Shabbat Shalom all,
Romiyim/Romans 12:19 “Beloved, do not revenge yourselves, but give place to the wrath, for it has been written, “Vengeance is Mine, I shall repay,” says יהוה.”
יהושע tells us, who are ‘hearing’, in Luqas/Luke 6:26-27 that we are to love our enemies and do good to those hating us and bless those cursing us, and pray for those who are insulting us!!! How many of you find this clear instruction of our Master a little hard to live out at times? How good are you at turning the other cheek, so to speak? I think for most of us there are times when we certainly feel like taking some much needed revenge on others and often feel like repaying them for what they have done to us, even those who we know and are considered as family, never mind the stranger!
Sha’ul asked the assembly in Corinth who were having lawsuits against each other, ‘Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?’. He goes on to say that by having lawsuits and challenging one another they were themselves doing wrong and cheating, and he reminds them that the unrighteous shall not inherit the reign. It is often very tempting to strike back when wounded by others, whether it be physically, emotionally or even socially, yet we are constantly reminded through Scripture that it is not for us to repay evil for evil!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 20:22 “Do not say, “I repay evil.” Wait for יהוה, and He saves you.”
These are very wise words indeed! Wait for יהוה – the One who will repay!!! As sojourners waiting for the return of our King, these are possibly some of the most wise and valuable words that we need to hear! In a message tonight called, ‘THE VENGEANCE AND RECOMPENSE OF ELOHIM IS COMING!!!’, I would like us to look a little into what this means for us, and to do that I would like us to begin by reading from Yeshayahu/Isaiah 35:3-10 (Read).
As I was reading through Yeshayahu this week, this passage gripped me once again, and I stopped and earnestly meditated on the ‘good and strengthening news’ of the coming vengeance and recompense of our Elohim.
Tonight it is this vengeance and recompense of Elohim that I want to dig a little further into, by looking at a few verses where we find the Hebrew and Greek words for ‘vengeance’ and ‘recompense’. The reason for doing this is simply to encourage us to be steadfast in walking in the way of set-apartness! In verse 3 we are able to see the very clear command given to a weakened and frightened people.
Yehuḏah had turned their backs on יהוה by walking in disobedience and were facing the discipline because of their sins. The nation was under attack by the brutal Assyrian army and the people were terrified and obviously concerned about their future; and in the midst of these difficult and trying circumstances, Yeshayahu stands before them as a prophet of comfort and hope, encouraging them with what is to come and the road they must walk – and that is to return to His Torah and walk in obedience to it, for there is a Day coming where יהוה would deliver them and cause them to live in peace in the land He had Promised.
The call to strengthen the weak hands and make firm the weak knees, was an urgent call and command to return to obedience, amidst the oppressive captivity under which they had been exiled to. This was a call to live according to יהוה’s covenant stipulations. These same words and call to be strengthened are seen in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:12-13 “So, strengthen the hands which hang down and the weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned aside, but instead, to be healed.”
This is a call to renew spiritual vitality! If you want to run with endurance then you need to strengthen the weak! The Greek word for ‘strengthen’ is ἀνορθόω – anorthoō – Strong’s G461 which means, ‘to make straight or upright again, lift up, restore, strengthen’. It is time to make straight that which has been twisted and has caused many to become weakened!!! This is written in the ‘plural imperative’ which simply means that this requires a joint effort. We need to strengthen one another! The Hebrew word in Yeshayahu for ‘strengthen’ is חָזַק ḥazaq – Strong’s H2388 and carries the meaning, ‘to grow firm, fasten upon, strengthen, take firm hold of’ and can have the concept of ‘grasp between your ears, get a firm handle on the matter’, and is also written in the ‘plural imperative’! There is no place for ‘lone rangers’ in the body – we are to strengthen each other and realise that you cannot do it alone – you will need the strengthening of others! This concept of helping each other is seen right through Iḇ’rim/Hebrews:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 3:13 “but encourage one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened by the deceivableness of sin.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us be concerned for one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging, and so much more as you see the Day coming near”
Weak hands and weak knees are a picture of one who done not have a handle on the truth, and is unable to grasp with confidence the Truth of guarding to do all that Elohim has commanded. With weak knees one is not stable in their walk of faith, as their legs will buckle under the pressures and trials they might face, as the deceitfulness of wealth and the worries of this life choke out the Word, causing them to lose their stability and confidence in being a bold ambassador of the Truth!
