WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 11, 2021
TOPIC: GOD WILL FULLY REPAY YOUR ENEMIES
BY T. O. BANSO
“Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words” (2 Timothy 4:14-15 New King James Version).
There are a few scriptures that many Christians are uncomfortable with. When we read them, we wonder whether we can do what these scriptures demand of us. In an attempt to avoid doing what these scriptures say, some Christians are tempted to give them meanings that are contrary to what these scriptures say!
For instance, Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-44, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (New King James Version).
Is there anything ambiguous in this scripture? There’s nothing. But because what Jesus asked us to do is something we consider difficult to do, we can begin to interpret the scripture to say what Jesus didn’t say. The natural man wants to hate his enemies and curse those who curse him. He wants to do evil to those who hate him, not do them good. He wants to fight those who spitefully use him and persecute him, not to pray for them. He doesn’t want to do what Jesus said he should do. But no matter how anyone hates, twists, or misinterprets a scripture, it won’t change it.
Jesus said that by relating to our enemies the way He has asked us to do, we would be the sons of our Father in heaven. “For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:45b-48 New King James Version).
The natural man always wants to seek revenge. Even those who are born again are often tempted to do the same, forgetting that Jesus Christ, the Master, who they follow, the One who purchased them with His blood and saved them, warned against this. If you are a Christian and you don’t forgive but seek revenge, you’re not following Jesus.
Jesus, in the Lord’s Prayer and in other scriptures, taught His followers to forgive (Matthew 6:12-15; Mark 11:25-26; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). He said we should forgive from our hearts (Matthew 18:35). When Peter asked Him how often he should forgive someone who sinned against him and mentioned seven times, Jesus said He didn’t say seven times, but up to seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). In other words, there is no end to forgiveness.
Some people said that forgiveness is not fair. Another said it is against justice to forgive someone who has wronged or hurt one. Someone said that every transgression by human beings should receive a just recompense of reward. He must have quoted Hebrews 2:2a, which talks about every transgression and disobedience receiving a just recompense of reward.
I agree that forgiveness is not fair. But you don’t complain when you’re the beneficiary! You only complain when you are the one giving it! It wasn’t fair when Jesus went to the cross to die for you. He died for the sins He didn’t commit. He died for your sins to save you. Any time you’re tempted to say that forgiveness is not fair and, therefore, you don’t want to forgive, always remember that Jesus paid the supreme sacrifice to save you. Forgive. You will always need forgiveness from God and others. Look beyond the unfairness of forgiveness.
What about forgiveness and justice? Forgive and leave justice to God (Isaiah 26:7; 30:18). God is the God of justice. Don’t be like the people of the days of Malachi who suggested that God was not doing justice. God will always do justice as regards your enemies at the appointed time if they do not repent. Malachi 2:17 says, “You have wearied the LORD with your words. ‘Wearied him?’ you ask. ‘How have we wearied him?’ You have wearied him by suggesting that the LORD favors evildoers since he does not punish them. You have wearied him by asking, ‘Where is the God of justice?’” (New Living Translation).
God is the God of justice and He will do justice. Don’t do tit for tat or an eye for an eye in your quest for justice. Revenge is not the same as justice. Don’t seek revenge. Don’t repay evil with evil. 1 Peter 3:9-10 says, “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it” (New Living Translation).
Those who think every transgression should receive a just recompense of reward should know that God is a patient God. Otherwise, they also would have been dead a long time ago if He had allowed all their transgressions to receive a just recompense of reward. God allows people time for repentance but this grace period is not forever.
2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (New King James Version). Everyone has enjoyed this time of grace, including those who want God to act immediately and judge their enemies!
Nevertheless, if they don’t repent, the enemies, the wicked, or the ungodly, will receive a just recompense of reward. But this must be left to God. Don’t seek revenge. Leave it for God to do. He will do a better job than you. He is the God of justice.
He says in Deuteronomy 32:35a that vengeance is His, and recompense. It is not yours. Don’t take what is not yours. Romans 12:19 says, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (New King James Version). Hebrews 10:30a also says vengeance is His, He will repay.
