With the recent news headlines regarding the lack of justice in the land and in the world, let’s face it. It’s frustrating! It seems that hardened criminals get off with just slaps on the wrists. I can’t stand the lack of consequences being dealt out for evil behavior.
While injustice in our country and the world abounds, my spirit rises when I ponder the Word of God when it clearly communicates that the wicked will not go unpunished. As the Day of the LORD approaches, The Avenger of all the earth ensures that the wicked are done away with and justice is done.
In the last several weeks I’ve been reading and studying in THE BOOK Of Jeremiah, learning that because of the people’s constant sinning against the LORD, the Jews of Jeremiah’s day received what they deserved–the JUDGEMENT of the LORD.
God didn’t let them get away with rebellion against Him.
The people who God used to carry out His judgment were the Babylonians.
However, the tactics and methods of the Babylonians were absolutely unconscionable and brutal. That gave rise to the question, which Jeremiah anticipates in the two chapters referenced:
“Will the Babylonians be punished for their evil deeds? Will justice be done?”
And the answer given of Jeremiah 50-51 is “Yes, the Babylonians are going to be punished for the evil they commit against you. The destroyer is going to be destroyed. Babylon is going to fall and not rise again.”
And for the Jews, Jeremiah 50-51 held a great comfort:
- The Babylonians were not going to get away with their evil deeds.
- The Jewish nation was going to survive. God was going to redeem them in the land of captivity and return them to their homeland and be their God.
God’s JUSTICE…Is the fact that God will not let the wicked go unpunished.
But before we can have an understanding of God’s commitment to JUSTICE, we need to learn and understand about His vengeance and the anger that is aroused in Him by a person or nations in disobedience.
Jeremiah speaks of the city of Babylon as an act of vengeance by the LORD:
Jeremiah speaks of how the time has come to be punished and how God was going to take vengeance on the Babylonians for what they had done to His Temple:
Jeremiah 50:27-31 (AMP)
 Slay all her bullocks (her choice youths, the strength of her army); let them go down to the slaughter! Woe to [the Chaldeans]! For their day has come, the time of their visitation (their inspection and punishment).
 Listen! The voice of those [Jews] who flee and escape out of the land of Babylon proclaiming in Zion the vengeance [of the Lord upon the Chaldeans] for [the plundering and destruction of] His temple.
 Call together [many] archers against Babylon, all those who bend the bow. Encamp against her round about; let none from there escape. Recompense her according to her deeds; just as she has done, do to her. For against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel, has she been proudly defiant and presumptuous.
 Therefore shall her young men fall in her streets and squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed on that day, says the Lord.  Behold, I am against you, O Babylon [you who are pride and presumption personified], says the Lord, the Lord of hosts, for your day has come, the time when I will visit and punish you.
Jeremiah’s prophecy of the destruction of Babylon was 170 years before its fulfillment.
In verse 29, God’s intent was to repay Babylon for her rebellion against Him. Like things are said in Jeremiah 51:6; 51:11; 51:13; 51:24; and 51:36.
One of God’s Attributes: GOD IS A GOD OF VENGEANCE!
For some of us, the idea that God is a vengeful God just doesn’t seem right. Yet in Deuteronomy 32:35 and Romans 12:19 we read: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay”
And in Romans 12:19,
So what is the vengeance of God about? —justice, retribution, punishment, payback, balancing the scales of right and wrong, righteous and holy anger. It’s God’s response to SIN AND REBELLION. Vengeance and the punishment of the wicked is God’s right and His duty. In fact, if God can’t be true to His character of holiness and justice and if He allows SIN AND REBELLION to go unpunished…and if justice is to mean anything, then rebellion, lawbreaking, disobedience, arrogance, and all evil acts necessitate punishment. God cannot and will not let the wicked go unpunished.
As Nahum 1:3 says, “The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished…”.
Proverbs 11:21 also says “Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free.”
Just so I don’t leave you with an inaccurate view of God, we need to understand that the Bible balances the fury of God’s vengeance against the sinner with the greatness of His mercy on those who repent of their wicked ways. This includes the nations of the world as well.
Our God is incredibly merciful!
In Psalm 116:5 it says, “The LORD is gracious and righteous, our God is full of compassion.”
