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Saturday, July 11 2016
Romans 12: Vengeance Is Mine; I Will Repay, Saith The LORD
"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the LORD"
A common definition of "vengeance" today is "The act of taking revenge; harming someone in retaliation for something harmful that they have done." As such, humans typically seek "revenge" on a purely emotional level i.e. anger and grief. All too often, in the carnal world of now, it's simply a matter of "might makes right" - whether it's truly right or not e.g. some think that it's right to commit murder in response to a murder. But murder is murder, regardless of the who or why.
The English-language words "avenge," "revenge," "vengeance" and "vindicate" all originated from a single Latin word, vindicare, that ultimately meant to prove what, or who, is right. Those words are used to translate the Hebrew word of the Holy Scriptures, pronounced naw-kawm, which has an identical meaning - a powerful force to prove right. It isn't simply a matter of causing harm in return for being harmed.
The LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour), while also using the principle of "might makes right," is always right. The LORD's well-known "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the LORD" isn't merely about manifest anger; it's about revealing Truth, and those of the Truth, in a way that cannot be denied - along with the Justice that awaits the innocent and the guilty. In the mean time, the LORD's people need only stand clear of those to whom the LORD's wrath will be delivered.
"12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Notice carefully that, when it comes to vengeance, the LORD's people need only to do right in their own law-abiding, peaceful lives. "Love your enemy" includes awaiting what's coming to him: "Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
"12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Fact Finder: Why does the LORD give people the freedom to do good or evil?
This Day In History, July 11
911: The Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte was signed between Charles "the Simple" and Rollo of Normandy.
1302: The Battle of the Golden Spurs (Dutch Guldensporenslag); the Flemish (Flanders is the southern area of the Netherlands that 5 centuries later became the Dutch-speaking northern area of Belgium) defeated the king of France's royal army.
1346: Charles IV of Luxembourg was elected Holy Roman Emperor in Germany (see The Holy Roman Empire).
1533: Pope Clement VII threatened English King Henry VIII with ex-communication if he did not resume his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Henry wasn't impressed with the threat - the marriage was annulled by Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, and afterward Henry married Anne Boleyn. Two years later, Henry broke with Rome and established the Church of England as the national religion of England (while at the same, as with the rest of the "Protestant" world, they maintained nearly all of Rome's antichrist doctrines; see Antichristians and Is Your Religion Your Religion?).
1576: English explorer Martin Frobisher sighted Greenland.
1613: The first Romanov Czar, Michael, was crowned in Russia ("Czar" is the Russian form of "Caesar," as is the German "Kaiser"). The dynasty lasted until the Russian Revolution in 1917 when the reigning Czar at that time, Nicholas II, and his entire family, were executed by the communist revolutionaries.
1616: Samuel de Champlain returned to Quebec.
1708: Forces under England's Duke of Marlborough defeated the French under Louis Vendome at the Battle of Oudenarde during the War of Spanish Succession.
1740: Jews were expelled from Little Russia by order of Czarina Anne.
1750: Halifax, Nova Scotia was destroyed by fire.
1776: English explorer Captain James Cook set sail on his third voyage.
1804: Aaron Burr, a former Vice President of the U.S. killed former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in a duel over political rivalry and accusations.
1882: During the Anglo-Egyptian War, the British Mediterranean Fleet began the bombardment of Alexandria, Egypt (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1889: Tijuana, Mexico, was founded.
1906: Sunday became the official day of rest in Canada; the Senate passed the so-called "Lord's Day Act" which was approved by the House of Commons by Sir Wilfred Laurier's government and was supported by Protestant and Roman Catholic churches and labour groups. The act restricted business, prohibited entertainment, sport, and almost all commerce on Sunday. The law remained in force until the Supreme Court of Canada struck it down in 1985 because it was judged to infringe upon the religious rights of non-Christians - an ironic view because the Sunday law in fact infringed upon the religious rights of true Christians. The Government had the right idea, but the wrong day; Sunday has never been, nor will ever be, the true Christian Sabbath (see When Is The LORD's Day? and Why Observe The True Sabbath?).
1919: The eight-hour working day and "free Sunday" become law in the Netherlands (again, as explained above, the right idea, but the wrong day).
1942: The longest bombing raid of the Second World War was carried out by 1,750 British and Canadian Lancaster bombers (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1962: The first transatlantic satellite television transmission.
1979: After orbiting the earth since 1973, the U.S. Skylab re-entered the Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated over the Indian Ocean.
1995: Full diplomatic relations were established between the U.S. and Vietnam.
1995: More than 8,000 men and children in Bosnia were murdered by Serbian troops commanded by Ratko Mladic.
2006: Over 200 people were murdered in a series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.