Monday, January 2, 2012

Of Revenge Part 2

An important point to realize is that when you take a life, you have just cut off that person’s chances of salvation. Think about that, you just sent someone to Hell. Let me give you another example. Dick comes into Bob’s house. Dick points a gun at Bob’s kid and says, ‘your money or his life and the money.” Bob’s wife is standing around the corner with a .223 rifle. Does she shoot the man in the head or the leg? The point of this example is to show you that there’s a big difference between the prideful attitude of, “you set foot in my house, I’m gonna kill you,” and the necessary action of saving your children, (or your wife, husband, brother, sister etc.) by disabling the man and calling the police. Remember that when you strike someone down, you have just taken away a chance of salvation. You have just ignored the cost of Christ’s dying on the cross to save all men. Do you think He’s going to be very happy with you?
Now don’t think that killing is never necessary, in fact, doesn’t the bible say in Numbers 35: 30,
‘If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death at the evidence of witnesses, but no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness.”? That means anyone. There is a time for killing someone who murders because the value of human life is incredible and that privilege cannot be taken away and made light of. But where do we draw the line between justice and revenge? Now you might say, well since I’m not angry I am obviously just carrying out justice. This issue is sooo difficult to debate/argue/discuss about that I shall save it for the question I would ask God when I enter Heaven, as I am sure that I will. 
If you are in a situation where somebody is going to kill you unless you kill them, this situation is brought to the level of self-defense. At this level everyone has to make their own decision. In June of this year I poked my head into a debate between my eldest sister and her friend and told her that if someone was going to shoot you, and you have to shoot back, they’re sending themselves to wherever they go, Heaven or Hell. I basically said, ‘look, someone has already made the decision to kill you, they have already battled their conscience and have made up their mind to kill you, so is it your fault if they go to Hell?”  Which is a good point, but who said that person makes the last decision? There are millions of people who made up their minds to turn away from God and then came right back again. It has been man’s continual choice to turn away from God since Adam fell. That is human nature, but that doesn’t make it acceptable or moral or right. My mind is still not quite made up on that subject completely, but at this moment I would say yes. It is your fault. Now this is personally. This is for me. If I was attacked during the night and had a gun on me, I would probably shoot the person out of mere fright. If I could collect my thoughts, think about it for a few seconds I would probably take the bullet. I pray that I am never in such a situation.

 You know, maybe by dying I can be an example because what would you think if you’re pointing a gun at me and I lay down the gun I have and take your bullet. Wouldn’t you be dumbfounded? Here’s another example: Jason is standing in front of a firing squad about to be shot for murder on three occasions. William rolls along in his new Mercedes and gets out, hands the keys to Jason and takes his place. Jason drives away, and William gets shot. That would be truly incredible. That’s exactly what Jesus did for us, and what happened in the Narnia Chronicles, ‘when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the (Stone) Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.” How amazing is that? Can we do what was done for us? And are we worthy of His Name?

Some people are sensitive as to their family and friends and would say something like, “well, I know what I should do, but this is my brother,” or something along those lines. Some people wouldn’t kill for the neighbor down the street, but would kill anyone who even threatened the life of their family member or friend. What kind of logic is that? Your brother isn’t more important than right or wrong, the neighbor down the street or God’s laws!

Maybe people are thinking, if there is no law for the punishment of a wrong, and the person who did it is outside of the law, then things change. Where is the line to be drawn between necessity and vengeful character? Honestly, I don’t think humans have an answer to that question, so I’m not going to address that issue. Maybe in the future I will post my beliefs and thoughts on the issue because that moves to another level, Necessity and Motives. Here are some basic questions I would ask myself before I took a vengeful action.

1. Am I right? - This means, am I right in the first place? Am I avenging an innocent person, someone who was wrongly accused, or killed without reason? Or am I defending someone who needs justice?
2. Am I angry? - If I’m really angry, to clear up my thinking I should consider Thomas Jefferson’s maxim, “If angry, count to ten before speaking, if very angry, one hundred.”
3. Is it important? –Is my action really necessary? Am I feeding my pride? Being stubborn? Does it matter what I do? If I do it, are things going to be better than they were before? 
4. How am I going to feel later? – This question is very important. Am I going to feel sorry, bad, disappointed or depressed when you’ve taken the vengeful action? If you are, this action probably won’t be necessary or moral. 
5. What are your Motives? - Why are you doing it? There is a host of questions that can go in this category and if I listed them all, the average person who did something out of revenge wouldn’t be able to answer them. This category is so broad and changes for each person. Every person has different thoughts about revenge and has different motives but if your actions are prideful, stubborn, angry, selfish, unnecessary, un-biblical and sinful then maybe you should check yourself. Each situation is different and every decision is different. Sometimes God speaks to a specific person and tells them to do certain things, to kill certain people and to revenge him or his people. Every vengeful action should be prayed about and thought about carefully, in the end, whatever you decide is none of man’s concern. What you do is between you and God, nobody can judge you. Live for an audience of one. You can decide if that’s going to be one, or The One, it’s your decision.

