Vengeance Is the Lord’s

 

September 9

 

Read Matthew 5:38-40

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

 

Reflect

When you read the verses for today, what was your initial reaction? Do you like the idea of turning the other cheek?

 

If I’m being honest, these words don’t always sit well with me. I have a strong desire for justice, and when a wrong has been done to me, the urge to retaliate is difficult to suppress. And yet, Jesus said these words so I would do well to listen and obey them.

 

The concept of “an eye for an eye” first shows up in Exodus 21:24. Moses is giving the law and is explaining punishments that fit, but do not exceed, the crime committed. This law was intended to ensure that fair justice was served by the judges. It was not intended to condone personal vengeance. Jesus was simply correcting a misunderstanding of the true meaning of the law.

 

We want to fight back when someone wrongs us. We want revenge. We want justice served so much that we seek to serve it ourselves. In doing so, we are not only committing sins of our own, but we usually cause even more trouble. Jesus lovingly reminds us not to fight back.

 

But don’t worry. No one is getting away with anything. Romans 12:19 reassures us, “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.” God is still a God of justice. He is the perfect judge. Justice will always be served. It’s just not your job.

 

Pray

God, thank You for being the Perfect Judge. Help me submit to Your commands today to turn the other cheek and leave the vengeance to You. Amen.

 

 

~ Pastor Nat Crawford

 

