Monday, November 5, 2012

Vengeance Is Not Mine

I often apply God's encouraging words for Judah to His encouragement for victims of sex trafficking.  Today, I read in Jeremiah 50:34, All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go.  Yet their Redeemer is strong... He will vigorously defend their cause.  The "captors" here are the Babylonians, but victims' captors are pimps and johns.

Jeremiah 50 essentially lays out God's plan to avenge Judah.  And I wondered, should I apply that vengeance to traffickers too?  I have said before that I feel like Gideon, amazed that God has called me to love the exploited, but that I would be more like Jonah did I not also love their exploiters.  But when I read scripture like this I ask, God, do you want me to love the captors or despise them?  Proverbs harps on the bitter end for oppressors and wicked-doers.  But Jesus dined with them!  The same God that extended grace to thieves and healed even His enemies avenged the captors of Judah, killing and destroying them completely.  Not to mention that Jesus is a savior to all no matter how great their past sins.  I pondered this for a while then realized that the answer is quite clear.  The Lord says, It is mine to avenge; I will repay in Deuteronomy 32:35.  In Romans 12, Paul wisely teaches, Do not repay anyone evil for evil... Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath.  On the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thristy, give him something to drink.  

Here is my answer: God is just.  It is not mine to avenge the oppressed. That is all. Jesus dined with sinners and told us to do likewise. God "avenged His temple" and told us to leave revenge to Him. 

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