At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
“Say not thou, I will recompense evil; But wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee”Proverbs 20:22
The Scriptures do not teach us that vengeance is sinful and wrong, but they do teach that vengeance belongs to the Lord . . . and to those the Lord has plainly deputized as His agents of vengeance.
When someone does the believer an evil turn, the carnal impulse is to strike back, to get even, or—as these things usually go—to get ahead. This proverb is very clear that this impulse must be mortified, put to death. Do not say that you will make things level. Rather, step aside. Wait on the Lord, and He will undertake for you.
This is precisely the pattern that Paul follows in Romans 12 and 13. He quotes Deuteronomy 32:41—“vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.” But he does this right after he has told the Roman Christians not to take vengeance into their own hands. This is precisely the pattern urged by our proverb. Don’t take it up yourself, but step aside and let God do it.
But the apostle adds one more layer to this. His exhortation to the Romans is that they “give place unto wrath,” but then, just a few verses down, in Romans 13, he teaches us that the civil magistrate is God’s appointed deputy. He is a deacon of wrath, a deacon of God, assigned to execute vengeance on the one who does evil.
And so this is what we are to do when we are declining to settle things ourselves. We do not go home to get our gun into order to go make things even. Rather, we step aside, and let God do it. But this is not inconsistent with calling the cops. In fact, it is exactly what we are instructed to do.