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God, please let me learn to wait patiently on Your judgment. Please, let me remember that I, too have sinned and by Your grace and mercy, I was forgiven. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.
I so share your sentiment. This too is my prayer, and praying for you as well. His grace is always sufficient to help us. "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:” - 2 Corinthians 9:8
Lord Jesus, I need Your help to just cool it when I feel attacked or wronged. Please do not leave things to me for I am not in control when I am emotional. This I pray in Jesus' name, Amen.
It's true the Gentiles were born outside the law (Gal. 2) but they still had a moral law written on their hearts (Rom. 2). So regardless if they knew the law, the principle Jesus taught is universal for the follower of Christ. If some more commentary is desired on this passage, here you go: "38. The formula is the same as that in verse 27, that is, it lacks the reference to “the men of old.” The quotation (from Exod. 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21) inserts “and” to join the two members, but is otherwise exact. The eye, of course, is a very important organ of sense perception, and its loss would be felt keenly. So when an eye is damaged or lost, a similar punishment is to be inflicted on whoever caused the loss. So with the tooth. In both cases the punishment is precisely equivalent. The precept is an ancient one and is expressed, for example, in the Code of Hammurabi (18th cent. B.C.). In its day this lex talionis was, of course, a great advance. It meant evenhanded justice without respect of persons. No matter how great the offender, he could not escape just punishment, and no matter how small, no more could be exacted of him than his offense merited. It took punishment out of the realm of private vengeance, but Jewish practice tended to put it back. By contrast, Jesus teaches that his people should not be noted for insisting on their just deserts. They must be ready to forego private vengeance, as indeed the law provided if people would only heed it (Lev. 19:17–18; cf. Prov. 24:29). 39. Again the emphatic formula is used to introduce striking new teaching. “Do not resist the evil person” does not mean that we should let evil triumph throughout our communities. Jesus is referring to private retaliation, not to public order, and he is instructing his followers not to be intent on getting their own back when someone wrongs them. To be the victim of some form of evil does not give us the right to hit back. Jesus proceeds to give an example, and his but is the strong adversative, a word that introduces a sharp contrast; he says, whoever145 slaps you, “hits you with the open hand.” The traditional understanding is that the slap is on the cheek, and this may well be right, though the word properly means the jawbone.147 The proper conduct in such a case is not retaliation, but readiness to endure a further blow. This contrasts with the teaching of the Mishnah, where we find that “If a man cuffed his fellow he must pay him a sela” (B. Qam. 8:6; the tractate goes on to lay down the penalties for slapping, hitting with the back of the hand, etc.). There will be occasions when protest is in order, as when Jesus himself drew attention to an illegality at his trial (John 18:22–23). But such occasions are never for the purpose of revenge or the like. 40. Jesus envisages a further indignity and loss, the oppressor who wants to take the disciple’s tunic. This is not outright robbery, but the process whereby the enemy adopts legal means of depriving the follower of Jesus of part of his clothing. Normally a person would seem to have worn a loincloth, a tunic, a cloak (outer garment), a girdle, a head covering, and sandals. Jesus envisages a situation in which someone adopts legal measures to deprive the disciple of his tunic. Take means here “take into one’s possession”; the verb can be used of seizing by force (21:35, 39). The proper response is not to fight back, but to be ready to let him have the outer garment as well, a more expensive garment and one that even the poorest had the right to keep (Exod. 22:26–27; Deut. 24:12–13). A person had an inalienable right to his cloak; it could not be taken away from him permanently. Its voluntary surrender is thus significant." Morris, L. (1992). The Gospel according to Matthew (pp. 126–128). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.
I am sorry. Wounds...family wounds can be hard to heal. The good news is they can heal with the help of Christ. Forgiveness is essential for us as Christians. Forgiveness, however, does not mean being a doormat or ignoring the hurts of the past. It does mean letting them go and leaving God to handle the consequences. I pray for healing and closure.
As Christ follower, have Jesus fight our battles for us we need to go spread the good news to them.
So whats to say if the party who caused this injustice becomes born again is revenge then revoked by God? Hope so after all everyone of us has done someone wrong.
We are blessed to have Jesus on our side, He will handle any and everything. Let us stay in the Word and tell others about His goodness. He will fight our battles. Praise His name.
Its tempting to retaliate, but God help me be to be still !! Thanks so much the reminder . Why as humans we feels like we should take matter into out own hands ?
Doesn't this means that we should settle our differences pieasefully?
It is a hard les son, because it is not part of our nature. But in Christ Jesus everithing is posible.
DEAR ABBA FATHER;JESUS PLEASE I LEAVE THE VENGEANCE TO YOU;THANKYOUJESUS;I ALWAYS NEED YOUR HELP;your child;virginia r.gomez garcia & all my family;etc@
I’m sorry for the hurt you have experienced in your life but so happy to see you relying on prayer to our All Mighty Lord to ease your pain. May the Lord pour out his mercy and grace upon you that you may overcome and turn the other cheek. As the scripture says, the Lord will judge them in His own time and in His own manner. If you are saved then rejoice and if not invite the Lord into your life, repent your sins and ask Him to be your Lord and Savior. If you are already saved all you should concern yourself with is putting God first in your life and by doing that and forgiving those who have hurt you bring glory to His name. In Jesus’s Name I Pray. Amen
Thank you Pastor for the explanation. It so much clearer to me now. And yes, sometimes it's hard to turn the other cheek.
