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Nick
Aug 9th 2013, 04:47 AM
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19, ESV)

David wrote in Ps. 109

Be not silent, O God of my praise!
For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me,
speaking against me with lying tongues.
They encircle me with words of hate,
and attack me without cause.
In return for my love they accuse me,
but I give myself to prayer.
So they reward me evil for good,
and hatred for my love.
Appoint a wicked man against him;
let an accuser stand at his right hand.
When he is tried, let him come forth guilty;
let his prayer be counted as sin!
May his days be few;
may another take his office!
May his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow!
May his children wander about and beg,
seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!
May the creditor seize all that he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!
Let there be none to extend kindness to him,
nor any to pity his fatherless children!
May his posterity be cut off;
may his name be blotted out in the second generation!
May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord,
and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out!
Let them be before the Lord continually,
that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth!
For he did not remember to show kindness,
but pursued the poor and needy
and the brokenhearted, to put them to death.
He loved to curse; let curses come upon him!
He did not delight in blessing; may it be far from him!
He clothed himself with cursing as his coat;
may it soak into his body like water,
like oil into his bones!
May it be like a garment that he wraps around him,
like a belt that he puts on every day!
May this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord,
of those who speak evil against my life!
But you, O God my Lord,
deal on my behalf for your name's sake;
because your steadfast love is good, deliver me!
For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is stricken within me.
I am gone like a shadow at evening;
I am shaken off like a locust.
My knees are weak through fasting;
my body has become gaunt, with no fat.
I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
when they see me, they wag their heads.
Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me according to your steadfast love!
Let them know that this is your hand;
you, O Lord, have done it!
Let them curse, but you will bless!
They arise and are put to shame, but your servant will be glad!
May my accusers be clothed with dishonor;
may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a cloak!
With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord;
I will praise him in the midst of the throng.
For he stands at the right hand of the needy one,
to save him from those who condemn his soul to death.

M_Wm_Ferguson_MTh
Aug 10th 2013, 12:22 AM
"Is it biblical to pray for vengeance?"

Are you asking or telling? Either way, cp. Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:28.

RabbiKnife
Aug 10th 2013, 04:50 AM
Don't ask for vengeance. You can't handle it.

Let God have vengeance.

Justbaskmhim to,let you watch.

:D

clarkthompson
Aug 10th 2013, 04:14 PM
I don't feel we should pray for us to get vengence but I think it might be allright to pray for the Lord to His vengence.

watchinginawe
Aug 10th 2013, 04:17 PM
Is it biblical to pray for vengeance?

Prayer is the catch all bucket it seems. Things that we can do nothing about, we are able to unburden ourselves of it and trust God in the matter.

Imagine God receiving David's requests of imprecation upon his and His enemies. :hmm: David's heart in these matters seemingly pleased God. What aspect of it did God find pleasing?

Wrath and vengeance are filled to the brim with emotional components in my opinion. Surely our view, and in the Bible given to us, the human aspect of this is emphasized as we can't approach understanding God in these matters. We understand these matters as God has given us to understand them. For me, I don't imagine an apathetic God keeping a cosmic scoreboard on the heavenly abacus. But is it right to feel satisfaction that in the end, they (me and God's enemies :) ) will get recompensed accordingly? I would say that is Biblical, but kind of taboo at the same time.

When God sent Nathan the Prophet to the King of Israel, He knew David's heart, and also his sin that was polluting it. It is instructive to see how David, as King, received the parable that Nathan declared. David responded regarding the injustice suffered by the poor man at the hands of the rich man with: "2 Samuel 12:5 And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: 6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity." We know the rest of the story, but perhaps David touched on the "be angry, and sin not" aspect of this topic (Ephesians 4:26-27).

Romans 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Nick, I would like to ask you a question based on my biased impression of the reformed view. Do you sense that imprecation is embraced or even needful to the reformed view? For whatever reason, I tend to feel it is emphasized. Perhaps when one believes in unconditional election, the taboo nature of this is less restrictive and the human emotional aspect encouraged. Those of perdition have no hope and all that remains is for their wicked deeds to be cut short or recompensed. I'm not saying this is right or wrong, only something I believe to sense, perhaps as a corollary to "the doctrines of grace".

Ceegen
Aug 10th 2013, 05:02 PM
Are you asking or telling? Either way, cp. Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:28.

I was thinking of those passages too.

TravelingFurHunter
Aug 11th 2013, 03:08 PM
I wouldn't. It's like asking for something bad to happen to someone. Leave it to God. If you want something good to happen to them, pray. Or if you have trouble with someone, ask God to help you.

keck553
Aug 11th 2013, 04:07 PM
Here's a petition, right out of the Bible:

"and they cried with a great voice, saying, How long, O Master, the holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?"

Brother Paul
Aug 11th 2013, 04:16 PM
Don't ask for vengeance. You can't handle it.

Let God have vengeance.

Justbaskmhim to,let you watch.

:D

I would add...Remembering, whatsoever a man sows that he shall also reap!

David praying for it does not make it God's will...

Take the general principle, "A gentle answer turneth away wrath". Does it always? No! Obviously not. This is not a promise, it is a principle founded on wisdom that directs us to the right path, but everything people did as recorded in the Bible are not what God wants us to also do. Sometimes they are an example for us to not do. For example it is true Peter lied when he denied, but his lie was not the truth nor the WAY we should go...it is just a statement to show us something about ourselves we can and should if possible avoid doing.

Brother Paul

LandShark
Aug 12th 2013, 02:08 AM
I wouldn't. It's like asking for something bad to happen to someone. Leave it to God. If you want something good to happen to them, pray. Or if you have trouble with someone, ask God to help you.

I agree with you... turning somebody over to satan/destruction is actually a cry for mercy, for God to use whatever He must to bring that person to their knees. But to pray for the demise of anyone when God Himself desires that none should be lost, is our duty. He extended a hand of mercy to me when I didn't deserve it, so I believe we are to do the same for others especially knowing that we will be judged as we judge others! I would rather leave the vengeance to God and spend my time reaching out to the lost or those who seek to take a deeper step!

gringo300
Aug 24th 2013, 01:42 AM
Perhaps the first question should be:

Are vengeance and justice the same thing?

Perhaps the first question should be:

Are vengeance and justice the same thing?

Ceegen
Aug 24th 2013, 03:13 AM
"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." - Romans 12:19.
and
"All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us." - Amos 9:10.

Be careful what you pray for!

Hizikyah
Aug 24th 2013, 02:22 PM
A lesson can be learned from this account:

Luke 9:54-55, "And when His disciples, Yaaqob and Yahchanan, saw this, they said; Teacher, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Yliyah did? But He turned, and rebuked them, and said: You do not know to what spirit you belong."

A lesson can be learned from this account:

Luke 9:54-55, "And when His disciples, Yaaqob and Yahchanan, saw this, they said; Teacher, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Yliyah did? But He turned, and rebuked them, and said: You do not know to what spirit you belong."

Edial
Aug 24th 2013, 02:30 PM
(Rev 6:9 [NET])
Now when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been violently killed because of the word of God and because of the testimony they had given.

(Rev 6:10 [NET])
They cried out with a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Master, holy and true, before you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?”

(Rev 6:11 [NET])
Each of them was given a long white robe and they were told to rest for a little longer, until the full number was reached of both their fellow servants and their brothers who were going to be killed just as they had been.

Thanks,
Ed

Diggindeeper
Aug 24th 2013, 05:35 PM
A lesson can be learned from this account:

Luke 9:54-55, "And when His disciples, Yaaqob and Yahchanan, saw this, they said; Teacher, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Yliyah did? But He turned, and rebuked them, and said: You do not know to what spirit you belong."

