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Christian Counseling - Vengeance

What do you do with scriptures which reference vengeance? If you are like most Christians, you tuck it away, knowing that acts of vengeance exclusively belong to God, and believing that even the desire for it is wrong. Instead, you probably have been taught to forgive all offenders.

The problem with the above theology is that it is only partially correct. Christians need to discern between what people say (tradition, error or truth) and what the Bible says (truth). Here are some key references to Biblical vengeance:

1. I Kings 2:1-9 - David asks his son, Solomon, to avenge the murders of others close to him by killing two men, which Solomon fulfills. Solomon's acts might be understood as righteous by the fact that King David had governing authority to carry out the work of God and when Solomon became King he had the same authority.

2. Psalm 109 - A brutal prayer of vengeance against a man and his family for turning against David. Here, the thoughts and feelings of vengeance are acceptable, there is no mention of his sin or confession. David's action of vengeance is prayer in which he asks God to avenge him.

3. Jeremiah 18:21-23 - He withholds forgiveness from his people and prays that God would also do the same and unleash His vengeance. You can follow God's response in chapter 19.

4. Revelation 6:10 - Standing before the throne of God, the saints cry to Him for vengeance on their murderers, which appeared to have happened during the tribulation period. Verses 9 nd 7:14, 15 tell us these people are saints. Saints, who are in heaven and without sin, withhold forgiveness from offenders and think about, desire, and pray for vengeance.

What do you do with scriptures which reference vengeance? Acting vengefully without the authority to do so is wrong, but there is not one scripture verse telling us vengeful feelings, thoughts or prayers are wrong. Yet, everyone needs to determine if they have good reason for these feelings and to pray vengefully.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Anonymous wrote:
This is a hard concept to accept, but I see where you are coming from. Vengeance is often thought of soley as an overt and violent act against someone, which is unacceptable; but that is not its only form. I need to think about this more and see how I can make it work in my life.

Thank you.

10/30/2009 @ 3:48 PM

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