Have you ever heard anyone say they believe in an eye for an eye? Jesus destroyed this law in his sermon on the mount. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away” (Matt 5:38-42). Those who render evil for evil or fight fire with fire, are evil men who know not the law of Christ. They believe they can take vengeance on anyone who have wronged them. They are absolutely wrong!
The word “vengeance” is used 42 times in the KJV of the Bible. All but 3 of these times have reference to God’s vengeance. The remaining 3 are of such nature that they were not pleasing to God. So, we should see by this that God has not left the idea of vengeance in the hands of men to conduct as they please.
Does human nature demand revenge for wrong suffered? I feel assured that human nature will always demand vengeance or revenge, but as far as such always being justified is another matter all together. As far as we can determine from the Scriptures, with regard to the Lord and His apostles, none of them sought to avenge himself when he suffered ill treatment. They all turned the other cheek as Jesus commanded them (Matt 5:39). Such should tell us that to seek vengeance is human and not divine. In fact, I think the word human is the crux of the whole matter. It is that which brings about the emotional appeals and excuses that are made by my brethren for getting involved in the vengeance taking business.
Does civil government have the right, responsibility and administration to take vengeance? (Rom. 13:3, 4) God has set up His avenging body, and that body is the civil government of our land (Rom. 13:1-7). Any vengeance that is to be taken is to be taken by this body. This avenger can use the legal forces at his disposal to get the job done, such as, the police, army, courts, etc. We, as Christians, must abide by the laws of the civil government regardless of the nature of the government, as long as such laws do not require us to violate the laws of God (Acts 5:29).
“Vengeance Belongs Unto Me . . .”
This statement was made by the Lord and not by man (Rom. 12:19-21). It goes on to say, ” . . . . I will recompense, says the Lord.” The trouble with many Christians today is that they are not willing to allow the Lord to take the vengeance which belongs to Him. They desire to do it themselves feeling God is too forgiving or too lenient. Vengeance does not belong to individuals who call themselves Christian. Vengeance belongs to God Almighty and he will repay and judge his people (Heb 10:30,31). So the next time you are wronged, don’t take matters into your own hands. Place them in the hands of God. He will do a far better job at taking vengeance than you ever will.