Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Lord will Repay..

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. Instead, "If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head" (Romans 12:17,19-20).
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing (1 Peter 3:9).
See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people (1 Thessalonians 5:15).

Would God ask us to do something He, Himself wouldn't do? What will God repay with? Will He repay evil for evil or will he repay with blessing for the good of the person? Wrath is anger but anger towards what? Is it towards the person who does evil or the evil that is done?

The best way to end evil is not with punishment but with love. Love dissolves or displaces evil. Instead of abusing a person for their actions God will show them how they are valuable beyond their actions. He did this very thing with Paul the apostle.

How then is it wrath? God separates people from their actions. He has taken every one's sin away. Romans 1:18 says God's wrath is against the actions of men, not men themselves. His wrath is for the evil itself. He seeks to stop evil by loving the person that evil comes through. The word "vengeance" or "avenge" means to "give justice." Because Jesus died for the sins of all, justice is no longer defined by mankind getting rewarded or punished according to our deeds (1 Peter 3:18). Now justice is that all people be saved by trusting Jesus so that Jesus gets who is due Him. After the cross justice is the Savior getting who He paid for. So for God to avenge in this context is for Him to give justice, which is kindness, to those who He died for so that they might change their mind to trust in Him (Romans 2:4).

"God sent Jesus to you to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways" (Acts 3:26). If some one's "evil ways" prevent them from having a relationship with Him He blesses them with love until their evil ways are no longer a hindrance. Once the hindrance is removed they are really ready to experience His amazing love.

How does loving someone "heap burning coals" on their head? This refers to the high priest of old who, on the Day of Atonement, took his censer and filled it with “coals of fire” from off the altar of burnt offering, and then put incense on the coals to create a pleasing, sweet-smelling fragrance (Leviticus 16:12). The cloud or smoke of the incense covered the mercy seat and was acceptable to God for atonement.

Coal represents Christ's removal of sin. So to heap coals on some one's head is to, through love, bring the heart knowledge of the gospel to their mind. So Paul was saying, "Jesus is our High Priest, let Him love your enemies through you by giving them what they need. God is love. When you give people love it draws them closer to God."

Related Posts
The Good News of Justice

No comments:

Post a Comment