God is the ultimate Avenger and that’s a good thing.
One of my kids asked me about this passage the other night. They were concerned and kind of distressed by it.
I asked my kids what it is the comic book heroes the Avengers do. They responded that they defeat the bad guys and protect the world. And I asked what would happen if they didn’t avenge and protect the world? They said the bad guys would win and the world would be destroyed.
I then asked my kids who the enemy is and what he seeks to do. We talked about Satan and how he steals, kills, and destroys (Jn. 10:10). We talked about how Satan, through human sin, brought a flood of chaos and curse upon the world.
We talked about the fact that we hate Lyme disease and want to kill Lyme disease because Leah, their mom, and my wife, is riddled with it. And we talked about how that is a good and just desire. In the same way, I am jealous for them and want to protect them. If someone wants to injure them, I will want to injure that person.
The LORD is the true Avenger. He is the true Protector. He will finally right the world of every wrong. The LORD loves fiercely.
That, however, is still a scary thing if we are standing opposed to God. If we are a cancer infecting and destroying the good world and the good people He loves. If we are in rebellion and promoting ruin, God’s love will drive Him to fierce wrath.
There’s hope for “HYDRA” (and all bad people)!
So, what hope do we have since we are all naturally enemies of God because of our rebellious sin—whether highhanded and intentional or through the struggle of our brokenness?[i]
Thankfully, God is an Avenger and Savior that carries out His wrath on all those set to destroy. But, He is also a Savior by bearing the wrath we all deserve (Reminds me of Dr. Strange, the avenger, not only defeating the enemy but dying—in his case again and again—so that others might live).
We see through Scripture that Jesus will not only crush His enemies—“the destroyers of the earth” (Rev. 11:18)—He is crushed to bring salvation and the ultimate renewal to the earth.
So, it is scary that God is an avenging God. But God, thankfully, is also good. He doesn’t pull a Thanos and snap half of the world out of existence. But He provides a way for all people to be saved by Himself providing salvation.
So, we see He is not just powerful. He is not just wrathful.
He is righteous (He always does what is right) and provides righteousness (Rom. 3:26).
*Image by 574nny