When you read the account of the widow and the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-8, you can walk away thinking it’s only about vengeance. But let’s look at it a little closer. It reads, ‘There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ Why this widow asked to be avenged, I don’t know. But someone had to have been messing with her. So much so, that she sought legal assistance, to no avail. The judge quickly dismissed her case but after several appeals, he finally ruled in her favor. She would now be avenged. But Jesus asks the question: “Shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?”
Vengeance Takes Time
The thing about vengeance is that sometimes it takes a while. The reason is because God is ‘bearing long’ with those who oppose us. Why? 2 Peter 3:15 in the Amplified says, ‘And consider the patience of our Lord [His delay in judging and avenging wrongs] as salvation [that is, allowing time for more to be saved]’ The reason he bears long is because He’s being as patient with them as He is with you. He’s giving them the same time and opportunity He gave you when you acted a fool. Though you’d prefer He avenge you sooner, the fact that He delays their judgment about as long as He delays yours, should help you understand His reasoning. And I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know that I could ask the Lord to avenge me. I mean sure, in the heat of the moment, I’ve said that He would, and I know that Romans 12:19 says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” But I never actually thought that He would. I mean I knew that He would, but I knew it took a long time. Now I understand why.
Asking To Be Avenged...By Faith
As a matter of fact, earlier this week, I told the Lord that I knew there was a key individual that was personally behind the decades long hardships I’d experienced. So after reading about the widow today, I was led to ask Him to do the same for me. But here’s the thing. I didn’t ask Him out of bitterness or anger. Like the widow, I asked Him in faith. Notice Jesus said, ‘…shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him…’ That widow cried out to the judge and so should we. But not in frustration or not in a God’s-gonna-kill-ya-dead type of way, but in faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, ‘But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.’ If we’re seeking Him for vengeance, then we have to come to Him believing that He will respond to our faith. Not coming to Him asking Him to set it off but asking Him to do what only He can to our adversaries. So I asked calmly, even asking that He’d give that person the opportunity to repent or either rectify the situation with me. And then almost immediately, He revealed a side of repentance that I hadn’t seen before. If that person does repent, it automatically loosens the hold and undoes the ‘works of the devil.’ What He meant by that, is similar to what Zacchaeus experienced.
Repent, Rectify, or Get Rode On
Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector who was known for extortion. But when he gave His life to Christ, He told the Lord that he would, “give half of [his] goods to the poor; and if [he’d] taken [or extorted] anything from anyone by false accusation, [he would] restore four-fold.” (Luke 19:8) To some, Zacchaeus was an financial adversary. But because he repented, God put it on his heart to rectify his wrongs. Had he not, the Lord still would have given him a little more time. And during that time, it would have been up to those folks to keep BELIEVING that God take care of the situation (i.e. avenge). And because He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, even for vengeance, He would soon thereafter ‘avenge them speedily.’ (Lk. 18:8)
I know we want the Lord to avenge us speedily but remember: The Lord is not slack (slow) concerning His promise, as some count slackness (slowness), but is longsuffering towards us (and our adversary), not willing that any should perish but that all (including our adversary) should come to repentance. (2 Pet. 3:9) Us, asking for vengeance, could very well lead that person to repentance. God is just that good. So good that He’d use your vengeful request to lead your adversary to a place of forgiveness because it’s remember, it's ‘the goodness of God [that] leads [us all] to repentance.' (Rom 2:4)
Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, I have waited and waited and waited for You to avenge me. So much so that I want to avenge myself. But Lord You said that vengeance is Yours. It's not mine so I’m not going to touch anything – in word, thought, or deed – that doesn’t belong to me. But Lord of Hosts, I am asking You – in faith - to avenge me and grant my adversary the gift of repentance. In the meantime Lord, I thank You for keeping and restoring me. In Jesus’ name.
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