A lesson can be learned from this account:

Luke 9:54-55, "And when His disciples, Yaaqob and Yahchanan, saw this, they said; Teacher, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Yliyah did? But He turned, and rebuked them, and said: You do not know to what spirit you belong."

What translation of the Bible do you use? I have trouble knowing who on earth you are talking about with names like "Yaaqob and Yahchanan". Your posts are very confusing to me. Is English not your first language?

dan
Aug 28th 2013, 07:35 PM
I pray for trouble for those that make evil, not vengeance, for vengeance will come in time.

Trouble, that will turn those that make evil away from their bad works. Trouble, that the Believers will see and be uplifted, knowing that God is taking a hand towards our peace.

keck553
Aug 28th 2013, 11:08 PM
What translation of the Bible do you use? I have trouble knowing who on earth you are talking about with names like "Yaaqob and Yahchanan". Your posts are very confusing to me. Is English not your first language?

Maybe it's the First tongues edition?

The poster probably means Jacob/James (Yaakov), Elijah (Eliyahu) and John (Yochanan) which are English/Hebrraic expressions.

Not sure how "James" came out of Jacob, perhaps Doc Holiday helped write the KJV?

Oregongrown
Aug 29th 2013, 04:02 PM
Don't ask for vengeance. You can't handle it.

Let God have vengeance.

Justbaskmhim to,let you watch.

:D

LOL! Right on by the way, imo, LOL! Well, except for getting to watch, LOL!

Yes, and "vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord" pretty much says it all.:rolleyes:

dan
Aug 31st 2013, 01:43 AM
"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." - Romans 12:19.
and
"All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us." - Amos 9:10.

Be careful what you pray for!

Funny thing. I think of Amos 9:10 as a knock against those that cannot, or will not prepare for those that would attack with the sword.

Much like Amos 6:3 below.

England has given up the sword, and has exposed themselves to any that would attack with the sword.

2THESS 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2THESS 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Pleasure in the unrighteousness of the lack of defense of the innocent which is quenched by the ARMED MAN.

LK 11:21 When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth.

TravelingFurHunter
Jul 25th 2014, 04:09 PM
I wouldn't. If you don't forgive people when they sin against you, then your Heavenly Father will not forgive your sins. Stephen did not pray for vengeance when he was being stoned, he asked God not not to "hold this sin against them." Acts Chapter 7. Jesus forgave the men who hung Him on the cross, because he had the power to do so, but you have the choice to forgive or not, it is better to forgive, Matthew 5:7, and chapter 6:14-15. Vengeance is mine says the Lord. Leave it to God, for He knows best. He will do what is right, even though we don't always understand, but He is Sovereign and will always do what is right. Forgive, and you will be forgiven, remember that. I can't talk a lot about what David did, because I don't fully understand what he was like, so I will some more studying into that, but I do know what Jesus said, and I know it was right.

Fenris
Jul 27th 2014, 03:12 PM
If you don't forgive people when they sin against you, then your Heavenly Father will not forgive your sins.
Do we have an obligation to forgive people who haven't even asked? How about people who don't even feel remorse? People who are happy that they wronged you?

paidforinfull
Jul 27th 2014, 03:28 PM
Do we have an obligation to forgive people who haven't even asked? How about people who don't even feel remorse? People who are happy that they wronged you?

Hey Fenris :)

Unforgiveness can lead to bitterness and worse for the person who doesn't forgive. It can affect our relationships with others and it can make us physically, mentally and emotionally ill. It is for our own sakes as well as for the sakes of those who sinned against us that we need to forgive them.

May you enjoy a blessed day,
B.

Fenris
Jul 27th 2014, 05:17 PM
Hey Fenris :)

Unforgiveness can lead to bitterness and worse for the person who doesn't forgive.
Forgiveness is fine, but we shouldn't get carried away with it. Here's an article with some interesting concepts


Forgive the terrorists?

By Rabbi Benjamin Blech

To err is human, to forgive, divine," said Alexander Pope. But where do the 9-11 terrorists fit in? A prominent rabbinic thinker addresses, perhaps, one of the most difficult theological questions of the tragic episode





G-d, I need your guidance. I grieve for all the victims of September 11th. My heart is filled with pain, and with anger at the terrorists responsible for the horrible crimes committed on that day. But I know that you teach us to forgive those who sin. In the Bible you often tell us that you are a G-d who is slow to anger, merciful and forgiving. We are supposed to imitate you and adopt Your behavior as guidelines for our own personal conduct. Does that really mean that no matter how difficult it is, I have to tell myself to forgive all those who turned the twin towers into a mass graveyard? Am I guilty of failing my spiritual obligations if I'm not willing to respond to terrorism with love and forgiveness? G-d, how far does clemency go? In the name of religion, must I be prepared to pardon even those who committed murder?

Forgiveness is a divine trait. It defines the goodness of G-d. Without it human beings probably couldn't survive. Because G-d forgives, there's still hope for sinners. When we do wrong, G-d reassures us that he won't abandon us as a result of our transgressions. Divine forgiveness is the quality that most clearly proves G-d's love for us.

That's why the many passages in the Bible that affirm G-d's willingness to forgive our sins are so important. They comfort us and they fill us with confidence. We know none of us are perfect. If we would be judged solely on our actions we would surely all fall short. Thank G-d the heavenly court isn't that strict. We can rest assured, as the prophet Isaiah told us in the name of the Lord, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."

It makes perfect sense, then, for us to understand that if we expect G-d to forgive us for our failings we have to be prepared to forgive others as well. What we need when we're being judged from above certainly deserves to be granted to those we are judging. So we obviously have to be guided by the profound words of Alexander Pope: "To err is human, to forgive, divine."

That all makes it seem like we have no choice in the matter. Forgiveness appears to be our only moral option. But the more we study the Bible, the more we recognize a peculiar paradox. The same G-d who preaches forgiveness very often doesn't forgive. Instead, he punishes sinners. He holds people responsible. He criticizes, he condemns, and afflicts those who committed crimes. Adam and Eve sinned, and they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Cain sinned and he was condemned to become a wanderer over the face of the earth. The generation of Noah sinned and a flood destroyed them. The builders of the Tower of Babel sinned and their speech was turned into babble. In one story after another, from the five Books of Moses through the works of the prophets, we read of retribution, of accountability, of divine punishment.

Isn't this an innate contradiction in the Bible? The same book in which G-d identifies himself as merciful and forgiving, repeatedly shows us a G-d of justice who withholds undeserved pardons. It almost sounds hypocritical to hear G-d glorify forgiveness as an ideal way to act and then most the time not to put it into practice in his dealings with human beings.

There must be something we're missing. There can't be such an obvious contradiction in the Bible. And sure enough, just a little reflection makes clear why there are times when G-d forgives people for their sins and why at other times he refuses.

THE PRICE FOR FORGIVENESS

G-d's great gift to us is a heavenly pardon. But His present is predicated on a condition. What He asks us to do before He grants us forgiveness is to acknowledge that we were wrong and that we renounce our sinful behavior.

"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our G-d, and He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:7)

Forgiveness is willing to overlook the sins of the past for the sake of an altered future. It is ready to pardon the most terrible wrongs for the price of remorse, regret and the desire for a new beginning. But the one thing G-d's forgiveness is unwilling to do is to condone vicious crimes by simply accepting them. An unrepentant sinner mistakes G-d's mercy for permission to continue in his ways. To forgive such a person isn't kindness; its cruelty to all those who'll be hurt by the evil that wasn't stopped before it could do more harm.



STIMULATION AND INSPIRATION

Yes, it was the same G-d who drowned the wicked generation of Noah and who saved the evil people of Nineveh. Those who were destroyed by the flood were given plenty of warning. They watched Noah build his ark for many years. Noah told them what G-d planned to do if they didn't repent. But they didn't believe him - even when it started to rain and to pour like never before. So of course people who didn't see the need to ask for forgiveness weren't forgiven.

