I have shared this before, but I am a deep truth-seeker. For years, when someone would send an email (you know the kind; the, “forward this to all your friends so they will know” email) filled with topics that were just too crazy to believe, I always dug deeper. I did research. “Trust but verify,” President Ronald Reagan once told us, so I do. I trust the person’s heart was in the right place, but I do my own research. Because let’s face it - forwarding an email takes two seconds. Looking into the subject to fact check takes longer.
Anyway, Terry and I were in bed reading the other night and he was growing more and more disgusted while reading an article by one of the news publications to which we subscribe. He forwarded the link to me, and we both decided to investigate a little further. This article just seemed too absurd. It’s 2019. No one could really do what this person was accused of doing and get away with it, I kept thinking.
But he did do the things and he did get away with it.
As I read article after article about this particular situation, I grew more and more angry at our justice system; or lack thereof. This person committed crimes. Horrific crimes, and he got away with it because he is a millionaire and was able to “buy” his way out of what he did. But his victims suffer, to this day, because of what this man did. Their lives have been ruined by one person’s selfish, disgusting behavior.
The prosecutors and judges in this particular matter were not just in their justice, but God is just.
I went back and reread Lamentations. The call for God to pay back the people who had done evil is quoted, time and time again:
“Lord, You are my lawyer! Plead my case! For You have redeemed my life. You have seen the wrong they have done to me, Lord. Be my judge, and prove me right. You have seen the vengeful plots my enemies have laid against me. Lord, You have heard the vile names they call me. You know all about the plans they have made. My enemies whisper and mutter as they plot against me all day long. Look at them! Whether they sit or stand, I am the object of their mocking songs. Pay them back, Lord, for all the evil they have done. Give them hard and stubborn hearts, and let then Your curse fall on them! Chase them down in Your anger, destroying them beneath the Lord’s heavens.” - Lamentations 3:58-66 (NLT)
Whoa. Jeremiah wasn’t playing around.
Lamentations is a book filled with the excruciating pain caused by others, felt by Jeremiah. To lament is to feel or express sorrow or regret for, to mourn. Jeremiah was feeling all of these, and then some. Jeremiah has been referred to as, “the weeping prophet,” because of the agony he expressed in this book. But when horrible atrocities were happening all around Jeremiah, he knew where to turn, and this is a beautiful lesson for you and me.
We turn to Papa for justice. God sees all of the wrongs people do, and we absolutely have to trust our own lamentations are heard.
We have to trust God to avenge. It is not our place to become vigilantes. I truly believe it would only backfire. Good people are not meant to retaliate; good people are meant to be righteous, and raise our hallelujahs in the presence of our enemies. Good people are meant to seek God for justice, rather than renting a billboard, telling the world what the evil people have done. Good people are meant to trust in a living God who promised us vengeance was His.
I know from my sweet Terry’s and my own personal experiences with people doing corrupt, evil things to us, it is no easy feat to stay quiet and wait, but staying quiet and trusting God and waiting on God is exactly what we are supposed to do.
And in that period of waiting, lament away. Papa hears you. He sees you. He knows you and He loves you. Lament and lament and lament, but while you lament, trust Him. In His time, God’s anger will be satisfied. Trust Him.