In this verse 3 of Yeshayahu/Isaiah 35 we have two different Hebrew words that are translated as ‘weak’. The first Hebrew word translated as ‘weak’, as in ‘weak hands’ is רָפֶה rapheh – Strong’s H7502 which means, ‘slack, exhausted, weak’, and pictures for us a people who had grown tired of ‘doing’ what is right and commanded and had become lazy in their required obedience. As a result, their good works of righteousness were non-existent and they were no longer able to be a witness. They were not walking as children of light, nor were they shining their light before men in order that their good works be seen, and result in praise unto the our Father who is in the heavens.
The second Hebrew word translated as ‘weak’, as in ‘weak knees’, is כָּשַׁל kashal – Strong’s H3782 meaning, ‘stumble, totter, stagger, bring down, failing, weakening’. They were stumbling in their required work – why? Because of false threats and messages from the enemy that will twist and manipulate the truth in order to cause people to fail in their obedient worship unto Elohim! Today we recognise that the false lies and traditions of men that is being taught by false ear ticklers, who have turned away from the Torah, are causing many to stumble and become weakened in their faith to do all that is commanded; and many will say today that it is impossible to keep the Torah – which is an absolute lie from the enemy who simply wants to discourage the masses into thinking that they are unable to!
Yeshayahu was told to speak up and tell those who were anxious in heart to be strong and not to fear!
The Hebrew word translated here for ‘anxious’ is מָהַר mahar – Strong’s H4116 which means, ‘to hasten, act quickly, prepare, rash, be anxious, make speed’. The use of this word here gives us the understanding of those who were being too hasty in their weakened state, showing signs of a heart that was fluttered with agitation. Think about it for a moment – those with anxious hearts cannot sit still for a moment, and they get irritated very quickly and lack patience and endurance, and get flustered by waiting. In the process they may act in haste and only later see that they acted irrationally before thinking about what they should have done! Those with an anxious heart will also seek to agitate a crowd and stir up a disturbance, all because their hearts are fluttered with anxiety and are unable to be at peace in waiting on Elohim! Does this sound familiar to any of you? If so, then this word is certainly for you tonight, just as it was for those anxious hearts back then! In encouraging the anxious to be strong and not to fear, Yeshayahu was told to tell them some much needed ‘good news’ – good news that would cause them to have their eyes and ears opened, and cause them to be strengthened in their walk, and be refreshed with the Living Waters of Truth, enabling them to walk in total set-apartness! And the message was this:
“See, your Elohim comes with vengeance, with the recompense of Elohim. He is coming to save you.”
This is good news!!! Why do I say that? Well, we can see here in this chapter a clear progression in the words being spoken. Yeshayahu is told to ‘say’ these words, and the result would be an awakening to the Truth. ‘Say’ these words – ‘then’ the eyes of the blind shall see, the deaf shall hear, ‘then’ the lame shall leap like a deer and the dumb sing! How and why? ‘Because’ waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams would flow in the desert!!! Do you see the construct of this passage? This news to the weakened and anxious, that the vengeance and recompense of Elohim is coming, would cause them to be strong and courageous and stand firm in the truth and walk in it, as faithful sojourners who are waiting for their coming King! These words will strengthen the weak to hear-guard and do the clear commands of יהוה, and walk in the Way of Set-Apartness. We who are in יהושע Messiah, and stay in Him and walk as He walked, shall walk in the true way of set-apartness, and as the ransomed ones of our Master, having been redeemed through His Blood and continuing to stay in Him by walking in righteousness, shall return and enter into His coming reign!!!
The truth of these words really gripped me this week! In a time when most are hearing but not understanding and seeing but not perceiving, the question for us who have the Truth is often one of ‘What do I say?’. And right here in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 35 we are given the clear answer as we ‘prepare the way in the wilderness’ for the return of our Master, Redeemer and King! While many may not see the power of these words, simply because they just want to hear ear tickling tales, it is these words that will cause people to wake up and hear! The message of the coming vengeance and recompense of our Elohim will strike an awakening into the hearts and minds of the anxious and weak!
We must speak the truth and it is the Truth that will set people free – and the Truth of the matter at hand, is that the יהוה, our Elohim, is coming with great vengeance!!! The message of this fact ought to strike the fear of יהוה into the hearts of the weak and anxious, causing them to walk in total set-apartness!