In 2 Peter 3:9 says “The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.” [AMP]
For in Jesus and the Cross, the full expression of God’s MERCY and GRACE is made available for us–for in the CROSS and the shed BLOOD of Jesus, the perfect sacrifice for sin, the remedy for our sin and the judgment of God we all deserve.
As the time came for Babylon to be punished and experience God’s wrath against her, so the time approaches for the people in our day to experience the same.
Without a doubt, the Day of Judgment approaches.
In Hebrews 10:30-31, it says “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge His people.”  It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
And again in 2 Peter 3:10 it says, But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish (pass away) with a tremendous crash, and the [material] elements [of the universe] will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up. [AMP]
There’s a reason for this happening:
- BECAUSE of the wickedness of mankind.
- BECAUSE OF OUR SIN.
- BECAUSE of peoples refusal to live as God requires us to.
- BECAUSE the justice and righteousness of God demands that sin and rebellion be punished.
While the great Day of Judgment approaches, the Bible also teaches us that after we die and face judgment, each one will appear before the LORD and give an account–and to Heaven or Hell one will go for all eternity.
I know, most pulpits today are not preaching this. And why? “People that come through our doors don’t want to hear negative sermons,” as it’s been noted in churches across the land.
Here is something to note: The one who will judge, the one who determines where one’s eternity will be spent…IS JESUS!
John 5:22-23 records Jesus saying,
TWO THINGS as it pertains to the coming Day of Judgment:
For most, the Day of Judgment will be a terrible day for them–for they will experience the LORD’S hand against them.
For the few righteous, the children of God, a glorious day, the Day of the Lord shall be!
For all the saints a day of celebration and praise will take place. Along with the angels of Heaven who will declare “True and just are your judgments O Lord.” [See Revelation 16:7, and note Jeremiah 51:48. ]
The Required Preparation for the Day of the Lord.
- The only way to be prepared is to be right with God. The only way to escape the coming JUDGMENT is to be at peace with God.
- The only way to be right with God is to be a follower of Jesus. As Jesus says in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
- The only way to have peace with God is to humble ourselves before Him, confessing our sin, mourning over it, and embracing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
THE GLORIOUS NEWS OF THE SCRIPTURE–
For those who are right with God–meaning they’re disciples of Christ on the Day of Judgment–they shall not experience condemnation of God.
Romans 8:1 (NIV) says, Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
As the angel of death passed over the houses of the Jews and the blood of the lambs spread on their doorposts, so the destruction of the Lord will pass over all those identified and spiritually marked with the shed blood of Jesus–the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world.
VENGEANCE IS GOD’S BUSINESS, NOT OURS!
Like the ancient Hebrews, many Christians have misapplied the doctrine of divine vengeance using it as an excuse for holding on to the “getting even” against others. Jesus has clearly spoken out against this:
Likewise in Romans 12:17-21 the Apostle Paul by the Spirit of God, commands us saying,
Since VENGEANCE and REPAYING EVIL is God’s domain, we need to ask:
- Is there someone you are holding a grudge against in the present, or in the past?
- Is there someone in your life who you would like to get even with?
If you are struggling with a grudge, with unforgiveness, and with a retaliation spirit, then confess it now and ask the Lord to forgive you and to give you the mind of Christ, which is LOVE for your enemies, to turn the other cheek, to forgive those who trespassed against you.
As much as I or you hate injustice in our society and wrong sinful behavior, God hates it 1000 times more.
GOD HAS MADE A PROMISE:
He will not let the wicked go unpunished,
His HOLINESS AND COMMITMENT to justice demands this.
The only way to escape the AVENGER’S wrath is to flee to Jesus Christ who took upon Himself the punishment for sin that you and I deserve.
On the CROSS He endured the wrath of God for our sins and that whoever should believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
The more injustice and evil abound, the greater the comfort comes from this doctrine we have looked at in this study will be to us.
While our God is a God of vengeance, an AVENGER, we need to remember it’s held in the perfect balance of His rich and undeserved mercy (1 Thessalonians 4:6).
VENGEANCE IS GOD’S BUSINESS, NOT OURS
We need to learn to turn the other cheek and to wait upon the Lord–for He will AVENGE the wicked–they will not go unpunished.
Encyclopedia: International Standard Bible Encyclopedia – Avenge; Avenger.
Dictionary: VINE’S COMPLETE EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY.
IMAGES: Google Image search.
Bible Translations: New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP); New American Standard Bible (NASB).