When unlearned people hear that our Lord is a God of vengeance they begin to have an unwarranted fear of Him. They “think” God is “out to get them” every time they mess up or think they have messed up. Some preachers aren’t helpful when they say “God is punishing you!”
Romans 12:19 Avenge not yourselves, leave that to God, for it is written, vengeance is Mine; I will repay says the Lord.
God’s vengeance is His promise to judge all sin, it is not revenge because revenge is retaliation. The wages of sin is death, when God judges our sins He gives us an opportunity to deal with them. God judged sin before one was ever committed. He told Adam that in the day you eat of the fruit you shall surely die. Disobedience is sin, but the antidote is repentance. Repentance is like a magic eraser, it makes sin disappear and never return again. Vengeance is simply God being true to His Word, but He would much rather forgive if asked to.
Luke 23:24 Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
They crucified an innocent man, if anyone had the right to call for vengeance it was Jesus. The men who murdered Jesus will never be judged for what they did. God does not kill His enemies, He converts them. He is not looking forward to judgement day because on that day He will have to turn men away from eternal life. Can you imagine, He died and went to hell and back in order to secure a place for all men in Heaven. For whatever reason, a lot of folks will not invite Jesus into their lives. God has no choice but to do what He said He would do. His mercy has limits.
Hebrews 10:30 We know what the Lord said, vengeance belongs to Me, I will repay says the Lord, the Lord shall judge the people.
We are not qualified to judge others because we didn’t die for them, if we judge we in turn will be judged. We could be the most perfect being God ever created but once we judge, we are no better than the one we judge. If we meddle with sin, would we not want all the mercy God has? We can judge others as long as we hold ourselves to the same standard, but that never happens.
1 Corinthians 11:31-32 If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. When we are judged, we are scolded of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
God’s present day judgement, His vengeance, is the best thing that could happen to us. God’s motive for judgement is love, He does not want to have to execute vengeance on anyone. When our Heavenly Father chastises us, He is warning us that our choices are putting our lives in jeopardy. He must judge bad behavior but He takes no pleasure in it. If we love the Lord we will honor Him with our obedience and we will never know His vengeance.