Vengeance

Posted Apr 10, 2016 by Gary Hullquist in Character of God Hits: 475

"Whoever slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken upon him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest any finding him should kill him." Genesis 4:15

Cain, history's first murderer, lamented, not the death of his brother at his own hands, but that he would be killed by everyone who finds him. Here he is assured by the Lord that this would not happen. His punishment was this: the earth would be cursed when he tried to till it, he would be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth, and he would be a marked man. Cain understands this to mean "from thy face shall I be hid" Gen 4:14. This was the punishment that was "more than I can bear" Gen 4:13.

The next time vengeance appears in Scripture, Moses is singing his last song. Deuteronomy 32 foretells the apostasy of Israel when they "forsake the God that made them" Deut 32:15, and they worship "new gods that came newly up, whom their fathers knew not" Deut 32:17. "And when the LORD saw it, He said, "I will hide my face from them." Deut 32:20. He turns away; His blessing is withheld.

The Lord had already told Moses that this would happen in the previous chapter. "This people will go a whoring after the gods of the strangers" "they will forsake me" Deut 31:16 and "I will forsake them...and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured" Deut 31:17. Then the people will say, All this has happened "because our God is not among us."

David knew what it meant for the Lord to hide His face. "Hide not Thy face far from me...neither forsake me, O God" Psalm 27:9. David did not want God to hide His face from him, but he prayed to God, "Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities" Psalm 51:9. He wanted God to take vengeance on his sins, and blot them out of existence; "Hide thy face from my sins" but "Hide NOT Thy face from me." Psalm 69:17; Psalm 102:2. "Hide not Thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit" Psalm 143:7. In other words, those that perish will do so because God hides His face from them. This is God's vengeance.

This is what happened when the Son of God took our sins upon Himself on the cross. His Father hid His face and "there was darkness over all the earth" for three hours. Luke 23:44. That's why Jesus cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" This was God's vengeance on His own Son, who was "made to be sin for us, who knew no sin" 2 Cor 5:21

It is thus that God says, "To me belongeth vengeance and recompense" Deut 32:35. "O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongs" Psalm 94:1 will reward the wicked. But how? The last verse explains. "He shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness" Psalm 94:23. The iniquity of the wicked shall come upon the wicked; their own wickedness shall cut them off. How does this happen?

"Praise ye the Lord! Sing unto the Lord! Psalm 149:1. "Let Israel rejoice in Him" Psalm 149:2. "Let them praise His name!" Psalm 149:3. "Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand" Psalm 149:6, "to execute vengeance upon the heathen" Psalm 149:7. And that's just what happened in 2Chronicles 20.

Jehoshaphat was alerted to the approach of a vast multitude of warriors from Moab and Ammon and Mount Seir on their way to destroy Jerusalem. A prophet arose and encouraged the people that "the battle is not yours but the Lord's" 2 Chr 20:15. Jehoshaphat instructed singers to go out before the army and praise the beauty of holiness and say, "Praise the LORD, for His mercy endureth forever." 2 Chr 20:21. And when their enemies heard the singing, they rose up against each other "to utterly slay and destroy them...every one helped to destroy another" 2 Chr 20:23.

"Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." Romans 12:20 "Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21-22. Sing to your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that dispitefully use you. And what will happen? "His mischief shall return upon his own head" Psalm 7:16. "The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. The Lord is known by the judgment which He executes: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands" Psalm 9:15-16. "Evil shall slay the wicked" Psalm 34:21.

"All that man needs to know and can know of God has been revealed in the life and character of His Son, the Great Teacher." Medical Ministry p. 95. Our gracious heavenly Father and His dear Son are not willing that any should perish. 2 Pet 3:9. "He that has seen me," Jesus said, "has seen my Father" John 14:9. And Jesus said, I am "not come into the world to destroy men's lives, but to save them" Luke 9:56. This is exactly the same purpose of His Father, for they are one in purpose. Sadly, They will not be able to save everyone. Far too many will cry for the rocks and mountains to fall on them and "hide us from the face of Him who sits upon the throne" Rev 6:16. And with weeping, as Jesus did for Jerusalem when He left their house desolate (Matt 23:38), He and His Father will hide Their face in answer to the prayer of those crying to the rocks.

Grace and peace be unto you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of the Father in truth and love. 2 John 3