The Avenging God

Nahum 1:2-3 – “A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; the Lord is avenging and wrathful. The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.”

“A jealous and avenging God is the Lord” – While we may desperately want to take our own vengeance, it is important to remember our place. This verse is comforting because it affirms to me that God has the vengeance business all taken care of. I do not need to interfere with Him. The New Testament further elucidates the point in Romans 12:17-21. We notice that throughout the Bible, those who decide to take their own vengeance are eventually consumed by it. The revenge becomes a cancer to the soul. It is a substance too dangerous for us to handle. Besides, God is better at it anyway:

He has the benefit of perspective. He sees all and knows all, even the hearts and whereabouts of every soul. “Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend into heaven, Thou are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Thy hand will lead me. If I say, ‘Surely, darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to Thee, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to Thee” (Psalm 139:7-12).

He is not affected by bias, or prejudice (Galatians 2:6). “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent” (Numbers 23:19). “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).

He knows when enough is enough. “For the Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness. For He does not afflict willingly, or grieve the sons of men”  (Lamentations 3:31-33).

“The Lord is slow to anger…” – Lest we think that the Lord’s delay is a sign of His weakness, remember 2 Peter 3:7-10, especially in the words, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish for all to come to repentance.”

“The Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished” – It can be tempting to lose heart when we do not think God is working on our schedule. If unrighteous people seem to be left unpunished, we just need to allow God to work within the confines of His will. The Master of all will not neglect anything. He will not let paperwork get misplaced.