Vengeance

Tammy De Ruyter

READ : Psalm 94:1-11

You God of vengeance, shine forth! (v. 1)

I don’t get mad, I get even! glared the bumper sticker on the adjacent car. The driver’s radio was obnoxiously loud and he gunned his engine with impatience. Traffic was at a standstill. The temperature was hot and tempers were hotter. Finally, cars could move again. As the miles passed quickly by, I soon noticed “Mr. Rude” along the side of the road. Smug satisfaction crept into my heart. Ha! I silently cheered while an officer wrote a citation, You deserve that! Revenge, however, is the antithesis of Psalm 94.

The psalmist writes with a heavy pen. His nation has been oppressed by coldhearted enemies who have murdered and mocked. His nation has suffered calamity and callous persecution, yet surprisingly the writer doesn’t call for an uprising. Instead, he calls upon God. “You God of vengeance,” he cries, “shine forth!” He puts his trust in the God who avenges the innocent, and waits. Echoes of this theme are heard throughout the Bible – “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19; see Deut. 32:35).

When the wicked attack, what are we to do? For starters, we are not to “get even.” Instead, following the psalmist, we pray to the covenant-keeping God. The God of Israel will vindicate us too.

PRAYER

Lord, when evil surrounds us, we call out to you. Defend us, vindicate us, O God!