Godly Reminders 3 – Bless Those Who Revile You
This Scripture reminds us that we must bless those who revile us. This is a very difficult thing especially for the natural man because man instinctively protects himself by defense and revenge. However, God is actually telling us to walk in the Spirit and be different from the flesh and the natural man. We must pray and leave all our cares and worries at the feet of God, the just, supreme and sovereign ruler who administers justice to all.
We are also reminded that we must endure persecutions. Christ and Paul were persecuted and we are not greater than them. The only thing we should imitate is their attitudes during times of persecution. Were they bitter and defeated or did they pray and trust in God? They never lost focus but put their faith and reliance on God who called them and sent them. They also prayed. God also called us to be blameless like Jesus and Paul – it is very possible.
We are also instructed to love our enemies. Some people have openly criticized this law but they are short of wisdom. God will not be fooled or mocked. All we should concern ourselves with is being pure, blameless and holy. Those who want to keep being evil should keep being evil but that must not bother us or make us bitter.
When He avenges blood, He remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the humble. (Psalm 9:12 NKJV)
He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still. revelations 22:11
There is a good way, and there is a perfect way. Christ and Steven prayed for their killers to be forgiven. Some other Scriptures show where we are asked to pray for vengeance against our enemies. None is bad just that one is a higher way – the perfect way.
And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of my adversary. Luke 18:3
Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 2 Timothy 4:14
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12: 17-21
Evil doers might think that forgiveness is a license for them to go wild and untamed in their quest for evil and in perpetuating evil but that is foolishness. God is a righteous judge and He will always administer judgement starting from the Church because judgement begins in the house of God.
The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Matthew 26:24
Jesus prayed for those who killed Him to be forgiven but He was aware that those unrepentant ones among them would be judged and the repentant ones would be forgiven. He is the law and the word of God and knows all. Judas was unrepentant and was judged. Peter denied him out of fear but he was not among those that killed him. Peter wept bitterly in regret and went on to do great exploits for God as the chief Apostle. To err is human and to forgive is divine. God is mercy and love and loves to forgive however, man must repent, renounce and forsake sin.
The way of Jesus is the higher way because He loved His enemies and prayed for them to be forgiven. There was no bitterness, malice or evil in Him towards His enemies.
Judas was forgiven by Jesus but He bore His judgement. So we can see that one thing is constant. Unrepentant evil doers never go unpunished whether you bless them or pray for their punishment. One thing is sure – If they do not repent, they will be judged. The law must stand.
I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is troubling you will bear the judgment, whoever he may be. Galatians 5:10
So the higher way is better because, you will not have bitterness or hatred in your heart and at the same time, your enemies will still be punished if they do not repent but if they repent, they will not be punished. So the only constant thing here is the word of God and the law – flee all appearances of evil. On the other hand, praying for judgement against your enemies does not mean that you hate them or are bitter against them – you are simply invoking the law.
God Himself is not doing evil when He judges, rather He is being righteous in judgement and simply upholding His holy and righteous law of love. When you pray for judgement you are also not doing evil because God who will judge is not doing evil when He judges. You are not trying to get God to do evil but you are simply pleading for God’s justice.
I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Psalm 119:75
It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes. (Psalm 119:71 NKJV)
Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight – That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. (Psalm 51:4 NKJV)
There a spiritual justice system just as there is a physical justice system. Is the person who is taking her child’s murderer to court for judgement doing evil or trying to get the judge to do evil? No – she is simply invoking the law and asking for justice. The judge is not evil and blaming the victim or the judge is evil and demonic. Some people blame God the pure and just spiritual judge and some people blame the spiritual victims who are pleading for spiritual justice.
The same people never blame physical, earthly judges and the physical victims rather, they praise and applaud them. They never blame the physical justice system but are quick to blame, condemn and accuse God and the spiritual justice system of evil when God judges. They also blame the spiritual victims asking for judgement. Do you see the hypocrisy of it all? They do this because they love evil and do not want to repent. Mercy triumphs over justice but the unrepentant in evil will experience judgement including hell, the lake of fire and the second death if they refuse the mercy of God by not repenting.
There is already a spiritual and physical law that says “man must not kill man or do evil to man and harm others” and that law must be respected. We must not allow ourselves to be confused and be denied of our birthrights. The widow who prayed to God to avenge her of her adversaries in Luke 18:3 was described as pleading for her rights. Jesus Himself gave that example. He loves justice and hates oppression and wickedness especially against the weak and poor. The woman in the story was described as a widow.
Hatred or bitterness is when you start revenging and taking the law into your hands and wishing them evil. Never wish anyone evil. Anything you do outside God’s justice system is evil and any wish or desire outside God’s justice system is evil.
Some people pray for the defeat of their enemies without wishing them evil just like David did with Saul and some people pray for defeat of enemies and at the same time wish them evil and hate them. The latter is evil. David never stopped loving Saul. The truth is that either way, God will defeat your enemies if you focus on being filled with the glory of God and being blameless like Jesus. Either you pray for forgiveness of enemies or defeat of enemies, none is is bad, so be led by the Spirit but do not hate them or be bitter towards them.
When you go to God to plead for judgment, God himself will assess how to deal with the situation. He is long-suffering and patient and will deploy His mercy first, if your enemy repents, good for him but if he does not repent, God will administer judgement just like in the case of David and Saul and in the case of Pharaoh and the Israelites.
Note that David loved Saul and Jonathan too much and never wished them evil. However, he prayed for his enemies to be defeated. At the end of the day, God executed judgement on Saul and Jonathan and David wept for Saul the way that a son weeps for his father. He loved Saul but had to be free to fulfill his destiny. Saul wanted him dead at any cost even at the cost of his own life.
Do not be bitter with your enemies or be vengeful. Love and and never hate them. Pray for them and bless them and allow the law to run its course. Also, pray for any enemy who wants you dead or who is opposing your destiny to be defeated.