An avenger is one who acts out revenge. The practical application to the concept of vengeance. It is the one who takes the responsibility for punishing wrongdoers by inflicting harm on those wrongdoers.

God is righteous. We are made in His image, which means we have a desire for things to be right. Problem is, we often get mixed up as to whose job it is to make things right.

When we try to serve as the avenger, it simply doesn’t work. We are prone to confuse true righteousness with our own selfish ambition or our inaccurate perspective. Justice is not really served when we react to evil in pride. The key to real justice is recognition of the proper authority.

As hard as it is, we must leave it to Him. Trusting God requires that we trust Him to be our avenger. The Lord says “I will repay”. Leaving wrath to Him to avenge in His time and in His way is simply trusting God will do what He says.

By setting aside our need for personal vengeance, we strengthen our character. We trust God by taking Him at His word. And we love others by slowing the rampant cycle of pain in our world.

When we react, we are actually ceding control to our agitator. We are now focusing on the priority of the agitator, rather than of our own mission. By not reacting (turning the other cheek) we allow time for emotions to calm; time to refocus our mission, how to pursue the best for others.

When we allow God His proper place as Avenger, we not only recognize reality, we lean into practicality. We avoid ceding control to those who seek harm.

What will God’s vengeance look like? God will decide. It might look like Him dying in our place. Or theirs. It might look like grace and love and forgiveness. And that should be a cause of rejoicing.

“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
– Romans 12:19