Just as a mother bear will defend her cubs, human parents have been known to tackle a bear or far worse to protect their children. There is reason for that playground taunt, “My dad is bigger than your dad” for the child who says it knows that his father will protect him.
My heavenly father protects me too, a lesson learned the hard way. When wronged, my desire for revenge overwhelmed me, but the Spirit prevented me from taking action. The Lord reminded me of two things; one that He will avenge any wrong done to His people. Instead of taking matters into my own hands, I needed to rely on Him for justice in my situation.For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. (Psalm 103:11–13)
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)
And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily… (Luke 18:7–8)
At first, I thought that these verses came out of God’s desire for fair treatment. He is a holy and just God and He will right any wrongs. However, I began to see that my own sin deserves justice too. If God is going to “get even” with sinners, I should also fall into that same category.
The difference is that small word “elect.” Whatever else it means, these commands and promises are for the children of God, those who are reborn into His family because of faith in Jesus Christ. God’s wrath on my sin has already been poured out, not on me but on my Savior. Because of Jesus, I am God’s elect, His child.
The second thing God showed me is that He has compassion on His kids. He wants to right wrongs, but is also like a parent who dotes over his precious children — and my heavenly Father puts me into that precious category. Anyone who touches me, hits Him in His most vulnerable place.
For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye! (Zechariah 2:8)
Saul (who later became Paul) also discovered this truth the hard way. He was “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, and went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.”
Bent on persecuting Christians, “he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. (Acts 9:1–5)
The compassion of Almighty God is such that He became a man and took my punishment, but He also lives in those who belong to Him. Whatever happens to me, He shares the experience. Whenever someone hurts me, likea rose trampled on the ground… He steps forward and takes the blows upon Himself.