God is the Judge, of the people who committed the wrong and of your resulting actions. God uses people to carry out His will in different situations. Before I take a vengeful action I would clear my motives and my actions. Motives aren’t everything though, as in Jurassic Park III, ‘some of the best motives have brought about the most disastrous things.’ I would pray and look at the Scriptures before I took any actions.

I hope I haven’t utterly confused you. I’ll sum up this argument in conclusion: Revenge is wrong, period. Don’t get revenge mixed up with necessity or justice though. The arguments for the justice side of this argument are endless. I hate to even think about them. I’ve had quite a long discussion with two people about this before and we have never even made dents in this aspect of it. Try it yourself. You’ll be led to the role of government, the Bible, Faith and a host of other things. Maybe someday I’ll undertake to write a book about these ominous subjects: Revenge, Justice, and Necessity.


  1. Hey Abigail, I just wanted to let you know that I have read your posts on revenge, I have also written my reply/comment I am just proof reading it and will be posting it shortly.

  2. I agree completely with you in the matter of the value of human life is un-measurable. But I do disagree when you say that you believe it is your fault that you sent the robber or whatever he may be to hell. I disagree entirely; if you kill a man who is attempting to murder you, he is the one who is at fault. First off, he is accountable for his own salvation not you, it was not murder on the defenders side, merely self-defense. Lets just say in that moment your reasoning might be I will let this man kill me, in the hopes of him having a chance to go to heaven, which is highly unlikely, since our first instinct is survival as human beings. How do you know it is your time to die? How do you know that God doesn’t want you to go on and become a great evangelist and save THOUSANDS of lives? What if it is his time to die? What if God sent the killer to your house knowing that you carry a gun with you and that you will kill him, to end his killing spree that he would most likely continue on in. Unless you hear God tell you to let him kill you, I don’t think it would be wise to “Kill yourself”; what about Jericho or Sodom and Gomorrah? God sent the Israelites into war, knowing that they would kill unsaved people, they destroyed Jericho, and not only did they kill the soldiers but the women and children too. He went against them because they were idol worshipers, in other words Unsaved. Are the Isrealites at fault for killing those men? No, they would have been though, if they ignored God’s commands.

    There is a fine line between Revenge and Justice. First, the bible clearly states that Vengeance is the Lords, and like you said, you think God uses people to give out justice, here is one instance of that.

    Genesis 9:6 “ Whoever sheds man’s blood,
    By man his blood shall be shed…

    Here is another that clearly suggests that God does use man, or government, through man to produce justice. We are arguing God’s justice, not mans, in doing so, if it is in the Bible, isn’t it true and just? God would not put it in there for our eyes to see if he does not agree with it himself.

    Numbers 35:16 " 'Anyone who uses an iron weapon to kill someone is a murderer. He must be put to death.17 Anyone who takes a rock and kills a person with it is a murderer. He must be put to death.18 Anyone who picks up a piece of wood and kills someone with it is a murderer. He must be put to death.19 A relative of the dead person must put the murderer to death; when they meet, the relative must kill the murderer.

    (There was not enough room for my whole comment so I have to post it twice...)

  3. Numbers 35:29-31 ‘And these things shall be a statute of judgment to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 30 Whoever kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the testimony of witnesses; but one witness is not sufficient testimony against a person for the death penalty. 31 Moreover you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death.
    However, it says in the bible that we must follow the laws of the land. (Unless it goes against scripture), so it wouldn’t be very wise for you to go hunt down and kill the murderer of your family member. But since reading Numbers 35:19 I do not believe it would be wrong for the relative to kill the perpetrator, I’m not saying I would though, I don’t think I would be able to.

    This system worked very well, if we move on to view today’s justice system, you will find that they are not carrying out punishment as they should, resulting in higher murder rates.

    Think of this, God does not punish us to get even, but to stop us from committing the same sin over and over again. That is why you spank your children, so they learn not to do what they did again.

    Saying this, I think it is imperative to follow through with death. But, we must keep in mind that in order to leave room for Gods wrath we must follow his law. We must hear what he is saying.

    I think that this is a very interesting and hard topic to discuss and I believe the only way to settle it completely is by agreeing that only God can judge the heart of man, we can not assume to know whether it is revenge or not.

    1. I'm writing my rebuttal, it'll be in my next post. Much too long for a comment. Don't think I have no response, I'm going to re-state and clear up what I previously said and try not to go on rabbit trails.
      I understand how these questions and doubts could have risen in you mind. I didn't stick to revenge alone, and that is what has caused this confusion. You have very valid points, most of it I agree with; it's just that I was unclear in my post. We're both really saying the same thing; we agree on almost everything, but I do disagree with your opinion that many of the Old Testament commands were written for us which has been communicated to me through your comments. Also there are other minor points.
      I'll clear everything up, I hope, in my next post.

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