Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What's Sweeter than Revenge?

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Genesis 50:20  "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."



In the story of The Count of Monte Cristo, the main character is betrayed and thrown into prison.  Eventually he is freed, and the rest of the plot is his systematic revenge on every man who had a part in his betrayal.  At the end, when he has done away with everyone, the reader feels the sweetness of his revenge.  Someone has said that there are only a couple of different plots in all the world, and one of them is revenge.  There are a lot of variations of the same story, but revenge is neither new nor uncommon.


With that being said, if you were writing the story of Joseph, what ending could be sweeter than revenge?  After countless betrayals and years in prison, what could be better than payback?  However, the story in Genesis 50 does not end in the way you would anticipate or think most satisfying!


When Joseph's brothers beg for his mercy based on their father, Joseph "wept when they spake unto him."  That a man could have any compassion after enduring such treatment is amazing!  What gave Joseph the ability to end this story like he did instead of ending with "poetic justice"?  He lived his entire life with the realization of God's ownership-of his wealth, family, future, and his enemies.


It is easy for us to ask God for our needs but never trust him to take care of our enemies.  We can pray for our daily bread while plotting how to pay back the clod who has wronged us.  Joseph gave it all to God, and that's how it should be.  He said, 'For am I in the place of God?"  God owns even your enemies.  Deuteronomy 32:35 says, "To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time."  Payback belongs to God, and He will take care it "in due time."


It is human nature to pay back "evil for evil," but it is godly to "avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath." (Romans 12:17-19)  Joseph recognized that everything belongs to God.  You are a thief if you own your family, your future, your money, and even your enemies!  Revenge rightfully belongs to Him, so let him take care of things.  There is never a score to settle when you settle it with God.  So what is sweeter than revenge?  Living at peace with God and in light of His ownership of everything-including your enemies!


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