Amen Father God ! Revenge is yours ! There will be gnashing of the Teeth ! Those who did evil against the innocent and children will be judged and burn in the pit of fire with Satan and all his minions ! In Jesus the Lion of Juda name I pray Amen ✝️🙏🇺🇸
I hope that this comment on the sermon on the mount is a valid interpretation. Jesus was putting the Jewish leadership to the test .they were proud of themselves to keep all the law . Thus the extreme results that happens when the law is kept in the outside yet their hearts were harden . Just because Jesus said it doesn't mean we have to follow this passage , context is if most important. When Jesus first came he was born under law and so the first people group was the Jew whom for the most part rejected the gospel...I don't think Jesus would have meant it for gentiles to adhere to these law keepers ..amen
Ouch! Thanks Pastor Nat. I needed this.
I no the feeling and it can be very painful to be scare by the ones that suppose to love you I struggle just about every day to not to repay to the ones that has hurt and wrong me pray for me as I will pray for you brother. In Jesus name Amen.
God to day I surrender all unto you, My heart hurts and I do not no if I will ever be the same my joy has been stolen and my heart cry everyday. My family hurt me deeply it so hard to forget what they have done destroying people lives with lies, verb able and physical, mental abuse and false accusation this has been going on for decades. I feel so empty inside on most day please help me with the pain I have been carrying around for years in Jesus name Amen. I want to thank back to the bible for giving me a chance to vent about revenge, as a human sometimes we want it right away but his thinking is not our thinking, and his ways are not our ways It is that we have to learn how to wait on him. Some times it take years but he always show up at the right time Amen.
Lord help me to overcome the urge to fight back
Heavenly Father thank You for Jesus and His unrepayable sacrifice. Lord give me the strength to resist vengeance. I need Your help to not retaliate the wrongs done to me. Lord I want to be obedient to Your word. Thank You Lord. I pray this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I have trouble with this verse also but we are all works in progress are we not?
TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK CAN BE VERY HARD TO DO, BUT KNOWING THAT GOD CAN FIGHT MY BATTLES BETTER THAN ME, VENGEANCE IS MIND SAYS THE LORD, GIVES ME GREAT JOY TO TURN THE OTHER CHEEK. AFTER ALL GOD IS OUR REFUGE IN TIMES OF TROUBLE.,WE MUST ALWAYS TRUST IN THE LORD
This is a great lesson. It is sometimes hard not to judge. But once you understand this scripture peace comes over you. Just forgive whoever hurt you and let God deal with the judgement. You receive great peace this way.
I prayed for husband that did not hit me,cheat on me,go to church with me and love me and for a long time I truly thought gave me this.13 yrs ago I had to have MAJOR heart surgery and as my husband and I laid in bed,this woman called his phone and in a very sultry voice she was seducing my husband on the phone.I threw him out and a very heart went through this 9hr surgery with flying colors,he never tried to contact me.3yrs later the agape love of Jesus came over me and went to him and forgave my husband, he wept like and I saw the spirit overcome him and we put it on the table and decided to go on with our marriage.Well this woman got married my husband was enjoying life,I thought,he took off 2yrs ago when her husband went to jail and hooked up again,now she is in drug jail for 2yrs,soon her husband and her both will be out,I think my husband is waiting to see who she will chose her husband or him.My husband is currently sleeping on a mat in the day room at his mom house and call be crazy I forgave him again.This doing my prayer time,I asked God,why when I don't try to hurt people and always trying to help others, why could not get what I prayed for before I married this man,God spoke to me,when you had to fight for your life 13yrs ago I made sure you had the best doctors,when attempted to wake you up,you awaken.When I read my surgical records I lost 11 pints of blood, a instrument was lost and I came through it like a champ.Now when I think it God said to me I gave you more than you ever asked for.33yrs of marriage and he stole away like a thief in the night,yet he came to my house yesterday and asked for a 5.00 loan.Now I beg of my God and solicit prayers,to change my love for him and send someone into my life that can just make me SMILE again.Blessing to all that read this.Take you God for your message.
Great lesson!
Dear Lord, thank you for these kind and instructional words. Please give me the strength to apply these words and ideas to a coworker. I have been struggling to adopt this for 9 months. I need your strength and protection to overcome this. Amen
We just dont realize how truly blessed we are. Praise him !!!!!! he deserves all the praise 💪🏾🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
Amen...thank you Father God for fighting my battles 🙏
Lord, forgive me for every time I tried to retaliate and repay someone for doing me wrong. You are the perfect judge and I thank you that I don't have to fight battles or take vengeance against anyone because You are a God of justice. Thank you Heavenly Father.
Amen
Lord help me to remember you are the ultimate Judge and please help me turn the other cheek. Amen
Love this reminder!! Lord. Thank You that You're fighting for us. You are just and justice will be served in Your timing. Help me to be still and obedient as I wait for You to act.
We cannot read the heart of mankind. Even our own heart can deceive us. Therefore only God knows the heart and therefore is the only just judge in the universe. We must trust him and give up our right of fairness. We must lean on mercy for ourselves and others. Thank you Jesus for your mercy and love. Amen
Thank you for this reminder. I always try to mind myself that Christ lives in me and I am in Jesus Christ so my responses to this world should be different when I am treated or suffer injustice, which I have in my current t life, it has been unsettling. I thank and praise God for this assurance.
If we but be still, The Lord will fight for us, and He will gain the glory.
Love reading this.
Amen 🙏🙏🙏❤🌹
I've learned to let the Lord handle my battle's the battle isn't ours.