Sweet Revenge

taken-3-leadThe revenge flick, Taken 3, raked in an estimated $40.4 million its first week. Apparently, a lot of people simply wanted to see Liam Neeson avenge his wife’s death by killing a bunch of people. The entertainment industry basically affirms that people are obsessed with the idea of revenge. Think of all the blockbuster movies that have centered on revenge: Death Wish, First Blood, Payback, Braveheart, The Outlaw Joses Wales, and the list goes on.

Revenge is the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands; the desire to inflict retribution. We justify our desire for revenge by thinking we are trying to right a wrong. But there is a difference between revenge and justice.
1. Revenge begets more revenge; justice provides closure. Revenge re-opens and aggravates your emotional wounds. Even though you might be tempted to punish a wrong, you end up punishing yourself because you can’t heal. 

2. Carrying out revenge is a weapon; carrying out justice is a shield/form of protection. Carrying out an act of revenge is intentionally meant to cause harm to another person. Justice, on the other hand, seeks to deliver consequences for improper actions and to deter other people from committing the same acts.

3, Revenge is driven by emotion; justice is driven by logic and rationality. Justice is dispensed through a logical and rational system by a neutral third-party, i.e. a judge. Judges are asked to recuse themselves if there is even a slight connection with the trial they are overseeing because emotion is not supposed to be a driving factor in the dispensing of justice.

People have heard in the news about Sanctuary cities but they probably do not know that the concept was God’s idea.  In today’s corrupted judicial system Sanctuary cities is a far cry from the cities of refuge found in the Old Testament. Nowhere in the Bible did God allow people guilty of murder to flee to a certain city to avoid punishment. Numbers 35:11-15

God knew people would seek revenge before a person could make his case before an impartial judge. The purpose of the practice of sanctuary at the temple or the cities of refuge scattered throughout Israel was to provide safe zones to which the person who had accidentally killed someone could flee, be protected from excessive retribution and have the case heard by an impartial judge. Joshua 20:4 

God never approves of revenge even if the person is truly guilty. Rather, “Don’t take revenge, dear friends. Instead, let God’s anger take care of it. Scripture says, “I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19  Human anger, you see, doesn’t produce God’s justice!” James 1:20 NTE.

Remember we live in a fallen world, inhabited by fallen people and therefore life is not fair. [You already knew that didn’t you?] We may not experience justice in this life  but God will right every wrong. Ecclesiastes 12:14 

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A Depraved Nation

Just when you think our society cannot get worse, a news headline proves us wrong.

  • This week we were all shocked when police found that 13 children and young adults had been held in horrific conditions was listed as a private school. We cannot understand how parents could ever abuse their children in such a matter. 
  • A USA Gymnastics team doctor sentenced to 175 years in jail for sexually abusing children 
  • Most recently, a video was released showing a daycare worker hitting a child on her head because the worker did not think the child was obeying.  {Warning: graphic images} 

We have become so calloused to events that we see and hear every day. How much lower can a man sink into his depravity? The Prophet Jeremiah was correct in saying, ““More than anything else, a person’s mind is evil. It cannot be healed. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

If we are upset with the culture around us, how do you think God feels?  “The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.” 

There is coming a day (?) when God is going to bring justice to all the earth. “…Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25

 

Missed Opportunity

WPamela Patrick White Artworke have all wondered at some point in our lives that if we had responded differently to a certain situation what would the outcome be? Choices can have tremendous results!

On September 11, 1777, an army of 12,500 British troops marched to the patriot city of Philadelphia, a detachment of green-clad marksmen hid in the woods. Suddenly a senior American officer rode into view. Captain Patrick Ferguson, reputed to be the finest shot in the British army, had his men creep forward to pick off any unsuspecting officers. But before the men were in place, Ferguson felt disgusted with the idea of ambush and ordered his men not to fire.

He shouted to the American officer, who was riding a bay horse. The American looked his way for a moment and turned to ride on. Ferguson called again, this time leveling his rifle toward the officer. The American glanced back before slowly riding away.

A day later, Ferguson learned that the American officer he let ride off was General George Washington. He could have easily shot Washington but thought it was not proper to shoot an “unoffending” individual in the back who was just doing his duty.

If Ferguson had taken aim and fired at the officer who turned his back and rode away, there is no telling how the American Revolution would have turned out. One decision could have changed history!

Stealing does not pay!

Several years ago, I worked for a Pest Control Company whose clientele consisted mostly of millionaires. One of our customers lived in a wooded area and was having problems with rats. We set out our traps and within a couple of days, we had three rats (dead.) This presented a slight problem. How do you dispose of three dead rats? We couldn’t just toss them in the woods or put them in their garbage can. We were in South Carolina and it was a very hot summer, so you can imagine the stench!

We solved the problem by putting the rats in an empty zip-lock bag that had contained a pest control product and placed them in the back of our pickup truck. The plan was to properly dispose of them at the end of the day.

We finished our day and was headed to the office when we decided to stop and buy a couple of soft drinks. After buying our drinks, we discovered that someone had stolen the bag containing the rats, thinking they had a bag of expensive pest control product! I can only imagine their surprise when they open the bag! Remember the rats had been in that bag day in the hot South Carolina sun!

I guess they got more than they bargained for!

In Times Like These…

funeral-nypd-po-michael-williamsYou must understand this: In the last days there will be violent periods of time. 2 Timothy 3:1

I am sure that many of you are concerned as I am about our country’s future. The recent events has caused tensions between whites and Afro-Americans to rise to new levels. Some would use this time to incite more hatred and division. I can only speculate their motives.  They do not understand that violence is never the answer. [An angry person doesn’t do what God approves of.” James 1:20 NOG

Violence is not the same as justice. While the mobs are crying out for justice; their actions [burning police cars, looting, and calling for the death of law officers]  are in direct opposition for their call for justice. I guess their definition of ‘justice’ is doing what they want without any consequences for their actions, Their actions portray the prevalent attitude toward authority. Many people do not respect authority of any kind: School; business, church and of course law enforcement.

It is not surprising that God has a different view of law enforcement that our culture.

Romans 8 ” for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good.

Enough Said?