REVENGE IS SWEET

In the US there has been an increasing number of public school students shooting other students and staff. Each time it happens the first question asked is “What is the motive?” “Why did that boy kill and wound others?”

The usual reasons given are: “The major factors contributing to student violence are lack of parental supervision at home, lack of family involvement with the school, and exposure to violence in the mass media.”

But these are not the basic reasons for violence in schools. The problem is a spiritual one and since Christianity has been removed from public schools the problem will become worse not better. In almost all cases they are students who do not fit into the school society, and who have been teased, bullied, and mistreated. As a result they are filled with rage and a sense of rejection and, do not believe that they owe society anything. They are angry and become bitter. When a person become bitter they then are open to Satan’s temptations and control. Satan tells them “Why don’t you get revenge? These people are treating you as dirt. Do the same to them. Revenge is sweet!”

In one case a student was shooting everyone he could and was smiling as he did so. He had been so mistreated that he was thinking “I’ll do to them what they did to me. Revenge is so sweet.”

THE EXAMPLE OF AHITHOPHEL

Ahithophel was a counselor of David. His advice was so good that it was said of him that “the advice of Ahothophel was like that of one who inquires of God.” (2 Samuel 16:23) But he became angry and bitter against David and when Absalom made war with his father, Ahithophel joined Absalom’s side. David prayed that Ahithophel’s advice would be foolish and when Absalom did not follow his advice he knew Absalom could not win, so he went home put his business in order and killed himself. This is the result of bitterness. So why was Ahithophel so bitter with David? You see, he was the grandfather of Bathsheba.

THE EXAMPLE OF JUDAS ISCARIOT

Judas was one of the twelve who had a close relationship with Jesus. At first the apostles believed Jesus was the Messiah who would set up a kingdom of the Jews and deliver them from the power of Rome. This is way they often had discussions about who would be the greatest in the new kingdom. Each time Jesus would teach them that they were not to lord it over others but to be servants of one another. I believe that Judas became disillusioned when he began to realize that he would not become a great lord in the new kingdom. He would having nothing to do with being a servant. The night Jesus was arrested they again had a discussion (argument) over who would be the greatest and Jesus washed their feet as an example of the servants He wanted them to be.

Judas in his bitterness allowed Satan to take control, who then suggested Judas get revenge. Judas, who loved money, would easily be tempted to make a profit by turning Jesus over to His enemies. When Judas went up to Jesus and called Him “friend,” I am sure he was thanking “How sweet is revenge.”

Both Ahithophel and Judas knew God’s teaching about not taking revenge and controlling their anger. They choose not to follow God but their own desires with the result they came under Satan’s control. When a person sows revenge they will reap a harvest of destruction.

Christians must NOT become bitter. They are to:
Be angry, and don't sin. Don't let the sun go down on your wrath, neither give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:26,27

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31,32

Let love be without hypocrisy.
Abhor that which is evil.
Cling to that which is good.
In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate one to another;
in honor preferring one another;
not lagging in diligence;
fervent in spirit;
serving the Lord;
rejoicing in hope;
enduring in troubles;
continuing steadfastly in prayer;
contributing to the needs of the saints;
given to hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless, and don't curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Weep with those who weep.
Be of the same mind one toward another.
Don't set your mind on high things,
but associate with the humble.
Don't be wise in your own conceits.
Repay no one evil for evil.
Respect what is honorable in the sight of all men.
If it is possible, as much as it is up to you,
be at peace with all men.
Don't seek revenge yourselves, beloved,
but give place to God's wrath.
For it is written, "Vengeance belongs to me;
I will repay, says the Lord."

Therefore
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him.
If he is thirsty, give him a drink.
For in doing so, you will heap coals of fire on his head."
Don't be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:9-21

Won't God avenge his chosen ones, who are crying out to him day and night, and yet he exercises patience with them? I tell you that he will avenge them quickly. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:7,8

You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among your people; neither shall you stand against the life of your neighbor. I am Yahweh. You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Yahweh. Leviticus 19:16-18

Whoever rewards evil for good,
Evil shall not depart from his house. Proverbs 17:13

Don't say, "I will do to him as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work." Proverbs 24:29

CONCLUSION

The Bible is clear that we are not to make friends with angry people, but we are to pray God’s blessing on them and never make fun of them and consider them to be outcasts. It is sad when Christian students in public schools make fun of others and look down on them. Remember, Christ also died for them.

“Revenge is sweet” is one of Satan’s lies. When we take revenge we are following Satan not Christ for Christ loved us so much He died for us when we were His enemy. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, so those who do not love others do not show they are under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Don't be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we don't give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let's do what is good toward all men, and especially toward those who are of the household of the faith. Galatians 6:7-10


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