As the anniversary of 9-11 came around this week, many still want vengeance for what happened to us. But, is that what we should be seeking? Both had the Spirit of the Lord, but isn’t it good that Jesus, while on the cross, sought forgiveness rather than vengeance for us like Samson would have done?
I. Judges 15:1-15. Back and forth Samson waged war with the Philistines, each seeking vengeance for what he or they perceived the other side had done to him or them. They literally fought fire with fire, and it all came from worldly thinking: “As they have done to me, so have I done to them.”
II. Romans 9:20-24. God’s sole right to vengeance is rooted in His sovereignty. Since He made everything, everything is His (Colossians 1:16). Since God has the sole right to reveal His wrath (Romans 12:19), He also has the sole right to bring mercy. His wrath will be wreaked against those against Him or who don’t know Him (Romans 1:18-21) and those in the church who deliberately sin or shrink back (Hebrews 10:26-31).
III. Romans 12:14-21. Since we’ve all sinned (Romans 3:23), we’ve all earned His wrath (Romans 6:23), but He has shown mercy to those in His Son by Jesus’ work on the cross (Romans 8:31-39). So, rather than waging war as Samson or the world does (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), we who have escaped God’s vengeance by obeying the gospel, persuade men instead and reconcile them to God’s mercy through the gospel (2 Corinthians 5:11-21).
Realizing that you have escaped God’s vengeance through the gospel, do you seek vengeance or mercy for others?