But when Jonah told the residents of the city of Nineveh that they were doomed because of their evil behavior, they took the message to heart and committed themselves to a new way of life. And the people who changed were immediately forgiven. G-d wasn't going to hold their past against them - because it was really a thing of the past.

To speak of forgiveness as if it were the automatic entitlement of every criminal is to pervert a noble sentiment into a carte blanche for mayhem and chaos. We might as well open the doors of every jail and release all the thieves, rapists and murderers. Our wonderful act of compassion wouldn't take too long to be followed by the cries of the victims of our folly!

As a Jew, I recognize this idea as a basic principle of our faith. In our tradition we are taught that, "He who forgives the wicked hurts the good." But you don't have to be Jewish to acknowledge the validity of this concept. The Christian Bible unambiguously affirms it as well: "And if your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if seven times of the day he sins against you, and seven times of the day turns to you saying, I repent, you shall forgive him." (Luke 17:3-4) Forgiveness isn't an orphan. Its parent has to be repentance.

DON'T FORGIVE THEM UNLESS?.

Forgiving people who aren't sorry for what they did makes a statement: Repentance isn't really necessary. No matter what you did, you don't have to change. Can anything be more immoral than encouraging evil by refraining from any condemnation of those who commit it?

The day after the Columbine High School massacre, a group of students announced that they forgave the killers. A short while after the Oklahoma bombing, some people put out a call to forgive Timothy McVeigh. And, on September 12th, on several American campuses, colleges groups pleaded for forgiveness for the terrorists responsible for the horrific events of the previous day.

These weren't just misguided gestures of compassion. They were serious sins with potentially tragic consequences. Evil unchallenged is evil condoned. To forgive and forget, as Arthur Schopenhauer so well put it, "means to throw valuable experience out the window." And without the benefit of experience's lessons we are almost certain to be doomed to repeat them.

The terrorists who piloted the planes into the twin towers never asked us to be forgiven. They expressed not the slightest remorse as they went to their deaths together with their victims. Those who sent them, those who financed them, and those who applauded their mission never for a moment regretted what happened. Forgiving them is no less than giving them license to murder 4000 more innocent people. That's why to forgive in a case like this is to become an accomplice to future crimes.

WHAT IF A NAZI ASKED FOR FORGIVENESS?

What If a Nazi Asked For Forgiveness? But what if a brutal murderer realizes the enormity of his crimes and honestly regrets his past deeds? What if the plea for forgiveness is accompanied by sincere remorse? Can the crimes of the past be forgotten? Is a troubled conscience sufficient to secure automatic forgiveness?

That's not just a theoretical question. Something exactly like that happened towards the end of the Holocaust. And the man who had to decide what to do in such a situation, a concentration camp victim who had suffered indescribable mistreatment and torture, wrote a remarkable book about his experience.

Simon Wiesenthal was a prisoner of the Nazis confined to slave labor in a German hospital. One day he was suddenly pulled away from his work and brought into a room where an SS soldier lay dying. The German officer, Karl, confessed to Wiesenthal that he had committed atrocious crimes. Although raised as a good Catholic and in his youth G-d-fearing, Karl had allowed himself to become a sadistic accomplice to Nazi ideology. Now that he knew his end was near and he would soon be facing his Maker, Karl was overcome by what he now realized was the enormity of his sins.

More than anything else, Karl knew that he needed atonement. He wanted to die with a clear conscience. So he asked that a Jew be brought to him. And from this Jew, Simon Wiesenthal, the killer asked for absolution.

Wiesenthal has been haunted by this scene his entire life. When it happened, he was in such shock that he didn't know how to respond. His emotions pulled him in different directions. Anger mixed with pity , hatred with compassion, and revulsion with mercy. His conclusion was to leave in utter silence. He didn't grant Karl the forgiveness the German desperately sought.

Years later, Wiesenthal shared the story with a number of prominent intellectuals, theologians and religious leaders. How would they have reacted?, he asked them. In the light of religious teachings and ethical ideals, what should have been the proper response? Was there a more suitable reply than silence?

Wiesenthal collected the answers and had them published as a book called The Sunflower. The ranges of responses offer a fascinating insight into different views on forgiveness. Some, like the British journalist Christopher Hollis, believe that the law of G-d is the law of love, no matter what the situation. We have an obligation to forgive our fellow human beings even when they have caused us the greatest harm. A remorseful murderer deserved compassion.

On the other hand, Cardinal Franz Konig believes that Wiesenthal did Karl a favor just by listening to him. Wiesenthal did pass up the chance to offer his forgiveness to Karl, although in those circumstances doing so would have been " superhuman."

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a prominent American theologian and author, offered a different perspective. No one can forgive crimes not committed against him or her personally. What Karl sought could only come from his victims. It's preposterous to think that one solitary Jew can presume to speak for 6 million.

AND WHO ARE YOU TO FORGIVE?

Some years ago, Rabbi Heschel had occasion to elaborate on this idea. He had been invited to address a group of prominent business executives. Among them were some of the most important CEOs in the country. His lecture dealt with the Holocaust and its lessons for us. He stressed the importance of memory and the need to continue to bear witness to the crime of genocide.

When he finished, one of the very famous names in American corporate life angrily rebutted the essence of Heschel's talk. " I'm tired," he said," of hearing about the Holocaust. You claim that you're speaking in the name of morality. Why can't you demonstrate true morality by learning to forgive and forget?"

To a stunned audience, Heschel replied by asking them for permission to tell a story. Before beginning, he introduced his listeners to the man he would be speaking about. In the history of the Jewish people, he explained, there has hardly ever been someone considered as saintly as Rabbi Israel Kagan, commonly known as the Chafetz Chaim ("the one who desires true life"). A Polish rabbi and scholar of the late 19th and early 20th century, he was universally revered not just for his piety but more importantly for his extreme concern for the feelings of his fellow man. It is an incident in the life of this holy figure that Heschel said he wanted to share before he would respond to the question put to him.

Rabbi Kagan was traveling on a train, immersed in a religious book he was studying. Alongside him sat three Jews anxious to while away the time by playing cards. The game required a fourth hand so they asked the unrecognized stranger to join them. Rabbi Kagan politely refused, explaining that he preferred to continue his reading. The frustrated card players refused to take no for an answer. They began to beat the poor Rabbi until they left him bleeding.

Hours later, the train pulled into the station. Hundreds of people swarmed the platform waiting to greet the great sage. Posters bore signs of Welcome to the Chafetz Chaim. As the Rabbi, embarrassed by all the adulation, walked off the train with his bruises, the crowd lifted him up and carried him off on their shoulders. Watching with horror were the three Jews who had not long before accosted the simple Jew sitting in their cabin, now revealed as one of the spiritual giants of their generation. Profoundly ashamed and plagued by their guilt, they managed to make their way through the crowd and reached their unwilling card player partner.

With tears, they poured out their feelings of shame and remorse. How could they possibly have assaulted this great Rabbi? They begged for forgiveness. And incredibly enough, the Rabbi said no. The man who spent his life preaching love now refused to extend it to people who harmed him and regretted their actions. It seemed incomprehensible. So the three Jews attributed it to a momentary lapse. Perhaps, they thought, it was just too soon for the rabbi to forgive them. He probably needed some time to get over the hurt. They would wait a while and ask again at a more propitious moment.

Several weeks passed and it was now close to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Even the simplest Jews knew that they had to gain forgiveness from their friends if they wanted to be pardoned by G-d. With trepidation, the wicked three wrangled an appointment and once again were able to speak to the Rabbi. They pleaded their case. Still the Rabbi said no. He would not forgive them.

The rabbi's son was present as this strange scene played itself out. Puzzled by his father's peculiar behavior, he couldn't contain himself. It was so unlike anything he had ever witnessed before. Why did his father suddenly act so cruelly? Why would he persist in tormenting people who only asked for a simple expression of forgiveness?

