“The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord take vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath on his enemies.” Nahum 1:2
This is a verse that we are not likely to see in Sunday school or memorize in small groups. When I see these verses, I think of a fire-breathing dragon-like God. I guess with the Israelites being oppressed so often by other powerful countries, they needed to envision a God that was angry towards their enemies and yet shows compassion on mercy on them. It seems that major religions all have a way that evil will be punished, either in this life or the next. God is no different; however, when God became Emmanuel, Jesus’ way of revenge was decidedly different — Jesus, instead of exacting revenge on the enemy, took the punishment upon Himself. Instead of bad people (i.e, us) getting what they deserve, they got a savior and redeemer. Does this mean that evil wins and gets off with no punishment? Well, evil loses its power when Jesus resurrects so that is a punishment. Jesus’ death and resurrection transforms evil into good (evil thought it won when it crucified Jesus, but, in fact, the crucifixion allowed God to show His power and come back from the dead so what was an evil action ultimately became used as a means to show God’s triumphing over evil). In a way, instead of God killing others to exact vengeance, God allows himself (AKA his Son) to be killed. God does get vengeance and that vengeance is transformation — something we never would have imagined. God’s ways certainly are not our ways!