In agreement with the teaching of Jesus, Paul, quoting Proverbs 25:21-22 in Romans 12:20-21, says that If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. He also says you should not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.
Don’t take the law into your own hands. Don’t take over God’s job of vengeance. Forgive and leave to God those who have wronged you, hurt you, cursed you, spitefully used you, and persecuted you. He knows how to deal with them if they don’t repent.
We don’t know what Alexander the coppersmith did to Paul other than what is stated in this verse. It is not clear if he stood as a witness against him during his trial. But what Alexander did must have been serious. Paul said, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words” (2 Timothy 4:14-15 New King James Version). Paul didn’t seek revenge.
His prayer is similar to that of David in Psalm 28. He prayed, “Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors; give them according to the work of their hands; render to them what they deserve” (New King James Version).
The longsuffering of God to allow sinners to repent must never be misconstrued as condoning injustice. He will repay the wicked or your enemies at the right time. He will give them what they deserve. He will fully repay your unrepentant enemies. “For the LORD preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person” (Psalm 31:23b).
Whatever anyone does, he is sowing a seed. Galatians 6:7 says do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Since the harvest is always more than the seed sown, the unrepentant enemies must get more.
After the death of their father, Joseph’s brothers were afraid that he would seek revenge for the evil they did to him by selling him into slavery. They came to him, fell down before his face, and called themselves his servants, thus fulfilling again the dream they hated him for, which made them sell him to the slave merchants.
Listening to them in tears, Joseph replied, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones” (Genesis 50:19-21a New King James Version).
Joseph didn’t seek revenge. He left everything for God. Do the same. David said, “The LORD shall repay the evildoer according to his wickedness” (2 Samuel 3:39b). He also said in Psalm 54:4-5, “Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life. He will repay my enemies for their evil. Cut them off in Your truth” (New King James Version).
God will fully repay your enemies. Let Him do it. Don’t repay evil with evil. “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:17-18 New King James Version).
Twice in Isaiah 65:6-7, God says He will repay in full. In Isaiah 59:18 the Bible says according to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; the coastlands He will fully repay. God will fully repay your enemies.
Also in Jeremiah, God says He will punish the Babylonians in proportion to the suffering they have caused His people, the people of Judah; many nations and great kings will enslave the Babylonians, just as they enslaved His people (Jeremiah 25:14).
Also in Jeremiah 51:24, God says He will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea for all the evil they have done in Zion. “Because the plunderer comes against her, against Babylon, and her mighty men are taken. Every one of their bows is broken; for the LORD is the God of recompense, He will surely repay” (verse 56 New King James Version).
From the Scriptures, we know that whereas God patiently gives the sinners time to repent, this will not last forever. God will repay the unrepentant sinners or those who persist in wickedness. Their harvest will be more than what they’ve sown. God will fully repay them. Therefore, don’t seek revenge. God will do a better job in repaying your enemies than you will do. Repay evil with good and let God fully repay your unrepentant enemies. Let God fight for you.
When He fought for Mordecai, He fully repaid his enemy, Haman. How? Haman was hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai (Esther 7:10). King Ahasuerus gave Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews (Esther 8:1, 7). Also, the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai (verse 2). Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman (verse 2). In addition, the ten sons of Haman were killed (Esther 9:10, 12). There was no way Mordecai would have been able to repay Haman in this way.
But that was not all. Hear this: “Mordecai the Jew became the prime minister, with authority next to that of King Xerxes himself. He was very great among the Jews, who held him in high esteem, because he worked for the good of his people and was a friend at the royal court for all of them” (Esther 10:3 New Living Translation). God made this possible.
Forgive. Don’t seek revenge. God will fully repay your unrepentant enemies.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: With the help of the Holy Spirit, I shall walk in forgiveness. Help me, Holy Spirit, to forgive from my heart and not seek revenge. O Lord, turn every evil my enemies meant for me into good. Father, fully repay my unrepentant enemies.
(For about 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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