The son dared to ask. His father explained. "Do you really think I don't want to forgive these poor Jews before the High Holy days? If it were only in my power to do so, don't you know that I would have forgiven them when they stood before me at the railroad station? Of course I, Rabbi Kagan, forgive them for what they did to me. When they learned who I was, they were mortified and filled with shame for what they had done. But the man they beat up was the one they presumed to be a simple, unassuming poor person with no crowd of well- wishers waiting to greet him. He was the victim and only he is the one capable of granting them forgiveness. Let them go find that person. I am incapable of releasing them from their guilt."

Rabbi Heschel completed the story. He then turned to the executive who suggested that it was time for us to move on after the Holocaust and to forgive and forget. "I would be more than happy to do so if I only could. But I was not the one who was sealed in the gas chambers to die a horrible death. I didn't have my child pulled from my breast and shot it in front of my eyes. I was not among the tortured, the beaten, the whipped, and the murdered. It is they and they alone who can offer forgiveness. Go and find those 6 million and ask them if they are prepared to forgive and forget."

Should we forgive the murderers of the thousands of victims of terrorism on 9/11? Perhaps the most appropriate response is simply this: We are not the ones who have the right to make that decision.

Bandit
Jul 27th 2014, 05:42 PM
Forgiveness is fine, but we shouldn't get carried away with it. Here's an article with some interesting concepts

Hey Fenris, :P,

I'm going to actually agree to an extent with Fenris, here. Consider what Nehemiah says in the bible, chapter 4 verses 4-6.

"Hear, O our God, for we are despised, turn back their taunt on their own heads... Do not cover their guilt, and do not let their sin be blotted out from your sight."
Also, consider what Paul says in 2nd Timothy.

"Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works."

So, I suggest, there is a point where the people of God may and can say, enough is enough. Now I don't know about you, but when righteous and holy persons of God point a finger at me, I would be concerned. If either Nehemiah or Paul said such things against me, I have no doubt on where I would stand during the judgment by the almighty God. (In other words, do not be a persecutor of God's holy people - it ain't going to go well for you - unless you repent and turn.)

Fenris
Jul 27th 2014, 05:53 PM
Hey Fenris, :P,

I'm going to actually agree to an extent with Fenris, here.
What the.....

:o :lol::hug:

paidforinfull
Jul 27th 2014, 06:16 PM
Forgiveness is fine, but we shouldn't get carried away with it. Here's an article with some interesting concepts

Fenris, before I respond to your post I'd like to be clear on the following point: does Judaism equate forgiveness with absolution (wow would a Jewish person need to be forgiven by the person he/she sinned against before God will forgive them)?

thanks,
B.

Old man
Jul 27th 2014, 06:17 PM
Hey Fenris :)

Unforgiveness can lead to bitterness and worse for the person who doesn't forgive. It can affect our relationships with others and it can make us physically, mentally and emotionally ill. It is for our own sakes as well as for the sakes of those who sinned against us that we need to forgive them.

May you enjoy a blessed day,
B.

There is a huge difference between not forgiving someone and being unforgiving yet for the most part the church cant tell the two apart. We are to forgive (sincerely from our heart) when someone repents. Yet that forgiveness should not be given to those who do not repent until they do repent.


It is for our own sakes .....that we need to forgive them.

I have yet to find (and I have looked) any scripture that even remotely says that forgiveness if for anyone other than the one who is seeking forgiveness for their sins. I have not found any scripture that says that forgiveness is just as much for me as for the one who I am to forgive.

Fenris
Jul 27th 2014, 06:33 PM
Fenris, before I respond to your post I'd like to be clear on the following point: does Judaism equate forgiveness with absolution (wow would a Jewish person need to be forgiven by the person he/she sinned against before God will forgive them)?

Yes, most definitely.

paidforinfull
Jul 27th 2014, 06:59 PM
There is a huge difference between not forgiving someone and being unforgiving yet for the most part the church cant tell the two apart. We are to forgive (sincerely from our heart) when someone repents. Yet that forgiveness should not be given to those who do not repent until they do repent.

I have yet to find (and I have looked) any scripture that even remotely says that forgiveness if for anyone other than the one who is seeking forgiveness for their sins. I have not found any scripture that says that forgiveness is just as much for me as for the one who I am to forgive.
Hi Old man (I agree with DD - I wish I could call you something else :) ).

1. In Matthew 6 we're taught to ask God's forgiveness as we forgive our debtors, and Jesus also tells us that we won't be forgiven if we don't forgive others. So, in this respect, forgiveness benefits both parties involved (the sinner and the one who forgives).

2. Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." It doesn't say here we only need to forgive those who asked our forgiveness.

3. Unforgiveness is spiritual poison; I have read on many websites that it has been medically proven that it can lead to bitterness which can cause cancer, etc. Unforgiveness is damaging to our health. Now, I'm no doctor, so if all the info I've been reading is wrong there's no way I can tell. I will tell you that I've personally known quite a few people who refused to forgive someone, and yes, they did turn into bitter people themselves.

4. There has been times in my life where I wish I didn't have to forgive someone who never repented from their actions, and who never asked my forgiveness, and sometimes it took me a long time to get to the point where I could forgive them (with God's help of course), but in the end I had to let it go, for my own sake, as well as for the sake of my loved ones.

5. Now, in a case of someone causing ongoing harm to us: I will also do whatever I can to resist them, and to tell them what they're doing is wrong. I will even cut them out of my life if possible. In the end I'll have to give them over to God to deal with as He deems fit. There has been times when I prayed that God would either remove or stop someone from doing what they're doing, and they will ultimately have to give account of their actions to God.

Id' rather forgive someone and leave them to God to deal with, than to walk around with resentment deadening my soul and creating a barrier between God and myself.

Blessings,
B.

paidforinfull
Jul 27th 2014, 07:16 PM
Yes, most definitely.

OK, then I can see how we view forgiveness differently, Fenris.

As Christians we believe that we don't need to be forgiven by a person in order to be forgiven by God. If I sinned against someone and they refused to forgive me, I could still go to God and ask Him to forgive me in Jesus' Name. I will be completely forgiven, absolved and innocent of that sin.

So, if a Nazi, a terrorist or any such person wanted to repent and ask forgiveness in Jesus' Name on his deathbed, he could still do so and God will forgive him, regardless of whether he was refused forgiveness from those he hurt (if he accepts Jesus as his Savior). It doesn't seem fair, but God knows our hearts.

Would I ever be able to forgive someone if they did horrible things to my family members? I don't think I could do it easily; it will take time and I'll definitely need God's help.

I hope this makes sense?

Blessings,
B.

breadfirst
Jul 27th 2014, 07:48 PM
Wouldn't it be better if we follow Christ who is our best example. He never prayed for vengeance while He was on earth facing all kinds of persecution ranging from false accusations to being whipped. Here is a verse that clearly demonstrates His true intent when he prayed under difficult circumstances Luke 23:34 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+23:34&version=NASB).

The bottomline is that prayer for vengeance does NOT consider the offender's spiritual ignorance. Hope that makes sense.

Fenris
Jul 27th 2014, 07:55 PM
OK, then I can see how we view forgiveness differently, Fenris.

As Christians we believe that we don't need to be forgiven by a person in order to be forgiven by God. If I sinned against someone and they refused to forgive me, I could still go to God and ask Him to forgive me in Jesus' Name. I will be completely forgiven, absolved and innocent of that sin.

I know.

It's much harder to face a wronged person and ask them to forgive you than to ask God.

From the article, above:

"And if your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if seven times of the day he sins against you, and seven times of the day turns to you saying, I repent, you shall forgive him." (Luke 17:3-4)

paidforinfull
Jul 27th 2014, 08:11 PM
I know.

