated the way our enemy deserves to be treated so that we can now treat our enemy the way Jesus deserves to be treated? When we do that, we can expect God to pay us back what our enemy owes us, and just go on treating our enemy the way we would treat Jesus.

 

* Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “With His stripes we are healed.” – Desire of Ages, p. 25

You may find more studies and devotionals at In Light of The Cross.