This is a name of God that many people are uncomfortable with. But vengeance has to be understood against a background of justice and seen in balance with His mercy. God could not be the God of Justice without exercising vengeance when necessary. Most often, vengeance is taken on behalf of His people. So, the psalmist says that the God of (my, our, his, your) Salvation executes vengeance for me (Ps. 18:46-47).
God of vengeance in Hebrew:
Strong’s Concordance numbers: 410, 5360
Bible reference: Ps. 94:1
O Lord, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth! (Psalm 94:1)
Similar names for God are the God who avenges (NIV) and the God who executes vengeance for me.
Waiting For the God of Vengeance
Waiting for vindication is an act of faith. In high speed cultures people are used to lightning responses in most areas of life, from the table service in the restaurant to the processing of a tax return. When someone wrongs us, we can call 9-1-1 or a lawyer and expect quick justice. But there are still situations in which vindication does not come so swiftly. Slander, misunderstandings, betrayal, false accusations, loss of a loved one, the collapse of a trusted business; we each have our own list.
In Moses’ final speech to Israel the God of vengeance reveals what lies ahead for Israel as she settles the Promised Land. Pagan nations will mislead the people and suck out of them the abundant life of relationship with God. For sure, there are two sides to the problem; like the rest of us, Israel is a perverse and crooked people.1 However, Satan uses whatever and whoever he can to divert people from God’s best for them.
God takes note of every deception, exploitation, and manipulation. In due time, He will act.2 The Bible calls Him the God of recompense, the God of vengeance, and the God who executes vengeance for me.3 He is a God who repays exactly what is deserved. That includes rewards for faithful service and punishment on His enemies.
The Living God made a vow to Israel in which He promised three times to deal with His adversaries. He used the phrase “I will . . . .” Moses echoed the same three vows in the final verse of his speech:
“Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven,
And say, as I live forever,
If I sharpen My flashing sword,
And My hand takes hold on justice,
I will render vengeance on My adversaries,
And I will repay those who hate Me.
I will make My arrows drunk with blood,
And My sword will devour flesh,
With the blood of the slain and the captives,
From the long-haired leaders of the enemy.”
“Rejoice, O nations, with His people;
For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
And will render vengeance on His adversaries,
And will atone for His land and His people.” (Deut. 32:40-43)
There’s good news. God’s ultimate act of atonement, fulfilling God’s promises, happened on the cross. The atonement of Jesus not only paid the penalty for our sins, it also dealt the decisive blow to the enemy. The power of sin and death is broken. In the final judgment God will complete justice.
If you are living with delayed vindication, take heart, God knows exactly what happened. There is no need for you to assume that you are always the victim, harbor bitterness, or secretly seek vengeance. Put your faith in the God of vengeance who promises to repay—in due time.
This post first appeared on www.BibleMaturity.com which aims to promote spiritual growth and faith in God. Please share these short Bible devotions with your friends and family and pray for revival.