It's much harder to face a wronged person and ask them to forgive you than to ask God.

From the article, above:

"And if your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if seven times of the day he sins against you, and seven times of the day turns to you saying, I repent, you shall forgive him." (Luke 17:3-4)

Indeed it is, and this is why we need to ask forgiveness. But, if someone refuses to forgive us, God will still do so if we ask Him.

B :).

Fenris
Jul 27th 2014, 08:16 PM
But, if someone refuses to forgive us, God will still do so if we ask Him.
Forget about someone refusing to forgive. You believe a person doesn't even have to ask. And I'm saying, that's the hard part-asking the wronged person. Not asking God.

paidforinfull
Jul 27th 2014, 08:25 PM
Forget about someone refusing to forgive. You believe a person doesn't even have to ask. And I'm saying, that's the hard part-asking the wronged person. Not asking God.

It's not always possible to ask someone's forgiveness - but when it is, we do have to do so. I don't know about you, but I'm sure I wrong people without even realizing I'm doing so, or I might wrong them in passing and never see them again. In such cases I need to ask God for forgiveness, and hope they find it in their hearts to do so as well.

If I am in a position to ask forgiveness, and I don't, well, then I'm sinning and that is between me and God. If that person decides to forgive me anyway, God will know it, and it will please God.

So, to sum it up:
- God requires us to ask a person to forgive us if we're in a position to do so. Regardless of whether the person then forgives us or not, God will still do so if we ask Him to.
- If we're not in a position to ask someone's forgiveness, regardless of whether that person forgive us or not, we can still ask and receive God's forgiveness for our sin/s.

Blessings,
B.

PS: I agree with you that is usually very hard to ask someone's forgiveness.

Fenris
Jul 27th 2014, 08:43 PM
So, to sum it up:
- God requires us to ask a person to forgive us if we're in a position to do so. Oh. Well now, that's different. If you say that a person has to ask the wronged party for forgiveness first, I agree with you. The Talmud says that a person is required to ask for forgiveness three times. If after that they are refused forgiveness, then the person refusing is being hard-hearted and sinning themselves.


- If we're not in a position to ask someone's forgiveness, regardless of whether that person forgive us or not, we can still ask and receive God's forgiveness for our sin/s.Perhaps.

I'm a big fan of setting things right. It's not enough to ask God, we have to effect a change in ourselves and the world generally, if possible. I'll use a true story as an example. In the 1930s a French Nazi murdered a Jew. At the trial, the victim's mother told the Nazi that she forgave him. This surprised him and set off much soul-searching. He was freed when the Nazis conquered France. Rather than taking their side, he ran an underground railroad and smuggled hundreds of French Jews to safety. He set things right. He took a single life, but saved hundreds of others. That, I think, is true penitence.

paidforinfull
Jul 27th 2014, 08:56 PM
Oh. Well now, that's different. If you say that a person has to ask the wronged party for forgiveness first, I agree with you. The Talmud says that a person is required to ask for forgiveness three times. If after that they are refused forgiveness, then the person refusing is being hard-hearted and sinning themselves.

Perhaps.

I'm a big fan of setting things right. It's not enough to ask God, we have to effect a change in ourselves and the world generally, if possible. I'll use a true story as an example. In the 1930s a French Nazi murdered a Jew. At the trial, the victim's mother told the Nazi that she forgave him. This surprised him and set off much soul-searching. He was freed when the Nazis conquered France. Rather than taking their side, he ran an underground railroad and smuggled hundreds of French Jews to safety. He set things right. He took a single life, but saved hundreds of others. That, I think, is true penitence.

Yes, this story demonstrates it well.

Forgiveness/repentance/restitution is Biblical.

What wasn't clear to me was whether Jewish people believed God would forgive them regardless of whether people would or wouldn't. I understand what you're saying better now. Thanks for clarifying.

God bless,
B.

Fenris
Jul 27th 2014, 09:02 PM
What wasn't clear to me was whether Jewish people believed God would forgive them regardless of whether people would or wouldn't. I understand what you're saying better now. Thanks for clarifying.

I also think that at a certain point we become what we do. God hardened Pharaoh's heart because he refused to listen. Similarly, I think that very bad people (not normal sinners, but think Hitler or Stalin) are denied repentance because their hearts are too hard to ask for it. Well, that and they have millions of victims whom they can't ask for forgiveness because they killed them.

paidforinfull
Jul 27th 2014, 09:49 PM
I also think that at a certain point we become what we do. God hardened Pharaoh's heart because he refused to listen. Similarly, I think that very bad people (not normal sinners, but think Hitler or Stalin) are denied repentance because their hearts are too hard to ask for it. Well, that and they have millions of victims whom they can't ask for forgiveness because they killed them.

I don't know about denying them repentance, but I very, very, very much doubt that people who are that evil will ever repent. In my heart of hearts I don't believe they could have fallen so far into sin if that was ever a possibility.

B.

Aijalon
Jul 28th 2014, 12:25 AM
.......to pray for early vengeance, no.

But even so, COME LORD JESUS << (that's praying for vengeance from the Lord)

Old man
Jul 28th 2014, 12:28 AM
1. In Matthew 6 we're taught to ask God's forgiveness as we forgive our debtors, and Jesus also tells us that we won't be forgiven if we don't forgive others. So, in this respect, forgiveness benefits both parties involved (the sinner and the one who forgives).
2. Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." It doesn't say here we only need to forgive those who asked our forgiveness.
You are right it doesn’t say that but it also says nothing about giving forgiving unconditionally even when they do not ask for forgiveness. The context of this passage begins in verse 1 and continues all the way through verse 18. The overall context of the entire passage is about sincerity or doing things from the heart.
You are using these verse as stand-alone verses without any regard for the context of the passage which is all about sincerity from the heart.


3. Unforgiveness is spiritual poison; I have read on many websites that it has been medically proven that it can lead to bitterness which can cause cancer, etc. Unforgiveness is damaging to our health. Now, I'm no doctor, so if all the info I've been reading is wrong there's no way I can tell. I will tell you that I've personally known quite a few people who refused to forgive someone, and yes, they did turn into bitter people themselves.
It can be poison if the person has repented and you remain unforgiving. Just as the context that Jesus explains Matt 6:14-15 is when He uses the same phase in Matt 18:23-35. Matt 6:14-15 is about forgiving sincerely from the heart not forgiving unconditionally. If one repents then we are on the spot to forgive them completely, sincerely, from the heart, if we don’t then God will neither forgive us. But if one does not repent we are not called to forgive them but instead hold them accountable for their sin or offense until they do repent; not in an evil malicious way for we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us not returning evil for evil. Paul goes over this very well in his letter to the Corinthians regarding the man who had his father’s wife. He did not tell them to forgive him instead told them to judge him and remove him from fellowship until the man did repent. When the man did repent Paul instructed them to restore the man to fellowship in love and forgiveness.

Fenris
Jul 28th 2014, 12:29 AM
Anyway, when we talk about Jewish martyrs like those three boys who were kidnapped and murdered, we say "May the Almighty avenge their blood". See Deuteronomy 32:43 Rejoice, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.

paidforinfull
Jul 28th 2014, 01:01 AM
Anyway, when we talk about Jewish martyrs like those three boys who were kidnapped and murdered, we say "May the Almighty avenge their blood". See Deuteronomy 32:43 Rejoice, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.


Yes, that is Scriptural.

Romans 12:19 "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

B.

Fenris
Jul 28th 2014, 01:08 AM
So what do we say? Is it biblical to pray for vengeance? Not that we do it, but that God does?

bunnymuldare
Jul 28th 2014, 01:34 AM
paidforinfull,

It will take time, and I'll definitely need God's help.

Amen.

If we ask a victim to forgive too quickly, it only puts a bigger burden on them. Time is a great healer, and so is the Holy Spirit.

