When I hear the word revenge, a handful of questions form in my head. What is the Bible’s take on revenge? Is it wrong to seek revenge? Does God give us the green like to take revenge on someone who has wronged us? If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions before, get ready for a chunky post on all things revenge? What does the Bible say about revenge? Let’s find out, shall we?
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What Does The Bible Say About Revenge?
What Is Revenge?
According to Google, revenge is “the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.” (Oxford)
Exodus 21:24-25 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (NKJV)
Is Revenge Bad?
Revenge was permitted in the law of Moses to give people the ability to defend themselves as they saw fair “eye for an eye”. In a way it gave people the impression that they were getting justice for being wronged. But this eventually only brought more pain, more hate, and more divisions between people.
Why? Because as flawed humans, we are unable to take revenge without being unjust.
If someone leaves me on read for 1 day, I’ll make sure to leave them on read for 1 week. If someone hurts me, I’ll make sure to hurt them more, and so on!
This is the kind of revenge we take, isn’t it?
Revenge in humans eyes (in most cases) is taking it farther and making sure the aggressor suffers more than the victim. That’s why we are incapable of avenging ourselves without sinning.
Injustice thrives on human wrath.
James 1:20 For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (NKJV)
Vengeance belongs to God.
The only one that can take on revenge without doing injustice is God. There’s a reason why the Bible says that vengeance belongs to God, not to us.
Psalm 94:1 O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongs O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth! (NKJV)
Deuteronomy 32:35 Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; Their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them.’ (NKJV)
God avenges with justice.
Hebrews 10:30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the (NKJV) Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”
1 Samuel 24:12 Let the Lord judge between you and me, and let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you.
Jesus forbids revenge.
When Jesus walked into the equation, revenge walked out. Although the law of Moses approved the motto of “an eye for an eye”, Jesus teaches and encourages us to choose love instead of vengeance. Love is the harder route, but it is the right route.
Matthew 5:38-39 You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. (NKJV)
An “eye for an eye” is no longer acceptable.
Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. (NKJV)
1 Peter 3:9 Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. (NKJV)
Proverbs 24:29 Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.” (NKJV)
1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. (NKJV)
We should not take vengeance, even if it seems like the fair thing to do.
Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. (NKJV)
Leviticus 19:18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. (NKJV)
Advice to avoid taking revenge on others:
Feel what you need to feel, but don’t act upon your feelings.
Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. (NKJV)
Remember that every action has it’s own consequence.
Colossians 3:25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality. (NKJV)
Trust that God’s justice is better than yours.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. (NKJV)
Let God save and avenge you (if He must)
Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, “I will recompense evil”; Wait for the Lord, and He will save you. (NKJV)
Choose forgiveness over revenge.
Mark 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. (NKJV)
Have the courage to overlook an offense.
Proverbs 19:11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression. (NKJV)
I hope you found this post helpful and learned a little bit more on what the Bible says about revenge. Let me know in the comments below which bible verse about revenge impacted you the most!
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Sending you blessings & love,