The coming vengeance of our Elohim is good news – for us who are in Him and stay in Him! It is not good news for those who refuse to walk in Him, and reject His way of set-apartness by rejecting the need to walk in His Torah!
Let us take a closer look at these two words – vengeance and recompense, and a few Scriptures where we see these words being used, in order for us to recognise this strengthening news of His coming for us!
The Hebrew word translated here in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 35:4 for ‘vengeance’ is the noun נָקָם naqam – Strong’s H5359 and is from the primitive root verb נָקַם naqam – Strong’s H5358 which means, ‘to avenge, take vengeance, execute punishment, take revenge’. The first time we see this word being used in Scripture is in:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26:25 “And I shall bring against you a sword executing the vengeance of My covenant, and you shall gather together in your cities, and I shall send pestilence among you, and you shall be given into the hand of the enemy.”
These words were given to Yisra’ĕl as a warning about what would happen if they do not obey יהוה and do His commands. The sword of His vengeance would come upon Yisra’ĕl if they rejected His laws, loath His right-rulings and reject His Covenant! In order words יהוה would take revenge on those who reject Him and His Word!
This is a very sobering reality and warning to us today, as we recognise our need to Hear, Guard and Do His commands and walk in the Way of Set-Apartness.
When we do obey His commands and stay on the Way of Set-Apartness, not turning to the left or right, but fixing our eyes upon our Elohim, and run with perseverance the race set before us, this coming vengeance of Elohim is a strengthening comfort for us, the set-apart ones of the Most High! יהושע Messiah tells us that we are blessed when we are persecuted for righteousness sake – that is we are blessed when we are persecuted and ridiculed and slandered and hated for walking the Way of Set-Apartness. While this may not always feel blessed, and our natural fleshly response to any persecution, slander or hatred is often one of a desired revenge that we would like to execute personally, we need to recognise that vengeance is not ours – it belongs to Elohim!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:35 “Vengeance is Mine, and repayment, at the time their foot slips; for near is the day of their calamity, and the matters prepared are hastening to them.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:41 “If I have sharpened My flashing sword, and My hand takes hold on judgment, I shall return vengeance to My enemies, and repay those who hate Me.”
The term ‘vengeance’, according to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, means the following:
“Punishment inflicted, in relation to an injury or offense”. It also means that it is done with great force, or done on an extreme and excessive degree! As we consider this, we can understand with what great and excessive force the punishment of Elohim is coming upon those who have ‘injured’ His Torah and walked contrary to His commands!
We, as the body of Messiah, have no right to execute His vengeance – a vengeance that He alone will bring with excessive and extreme force – for His jealousy for His Bride shall cause Him to come with great force and repay the enemies of His Bride and His Covenant!
After Shimshon had been captured by the Philistines and had his eyes plucked out, they called for Shimshon to entertain them, and before he took hold of the two middle columns he prayed to יהוה and asked that יהוה strengthen him to take vengeance upon the Philistines, as we see in:
Shophetim/Judges 16:28 “And Shimshon called to יהוה, saying, “O Master יהוה, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, only this time, O Elohim, and let me avenge myself on the Philistines with vengeance for my two eyes!”
He killed more Philistines at his death than those he killed in his life! This is a picture of the excessive and great vengeance of Elohim that is coming on the wicked!
Tehillim/Psalm 58:10-11 “The righteous rejoices when he has seen the vengeance, he washes his feet in the blood of the wrong, 11 and man says, “Truly, the righteous are rewarded; truly, there is an Elohim judging in the earth.”
The righteous shall rejoice when they see the vengeance of Elohim!!!
In speaking of the day of יהוה, we see in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 34:8 “For it is the day of the vengeance of יהוה, the year of recompense for the cause of Tsiyon.”
When יהוה saw that there was no man, nor any intercessor, His own Arm saved for Him and we are told in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 59:17 “And He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of deliverance on His head. And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped Himself with ardour as a mantle.”
He shall put on ‘garments of vengeance’ – He is coming in intense wrath to repay His enemies for all their wickedness and rebellion to His Word!