All things are possible with God, in the meantime we are to bear one another's burdens.

bunnymuldare
Jul 28th 2014, 01:37 AM
So what do we say? Is it biblical to pray for vengeance? Not that we do it, but that God does?

God has big shoulders. I think he can take it. We can say anything to him. He understands.

Sojourner
Jul 28th 2014, 02:03 AM
A few relevant passages that come to mind:

You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. "If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless. (Exodus 22:22-24)


When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" (Rev 6:9-10)

Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? "I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly.
(Luke 18:7-8)

But then, we are not to gloat when God does mete out justice on those who have wronged us:

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Or the LORD will see it and be displeased, And turn His anger away from him.
(Proverbs 24:17-18)

bunnymuldare
Jul 28th 2014, 02:41 AM
good message sojourner.

paidforinfull
Jul 28th 2014, 02:43 AM
So what do we say? Is it biblical to pray for vengeance? Not that we do it, but that God does?

I would say 'yes' and 'no'.

'No' if it is not a grave offense; and

'Yes' if the offense is grave and there's no repentance or asking of forgiveness involved (included here would be atrocities such as genocide, murder etc.). I am personally of the opinion that in such cases it would be easier to forgive someone if you've given them over to God since we know that He will do what is fair and right (if not in this lifetime, then in the afterlife).

B.

PS: thanks for posting the Scripture references, Sojourner.

Nick
Jul 29th 2014, 03:05 AM
On the drive from Orange County to Austin I listened to the Bible on CDs. The Psalms are replete with prayers for God's vengeance. David wanted his enemies annihilated. There are no two ways about it. The Scriptures are clear. I didn't realize how many Psalms there are where David is literally praying/begging God for vengeance.

breadfirst
Jul 29th 2014, 06:18 AM
On the drive from Orange County to Austin I listened to the Bible on CDs. The Psalms are replete with prayers for God's vengeance. David wanted his enemies annihilated. There are no two ways about it. The Scriptures are clear. I didn't realize how many Psalms there are where David is literally praying/begging God for vengeance.

It makes perfect sense to seek vengeance when the Ark of the Covenant (God's presence) was among them. For Christians on the other hand vengeance has been given to God to handle at a future time and date (Judgement Day) because of two reasons I believe. 1)No crime committed against humans by other humans is greater than the crime committed against Jesus and 2)God does NOT dwell amongst nations like in the OT rather the Holy Spirit lives in man's heart that reminds the believer of a second coming of Christ packed with joy, excitement, hope, AND judgement. That judgement is a once-and-for-all judgement unlike the constant vengeance David encountered during his reign on earth.

For me recognizing the offender's spiritual ignorance is paramount in NOT praying for vengeance. Why? Simple that was Christ's example. Infact it teaches me to forgive.

SeekFirstTheKingdom
Jul 29th 2014, 07:22 AM
For those who want vengeance and just aren't satisfied without it, seriously consider getting into the deliverance ministry or asking God to use you as an intercessor. You most likely have a God-given righteous indignation for the enemy, and you would potentially be very useful against the spiritual wickedness is high places, in turn helping the body and being a profitable servant :)

Nick
Jul 29th 2014, 12:44 PM
For me recognizing the offender's spiritual ignorance is paramount in NOT praying for vengeance. Why? Simple that was Christ's example. Infact it teaches me to forgive.

I'm not disagreeing with you, but I can also understand why Jesus' teachings were so hard for the Pharisees and teachers of the Law to understand. That said the Ark was stolen and David was on the run hiding from his enemies (I'm not referring to the same time period). It's hard to put an exact time period on each of David's laments in the Psalms and to what/whom he was referring to. David was also a warrior and shed the blood of thousands. That's why God told him that Solomon would build the temple and not him. Too much blood was shed by David's hand in God's presence.

Here's a great example from my morning reading today: Psalm 58

"6 O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
7 Let them vanish like water that runs away;
when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted.
8 Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime,
like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.
9 Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away! [9] (http://www.esvapi.org/v2/rest/readingPlanQuery?key=IP&reading-plan=through-the-bible&date=2014-07-29&audio-format=flash#f9)
10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

Fenris
Jul 29th 2014, 01:26 PM
Here's a great example from my morning reading today: Psalm 58

"6 O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
7 Let them vanish like water that runs away;
when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted.
8 Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime,
like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.
9 Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!
10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

I think we have to view the verses in context of what the wrongdoer is doing. There's a difference between someone who cuts you off in traffic and someone who oh, kills people or something. If someone does you some minor wrong, of course we're to forgive and forget. Sure, even if they don't ask and we never see them again. But when truly evil people do terrible things, sure Psalm 58 definitely applies.

petrobb
Jul 29th 2014, 01:27 PM
A few relevant passages that come to mind:

You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. "If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless. (Exodus 22:22-24)


When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" (Rev 6:9-10)

Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? "I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly.
(Luke 18:7-8)

But then, we are not to gloat when God does mete out justice on those who have wronged us:

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Or the LORD will see it and be displeased, And turn His anger away from him.
(Proverbs 24:17-18)

The question was not whether cries for vengeance are right for those who have moved on to be with God, it is whether we should seek vengeance whilst living on earth..

Jesus said, 'Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, pray FOR those who use you badly.'

I fail to see how we can obey Him and seek vengeance, although we can of course submit situations into God's hands,

In view of the teaching of Jesus OT ideas in this regard must be discarded. How many of us would pray 'Blessed are those who smash your children against the stones' ?
,

Fenris
Jul 29th 2014, 01:29 PM
In view of the teaching of Jesus OT ideas in this regard must be discarded. How many of us would pray 'Blessed are those who smash your children against the stones' ?
,

Not many. But then, no one today has lived through the temple's destruction and an exile to Babylon. For that generation, a verse like that seems remarkably mild. Think about it.

Nick
Jul 29th 2014, 01:49 PM
I think we have to view the verses in context of what the wrongdoer is doing. There's a difference between someone who cuts you off in traffic and someone who oh, kills people or something. If someone does you some minor wrong, of course we're to forgive and forget. Sure, even if they don't ask and we never see them again. But when truly evil people do terrible things, sure Psalm 58 definitely applies.

Psalm 58 is in direct contrast to "love your enemies", which was undoubtedly a tough pill for the observant Jews of Jesus' day to understand and digest.

Nick
Jul 29th 2014, 01:57 PM
Not many. But then, no one today has lived through the temple's destruction and an exile to Babylon. For that generation, a verse like that seems remarkably mild. Think about it.

It depends what area of the world you're referring to. Christians in certain Muslim countries are being forced to convert to Islam or put to the sword. How different is that from the time of the temple's destruction?

Sojourner
Jul 29th 2014, 02:09 PM
There is, inherent in human nature, a need for reciprocity. Whether in the context of repaying a kindness, or seeking vengeance, we have an intrinsic need to "balance the books." If someone slaps, verbally assaults, or otherwise afflicts us or those we love, we want to return in kind. That's how the flesh operates, which runs contrary to the Spirit.

There is nothing wrong with desiring and calling out to God to right the wrongs we suffer in our innocence. Yet, we as Christians, are held to a higher standard, and are expected to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, and even pray for those who wrong us. We cannot do this naturally from our flesh, but must accomplish it as a conduit of God's love and mercy, even as Jesus did.

God is love. But He is also a God of justice, and retribution and recompense is the natural order of things in His universe. That's why His own beloved Son died horribly on a cross for our sins. But retribution against those who belong to Him must take place in His time and in His way, and we must remember that "payback" is strictly in the realm of His divine prerogatives:

"Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, in due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them." (Deuteronomy 32:35)

"'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD." (Leviticus 19:18)

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)

For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." (Hebrews 10:30)

We should expect and ask God to act on our behalf, but never seek to act on our own, leaving justice in the hands of a just God. Even those unrepentant, wicked people that have lived their entire lives exploiting and doing harm to others, and have died without paying for what they did, have by no means escaped God's justice. One day they will stand naked and trembling before His throne of judgment to answer for all.

