"I am a fighter. I believe this eye-to-eye stuff. I hold my cheek. I have no respect for a man who does not fight back. If you kill my dog, then you should bring your cat to safety. "This saying may be funny, but at the same time, this attitude of former boxing world champion Muhammad Ali is one that many people share. Injustice happens to us and sometimes it hurts so much that we demand retribution. We feel cheated or seem to have been humiliated and seek revenge. We want to let the pain we experience make our opponent feel. We may not plan to inflict physical pain on our adversaries, but if we can hurt them psychologically or emotionally with a little sarcasm or refusal to talk, our revenge will be sweet too.
"Do not say:" I will repay evil! "Hear the LORD, he will help you." (Proverbs 20,22). Revenge is not the answer! Sometimes God tells us to do difficult things, doesn't it? Don't stop at anger and revenge, because we have a priceless treasure - a life-changing truth. "Wait for the Lord". Don't read these words too quickly. Meditate on these words. They are not only a key in dealing with the things that cause pain and bitterness and anger in us, but are at the center of our relationship with God.
But we do not want to wait. In the age of coffee-to-go, sms and twitter we want everything now and immediately. We hate traffic jams, queues and other time robbers. Dr. James Dobson puts it this way: "There was a time when it did not matter if you missed the coach. They just took her one month later. If you have to wait for the opening today with a revolving door, displeasure rises! "
The urge described in the Bible has nothing to do with the teeth-grinding wait at the checkout counter. The Hebrew word for waiting is "qavah" meaning hope for something, expect something and includes the concept of anticipation. The tense waiting of the children for the parents to get up on Christmas morning and allow them to open their presents illustrates this anticipated anticipation. Unfortunately, the word hope has lost its meaning in modern times. We say things like "I hope I get the job." And "Hopefully it will not rain tomorrow." But this kind of hope is hopeless. The biblical concept of hope is a confident hope that something will happen. It is expected that something will happen with complete certainty.
Will the sun rise again?
Many years ago I spent a few days hiking in the Drakensburg mountains (South Africa). In the evening of the second day it poured out of buckets and when I found a cave I was soaking wet and so was my matchbox. Sleep was out of the question and the hours didn't want to pass. I was tired, frozen, and couldn't wait for the night to end. Did I doubt that the sun would rise again the next morning? Of course not! I waited impatiently for the first signs of sunrise. At four in the morning the first streaks of light appeared in the sky and daylight broke. The first birds chirped and I was sure that my misery would soon end. I waited with the expectation that the sun would rise and another day would begin. I waited for the darkness to give way to the light and the cold to be replaced by the warmth of the sun (Psalm 130,6) Security Expectation Anticipation Persevere Joy. This is exactly what waiting in the biblical sense is about. But how do you actually wait? How do you wait for the Lord? Make yourself aware of who God is. You know it!
The letter to the Hebrews contains some of the most encouraging words in the Bible about the nature of God: “Let yourself be satisfied with what is there. Because the Lord said: "I don't want to leave you and I don't want to leave you" ". (Hebrews 13,5). According to Greek experts, this passage is translated into the words "I will never, never, never, never, NEVER leave you." What a promise from our loving father! It is just and it is good. So what does the verse from Proverbs 20,22 teach us? Don't seek revenge. Wait for God. And? He will redeem you.
Did you notice that a penalty for the adversary is not mentioned? Your salvation is the focus. He will save her. That's a promise! God will take care of it. He will get things back in the right direction. He will clarify it in his own time and in his own way.
It's not about living a passive life or waiting for God to do everything for us. We should live on our own responsibility. If we have to forgive, then we have to forgive. When we have to confront someone, we ask someone to speak. If we have to explore and question ourselves, then we do that as well. Joseph had to wait for the Lord, but while he was waiting he did what he could. His attitude to the situation and his work led to a promotion. God is not passive when we wait, but works behind the scenes to put together all the pieces of the puzzle that are not yet there. Only then does he fulfill our desires, longings and requests.
Waiting is fundamental to our life with God. When we wait for God, we trust him, wait for him and wait for him. Our wait is not in vain. He will make himself visible, possibly different than we expected. His action will penetrate deeper than you can imagine. Give your injuries, your anger and sorrow, your grief in the hands of God. Do not look for revenge. Do not take justice and justice into your own hands - that is God's job.
by Gordon Green