Deuteronomy 32:35 | Psalm 37:7-9

“Vengeance is mine.” (Says the Lord.) 

What a great thing, that we don’t have to worry about getting even! God tells his people to take it easy and let him worry about the bad guys.

I will take revenge; I will pay them back.

    In due time their feet will slip.

Their day of disaster will arrive,

    and their destiny will overtake them.’

(Deuteronomy 32:35 NLT)

Doesn’t that sound great? Well, not for the bad guys…but great for your sense of justice. 

When someone has wronged you, you face a decision. Many people say, “Don’t get mad, get even!” And they do get even.

But what happens when you get even? Things spiral out of control, that’s what. You get them back, then they get you back, then you get them back, and so on. Best case: both get bitter and quit. Worst case: who knows?

And how can you keep thanklessly playing by the rules while cheaters become champions?

Don’t worry about evil people who prosper

    or fret about their wicked schemes.

Stop being angry!

    Turn from your rage!

Do not lose your temper—

    it only leads to harm.

For the wicked will be destroyed,

    but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.

(Psalm 37:7b-9 NLT)

It may not always feel like it, but if you faithfully follow God and continue doing things the right way in his name, God will take care of everything else. So treat others the way you want to be treated. Make good plans, and let God worry about revenge.

Questions for Group Discussion

  • Who are God’s children? Christians? Non-believers? Thieves? 
  • If you had two children, which one would you love more? The one who seems to love you more? Would it make a difference how they behaved? Does this seem like a trick question?
  • Again, if you had two children, how would you want them to treat each other? If they got into a fight, would you want one to win over the other?
  • When two people have a dispute, how important is it to have accurate information about the situation? How much difference is there between the stories the two people tell and what actually happened? Can anyone short of God himself know the true details?
  • In light of the last few questions, why do you think God wants us to leave revenge to him?

Real Justice: Application

This is a week-long activity, but you can take it further if you like.

Think of a situation in which you were treated unfairly–one that has not been resolved to your satisfaction. Write down briefly your thoughts on the situation. 

Then pray about that situation every day for a week. You may need to write yourself a reminder and/or set an alarm to keep yourself from forgetting.

Ask God:

  • For clarity on specifics of the situation.
  • To forgive your part in the situation.
  • To soften your heart toward the people on the other side of the issue.
  • For justice and mercy where each is due.
  • For freedom from the pain of the situation.

At the end of the week, take a minute to write down how you feel about the situation. Then compare your notes to those you wrote before the week of prayer.

You may want to continue praying about the situation, or enlist the help of your pastor or a trusted friend in praying for the situation further.