So, then, for the Christian, the bottom line is, rather than actually praying for vengeance, simply ask for and trust God to right the wrongs and mete out justice, just as we trust Him for our salvation--at all times maintaining our innocence, and diligently keeping our hearts, hands, and conscience clean in His sight.

keck553
Jul 29th 2014, 02:22 PM
I think most sane people simply want justice.

Fenris
Jul 29th 2014, 02:25 PM
Psalm 58 is in direct contrast to "love your enemies", which was undoubtedly a tough pill for the observant Jews of Jesus' day to understand and digest.
So easy to criticize Jews, isn't it? What about your history?

I'm reminded of a piece by the Russian author Tolstoy. He was conferencing with a rabbi and their discussion turned to the sermon on the mount. After every verse, the rabbi would say "this is also in the Talmud". But when Tolstoy came to the verse about "turning the other cheek", the rabbi smiled and said, "Do Christians practice this?"

Fenris
Jul 29th 2014, 02:28 PM
It depends what area of the world you're referring to. Christians in certain Muslim countries are being forced to convert to Islam or put to the sword. How different is that from the time of the temple's destruction?

The difference is that the Jews were put to the sword, after a siege that lasted years and saw massive suffering and starvation.

We'll be reading Lamentations in the synagogue next week, on the fast of the 9th of Av. You might want to have a look as well.

bunnymuldare
Jul 29th 2014, 02:30 PM
Not many. But then, no one today has lived through the temple's destruction and an exile to Babylon. For that generation, a verse like that seems remarkably mild. Think about it.

There is going to be a day when there is an end to war, and on that day we are ALL going to have to forgive each other because God says so. Obviously that day isn't here yet, so we have to continue to struggle against evil.

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

When we ask, "Come Lord Jesus", we are asking him to resolve everything. He can do it. He says he will do it. Hopefully when the books are opened we will have been on the right side of good and evil. In the meantime we can at least try to get along with our "brothers" in the Lord, our neighbors. It is a worthy goal for believers to at least try. Romans 12:18 "If it be possible as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."

This nonsense that is taught that when someone has committed a heinous act against you, for example the doctor who survived a home invasion in which his wife and daughter were raped and killed in front of him, and then to expect the man because he is a Christian to beg forgiveness of the men who did it, for his own bad feelings toward them, that is just plain ridiculous. Jesus doesn't expect that. He doesn't hold that Christian accountable for every day he is not able to forgive. Instead God is our healer. That is where we should put our focus, leaning on God when we so badly need him to get us from one day to the next. First things first; blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

keck553
Jul 29th 2014, 02:56 PM
Psalm 58 is in direct contrast to "love your enemies", which was undoubtedly a tough pill for the observant Jews of Jesus' day to understand and digest.

You mean like the Spanish inquisitions? Pogroms? Christian conversions by the sword? That kind of love?

bunnymuldare
Jul 29th 2014, 02:57 PM
The difference is that the Jews were put to the sword, after a siege that lasted years and saw massive suffering and starvation.

We'll be reading Lamentations in the synagogue next week, on the fast of the 9th of Av. You might want to have a look as well.

I remember reading Lamentations for the first time when I was a spanking new Christian. I told my friend, I can't read this, the whining is driving me crazy. That is because I had spent years living out Lamentations, blaming everything on God, and then when I asked if I could know him, Jesus, he was so loving and accepting of me, my only response was... not forgive me forgive me... but thank you thank you, praise you, praise you, you are so good, I will do anything for you. It truly changed all of my perspective. It changed all of my life. Had I not been in the dung heap, I would not have been desperate enough to ask for him to get me out.
Thank you Jesus. And thank you, fenris, for letting me relive that time.

Fenris
Jul 29th 2014, 03:08 PM
I remember reading Lamentations for the first time when I was a spanking new Christian. I told my friend, I can't read this, the whining is driving me crazy. ... And thank you, fenris, for letting me relive that time.
I understand that you spiritualized it and universalized it. And that's fine. My point in bringing it up is that it was actual events that happened to an actual people. And after all that, if the worst thing those people could say of their enemies was "blessed is he who smashes your child against a rock", I think that shows great restraint and development of character. Contrast this with what's going on in the world today, where "oppression" is used to excuse all sorts of violent behavior...

Nick
Jul 29th 2014, 03:39 PM
So easy to criticize Jews, isn't it? What about your history?

I'm reminded of a piece by the Russian author Tolstoy. He was conferencing with a rabbi and their discussion turned to the sermon on the mount. After every verse, the rabbi would say "this is also in the Talmud". But when Tolstoy came to the verse about "turning the other cheek", the rabbi smiled and said, "Do Christians practice this?"

How did you interpret that as a criticism to Jews??? It was the exact opposite. If I were an observant Jew of that day I would probably find Jesus' teachings, at least some of them like "love your enemies" difficult to swallow and digest. Fenris, I'm not on the attack. Perhaps you've grown accustomed to that here and automatically assume the wrong thing since it is Christian message forum, but that was not my intent. I'm well versed in the atrocities committed by Christians throughout the age in the name of Jesus. The Crusades would hold their sword out of the water when being baptized. Jesus said "whoever lives by the sword dies by the sword". The Christian Crusades conveniently glossed over that.

Nick
Jul 29th 2014, 03:53 PM
The difference is that the Jews were put to the sword, after a siege that lasted years and saw massive suffering and starvation.

We'll be reading Lamentations in the synagogue next week, on the fast of the 9th of Av. You might want to have a look as well.

Why do you think God allowed the Jews to be slaughtered by their pagan enemy, the Babylonians, in Jerusalem and Judah and taken into captivity? Were Kings Jeconiah and Zedekiah God fearing men? Did they even attempt to keep the Law of the Prophets? Did Zedekiah heed any of Jeremiah's counsel before he forged an alliance with Pharaoh? Nope.

Fenris
Jul 29th 2014, 05:09 PM
Why do you think God allowed the Jews to be slaughtered by their pagan enemy, the Babylonians, in Jerusalem and Judah and taken into captivity?
We all know why. It's their reaction that's interesting. They accepted it as a judgement from God and the worst thing they could say was (essentially) "I hope someone kills your kids".

Fenris
Jul 29th 2014, 05:35 PM
How did you interpret that as a criticism to Jews???
Calling something a "tough pill for the observant Jews ... to understand and digest," is being critical, especially when no one else seems to have followed that teaching any better.

keck553
Jul 29th 2014, 05:41 PM
Why do you think God allowed the Jews to be slaughtered by their pagan enemy, the Babylonians, in Jerusalem and Judah and taken into captivity? Were Kings Jeconiah and Zedekiah God fearing men? Did they even attempt to keep the Law of the Prophets? Did Zedekiah heed any of Jeremiah's counsel before he forged an alliance with Pharaoh? Nope.

If God punished His people for abandoning His covenant at Sinai, how much more, do you suppose He will punish those who claim His Son, yet defile His Son's covenant?

Fenris
Jul 29th 2014, 06:16 PM
Why do you think God allowed the Jews to be slaughtered by their pagan enemy, the Babylonians, in Jerusalem and Judah and taken into captivity? Were Kings Jeconiah and Zedekiah God fearing men? Did they even attempt to keep the Law of the Prophets? Did Zedekiah heed any of Jeremiah's counsel before he forged an alliance with Pharaoh? Nope.
I actually read something interesting lately that this post brought up.

When Jews read the bible, we see our ancestors being criticized by their fellow Jews. It's a purely internal matter. And the take away message becomes, we must do better.

When gentiles read the bible, they see Jews being criticized by other Jews. It's a message directed towards someone else. And the take away message becomes, the Jews were bad.

