but it tastes so good!

We read throughout Scripture:
“The Lord saw it …, and said: … ‘Vengeance is mine,
and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip;
because the day of their calamity is at hand,
their doom comes swiftly’” (Deuteronomy 32:19, 20, 35).
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves,
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 the one who said,
‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay.’
And again, ‘The Lord will judge his people’”
(Hebrews 10:30).

Now, a quick yet comprehensive lesson
on how our culture reads Scripture:
“Vengeance is mine!”
Thats how it’s marketed.
That’s how it’s sold—
in both political rhetoric
and foreign and partisan domestic policy—
as the plot of countless movies and books and games—
as the most primitive and pervasive definition of strength:
the ability to physically dominate with cause—
with the stronger victor thus assuming the mantle of righteousness—
sometimes clearly inappropriately (as obvious bully),
sometimes dangerously ambiguously.

Vengeance constitutes a rhetoric—a policy—
a plot—a definition—proven to profitably sell—
emotionally cathartic and satisfying—
potentially potently motivating.
And it’s biblical!

It unquestionably says that in the Bible:
“Vengeance is mine!”
Right?

And if it perpetuates
a myth counter to Scripture’s deepest truths,
an appeal on which we gorge ourselves,
oblivious to its deadliness to souls and to our future?
Well, then let’s sell it all the more while we still can.

Until we can’t.

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