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