I'm not saying all Christians read it that way. Most here, certainly, do not. But some do, and it seems such an easy trap to fall into.

keck553
Jul 29th 2014, 06:21 PM
I actually read something interesting lately that this post brought up.

When Jews read the bible, we see our ancestors being criticized by their fellow Jews. It's a purely internal matter. And the take away message becomes, we must do better.

When gentiles read the bible, they see Jews being criticized by other Jews. It's a message directed towards someone else. And the take away message becomes, the Jews were bad.

I'm not saying all Christians read it that way. Most here, certainly, do not. But some do, and it seems such an easy trap to fall into.

By nature, we have a tendency to point our fingers at others' faults. But Jesus said:

"Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye."

How I would love not being a hypocrite......

Fenris
Jul 29th 2014, 06:38 PM
How I would love not being a hypocrite......
At least you're not posting OT verses of the Jews being bad to prove...er, something...

Nick
Jul 29th 2014, 07:05 PM
Calling something a "tough pill for the observant Jews ... to understand and digest," is being critical, especially when no one else seems to have followed that teaching any better.

Why would I lie? I wasn't being critical. Either take my word for it or not. Up to you. Words are often misinterpreted online.

Fenris
Jul 29th 2014, 07:08 PM
Why would I lie? I wasn't being critical.
You said something critical, regardless of your intent.

Nick
Jul 29th 2014, 07:11 PM
I actually read something interesting lately that this post brought up.

When Jews read the bible, we see our ancestors being criticized by their fellow Jews. It's a purely internal matter. And the take away message becomes, we must do better.

When gentiles read the bible, they see Jews being criticized by other Jews. It's a message directed towards someone else. And the take away message becomes, the Jews were bad.

I'm not saying all Christians read it that way. Most here, certainly, do not. But some do, and it seems such an easy trap to fall into.

The Jews were human just like everyone else except they were held to a much higher standard during the OT times since they were God's chosen people. Had God chosen a different race I'm sure the disobedience and subsequent wrath and punishment would have been the same.


You said something critical, regardless of your intent.

Intent matters. That was my point.

Fenris
Jul 29th 2014, 07:13 PM
The Jews were human just like everyone else except they were held to a much higher standard during the OT times since they were God's chosen people. Doesn't change my point. Big difference between "we were bad" and "The Jews were bad", especially when people use it in that context.




Intent matters. I'm not a mind reader. You said something critical. That's what I'm going by.

Nick
Jul 29th 2014, 07:19 PM
If God punished His people for abandoning His covenant at Sinai, how much more, do you suppose He will punish those who claim His Son, yet defile His Son's covenant?

Since you're quoting Jesus let's use the full context...."Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades."

Nick
Jul 29th 2014, 07:21 PM
Doesn't change my point. Big difference between "we were bad" and "The Jews were bad", especially when people use it in that context.

It's passive aggressive to make a generalization when you're really directing it at one person (me).


I'm not a mind reader. You said something critical. That's what I'm going by.

Which is why I expanded on it. Anyway, I'm done with this.

Fenris
Jul 29th 2014, 07:26 PM
It's passive aggressive to make a generalization when you're really directing it at one person (me).
I'm not being passive-aggressive. I'm saying you did it.



Which is why I expanded on it. Anyway, I'm done with this.Good. I've made my point as well.

Nick
Jul 29th 2014, 07:39 PM
I'm not being passive-aggressive. I'm saying you did it.

Then be direct and say "you" and not "people". If my explanation wasn't satisfactory to you then I could honestly care less. Believe what you want. Your hypersensitivity to being criticized has tainted your judgement.

Fenris
Jul 29th 2014, 08:01 PM
Then be direct and say "you" and not "people".
I wanted to be clear that's it's not just you, other people also do it.


Your hypersensitivity to being criticized has tainted your judgement. Since I wasn't able to intuit that your apparent criticism wasn't actually criticism, it obviously also diminished my mind-reading capability.

keck553
Jul 29th 2014, 08:11 PM
At least you're not posting OT verses of the Jews being bad to prove...er, something...

Quite the contrary:

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!"

keck553
Jul 29th 2014, 08:13 PM
Since you're quoting Jesus let's use the full context...."Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades."

Ok, what is your point?

Nick
Jul 29th 2014, 11:53 PM
Ok, what is your point?

What you quoted was actually in reference to those of that day who saw the miracles performed and still abandoned his covenant. They were the ones he was addressing when he warned that one day he will say to those, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness." Have you casted out any evil spirits from people lately as those will claim him will say they did when they hear those words? Who was Jesus addressing, us or the people of that generation?

keck553
Jul 30th 2014, 12:51 AM
What you quoted was actually in reference to those of that day who saw the miracles performed and still abandoned his covenant. They were the ones he was addressing when he warned that one day he will say to those, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness." Have you casted out any evil spirits from people lately as those will claim him will say they did when they hear those words? Who was Jesus addressing, us or the people of that generation?

This is all conjecture. You created a link Scripture doesn't.

Aijalon
Jul 30th 2014, 01:29 AM
What you quoted was actually in reference to those of that day who saw the miracles performed and still abandoned his covenant. They were the ones he was addressing when he warned that one day he will say to those, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness." Have you casted out any evil spirits from people lately as those will claim him will say they did when they hear those words? Who was Jesus addressing, us or the people of that generation?

I think that "many" will be people from all throughout modern history, as well as false teachers and prophets of other generations. I don't think it was exclusive to his present generation. He was speaking of the future, no specific generation was in mind.

Nick
Jul 30th 2014, 03:00 AM
I think that "many" will be people from all throughout modern history, as well as false teachers and prophets of other generations. I don't think it was exclusive to his present generation. He was speaking of the future, no specific generation was in mind.

Maybe, maybe not. We won't know for sure until we get to this other side. Many times Jesus referred to "this generation" as those living in that generation.

Nick
Jul 30th 2014, 03:02 AM
This is all conjecture. You created a link Scripture doesn't.

Conjecture is what leads to debate and different points of view of the written word. None of us walked during Jesus' time so none of us can state with absolute certainly which generation he was referring to. Everything you said is conjecture as well.

keck553
Jul 30th 2014, 03:40 AM
Conjecture is what leads to debate and different points of view of the written word. None of us walked during Jesus' time so none of us can state with absolute certainly which generation he was referring to. Everything you said is conjecture as well.

Everything I said is conjecture? Would that include the Scripture I quoted?

Sojourner
Jul 30th 2014, 03:43 AM
What you quoted was actually in reference to those of that day who saw the miracles performed and still abandoned his covenant. They were the ones he was addressing when he warned that one day he will say to those, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness." Have you casted out any evil spirits from people lately as those will claim him will say they did when they hear those words? Who was Jesus addressing, us or the people of that generation?

Jesus was speaking specifically of individuals who will one day stand before Him seeking to justify themselves by professing to have prophesied, cast out demons and worked miracles in His name. This hardly sounds like either the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day, or the general population. At the time He made the statement, only a handful of loyal disciples were doing the things He speaks of, and it's doubtful He was referring to them as the "many." I believe Jesus was speaking prophetically of a future event involving many "tares" from among many generations, who will one day be rejected by Him at His judgment seat as workers of iniquity who professed to, but never truly belonged to Him.

Elam
Aug 9th 2014, 03:26 AM
Here's a petition, right out of the Bible:


"and they cried with a great voice, saying, How long, O Master, the holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?"





Yes... those are the martyrs [witnesses] under God's altar
who were murdered for their testimony of Jesus Christ.

Their blood symbolically cries out to God for God to avenge them.
God tells them to wait until their fellow martyrs [witnesses] join them.
Those two sets of martyrs are the necessary two witnesses required
under God's Law to execute judgment.

.