"Uniting Christian & Jewish Clergy from Around the World"
"FIRE FOR FIRE"
"God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you" (2 Thessalonians 1:6 NIV).
The Nigerian Police used to have an anti-crime outfit named "Operation Fire for Fire." Their approach to crime used to be brutal and used to appear revengeful. At times, many Christians adopt the same approach against their perceived enemies. "An eye for an eye" (Exodus 21:23-25; Leviticus 24:19-20) is the popular adage they use to justify their actions.
Indeed, it is not easy to hold one's anger against adversaries. But revengeful actions negate what the Bible teaches (see Matthew 5:38-42; Luke 6:27-28, 35; Romans 12:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Peter 3:9). However, when I look at the above quoted passage (i.e. 2 Thessalonians 1:6) and a similar promise given to Abraham when God called him: "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse…" (Genesis 12:3 NIV), I ponder: Is God encouraging revengeful actions?
Beloved, God hates injustice. Yet He does not want us to pay back to our enemies the evil they have done to us. They are not fighting us but our God. We should allow Him to fight our battles. He will not let the evil doers go unpunished. He will repay them accordingly IN HIS OWN WAY, not our own way (Romans 12:19) - trouble for trouble (2 Thessalonians 1:6).
Are you an evil doer? The Bible does not even advice evil doers to desist from evil, but warns about the inevitability of the day of reckoning, for God "will give to everyone according to what he has done" (Revelation 22:11-12 NIV). Are you a victim of evil doers? You may not be able to defend yourself, but God defends and comforts the afflicted and pays back the evil doers - "fire for fire."
"God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed" (Ecclesiastics 3:17 NIV).
"For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" (Ecclesiastics 12:14 NIV).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
This message was first sent out on December 14, 2003.