By Mike Chaffin
I will avenge their blood, blood I have not avenged, for the Lord dwells in Zion.” Joel 3:21
The last words in Joel are God’s. They seem cryptic, hard to understand. God is a God of love, right? Right, but God is also a God of justice. And even though His children might not see justice in their lifetime, God’s on an eternal time scale. Justice will be served, in this life, or in eternity.
these last words refer to is the unjust killing of God’s children. Either through martyrdom, just plain wickedness, or through conquest in a war or act of terrorism. God is telling us here, as he has told us in Deuteronomy.
Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly. Deuteronomy 32:35
The Apostle Paul reiterates this in Romans,
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19
When we feel wronged by someone for our Christian beliefs rest assured God sees that wrongdoing on their part. We are taught to be strong, be courageous, and be patient in tribulation. Martyrs are patient to the point of death. But the good news is the God is the God of the living. When we die our soul goes up to heaven to wait for the bodily resurrection as stated in the last words of Daniel.
Joel’s last words are a comfort because they confirm we have a God who has our backs. Yes, some believers, because evil exists in the world, will die because of their beliefs. But be comforted by the words in Revelation,
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Revelation 6:10
These are among those whom Joel speaks of; martyrs and believers who have died without being avenged while alive. They dwell under the alter of God, waiting for their day of justice. God will set everything right at the day of judgement if not before.
God’s promise in these last words should be a comfort to all believers. Nothing gets by God. He knows when we’ve been wronged. Justice is coming.
Prayer: Lord thank you that you are a God of justice. I know that one day, whether in this life or at the final judgement you will set all records straight. We need not seek revenge or try to get even for you have our back. I forgive anyone who has wronged me and release them into your hands Lord. Resting in your peace I live in joy knowing I am covered by your love. In Jesus name, amen.