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God has said that vengeance should belong to Him alone, but why?

Romans 12:19 ESV 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.”

Deuteronomy 32:35 ESV Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly.’

I take vengeance in this context to mean that God will intercede for a wronged person and give the other party their come-up-pance here on earth (distinct from His eternal judgement).

What is the biblical basis for God doing this?

I understand why we shouldn't take vengeance--because our judgement would almost certainly be faulty and out of an unloving intent. But it seems like God would be acting on the vengeance in our hearts if he were to do it himself.

I'm looking for scripture to support scripture and want a biblically cited reason in an answer.

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    Not-exactly-constructive comment: I also see it as God being able to do a much better job at taking revenge than we are. – El'endia Starman Oct 8 '14 at 14:40
  • Since God wrote the Bible, He does not have to backup His statements in His own Book. He is God. Besides that, if you truly want God's reasoning as is documented in the Holy Bible, you should look at 2nd Samuel 14:17 where He says: "Then your maidservant said, 'Please let the word of my lord the king be comforting, for as the angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and evil. And may the LORD your God be with you.'" – HelpingHand Oct 8 '14 at 14:42
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    The knowledge of good and evil proves that God can decide what punishment (or vengeance) to be placed against a wrongdoer. Any man except Jesus Himself would be acting against God in serving vengeance against his brother on earth. – HelpingHand Oct 8 '14 at 14:45
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    @HelpingHand: You could make those comments into an answer. I would especially like to hear more about which verses in the Bible document God's reasoning (and why they answer LCIII's question). – El'endia Starman Oct 8 '14 at 16:23
  • @HelpingHand and The Freemason, please refrain from discussions in comments. If you need to converse, take it to Christianity Chat. I've deleted the off-topic comments and left the ones that are actually relevant to the question. – David Stratton Oct 10 '14 at 22:24
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First off, this bit of your question:

I take vengeance in this context to mean that God will intercede for a wronged person and give the other party their come-up-pance here on earth

I'm sorry, but there is no reason to think that. I'm not saying it's wrong, but you can't assume it because there is nothing in the passage to support it.

The general theme of Romans 12 and Deuteronomy 32 is very much along the lines of "don't take the law into your own hands: rely on God and let him execute his judgement." That's what the phrase means. In particular, in Romans 12, the theme is about the paradoxical behaviour required of Christians. The following verses say,

No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The point Paul is making is not that vengeance is for the Lord per se, but that it is not for Christians to execute for themselves.

  • Your last line made it all clear for me. – LCIII Oct 9 '14 at 18:36
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I understand why we shouldn't take vengeance--because our judgement would almost certainly be faulty and out of an unloving intent. But it seems like God would be acting on the vengeance in our hearts if he were to do it himself.

1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Since Jesus paid the price for the sins of the whole world, every sin is in effect against him. He has the legal right to exact revenge if he desires.

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