His vengeance shall be proclaimed!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:2 “to proclaim the acceptable year of יהוה, and the day of vengeance of our Elohim, to comfort all who mourn”
When יהושע Messiah stood up in the Assembly and read from the scroll of Yeshayahu/Isaiah He read part of this verse and then rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all the congregants were fixed on Him!!! He read Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:1 and half of this verse 2, and stopped before reading, “… and the day of vengeance of our Elohim…”, for the vengeance of Elohim is not until יהושע Messiah returns again. He did proclaim a release, and those who knew Yeshayahu would have known this passage very well, and at these words their eyes were fixed on the One who is once again coming in vengeance – and to those who are in Him this is good news, while to those who are not, it is not! Some were astonished at His words, while others scoffed at them!
The Word of יהוה to a rebellious people who refuse to obey Him, through the prophet Miḵah are also very clear:
Miḵah/Micah 5:15 “And I shall take vengeance in wrath and rage on the gentiles who did not obey.”
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 35:4 the Hebrew word translated as ‘recompense’ is גְּמוּל gemul – Strong’s H1576 which means, ‘a dealing, recompense, benefit, what is deserved’, and comes from the root verb גָּמַל gamal – Strong’s H1580 meaning, ‘to deal fully or adequately with, to deal out to, wean, compensate, repay’.
In the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the word ‘recompense’, as a noun, means:
“An equivalent or return for something done, suffered or given” and as a verb it means, “to pay for, or to give by way of compensation (as for a service rendered or for damage incurred)”. In other words this term can have both a positive and a negative meaning to it when understanding the recompense of our Elohim – depending on which path you are walking on! For those who walk in the way of set-apartness, we recognise that our reward is with Him, and we shall receive our just inheritance and reward for our faithful obedience of walking steadfast in Him; while those who walk contrary to His way of set-apartness, and walk in their own ways, He is coming to give them what is due for their disobedience!!!
Tehillim/Psalm 103:2 “Bless יהוה, O my being, and do not forget all His dealings”
The Hebrew word translated here as ‘dealings’ is גְּמוּל gemul – the word we have just looked at that means ‘recompense’. In other words we must not forget that with which יהוה is coming, for then we shall be prepared for His dealings that He is bringing!
In reference to the clear call to come out of man-made traditions and twisted theologies, we see in:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 51:6 “Flee from the midst of Baḇel, and let each one save his life! Do not be cut off in her crookedness, for this is the time of the vengeance of יהוה, the recompense He is repaying her.”
In this verse we have both of the words we see in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 35:4 – נָקָם naqam (vengeance) and גְּמוּל gemul (recompense). Only here in Yirmeyahu the Hebrew word for ‘vengeance’ is נְקָמָה neqamah – Strong’s H5360 which is the feminine of נָקָם naqam.
Once again we see in this call to ‘COME OUT BAḆEL’, that the clear message of the vengeance and recompense of Elohim that is coming is being proclaimed – for this is the message that will strengthen the weak and anxious to come out of and flee from twisted traditions and dogmas of man!!!
This is the same language we see being used in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 18:4 “And I heard another voice from the heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.”
The call to come out of the perversions and not to get caught up in the corruption of inherited lies comes with the clear warning of an intense vengeance and recompense of our Elohim that is coming!
In Mattithyahu/Matthew 10 when Messiah told the twelve to go to the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl and proclaim that the reign of the heavens has drawn near, and that they should heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons, we can in many ways be drawn back to this message that Yeshayahu was told to speak! Think about it – the reign of the heavens that has drawn near, and is about to come and be firmly established hear on earth, is not going to come with bells and whistles and a party on the clouds with everyone sipping lemonade – no – it is coming with fire!!! The vengeance and recompense of our Elohim is coming – and He is coming to save us!!! This is the message that heals, raises the dead, casts out demons and their spirit of falsehood, and cleanses the lepers!
The Greek equivalent for the word in Hebrew for ‘recompense’ is ἀνταποδίδωμι antapodidōmi – Strong’s G467 which means, ‘to requite (good or evil),to give back as an equivalent, render unto, repay, recompense’.
In speaking of not looking for payment of reward for inviting to a feast and giving a meal to the poor, lame, blind and crippled, Messiah tells us in:
Luqas/Luke 14:14 “and you shall be blessed, because they do not have to repay you. For you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
This is a clear literal instruction, as well as a very powerful metaphor when understanding the words of Yeshayahu and how at the proclaiming of the truth of what is to come, the hungry will be nourished, the crippled will be enabled to walk upright and the blind will be able to see and walk in the way of set-apartness! And in causing many to hear, walk and see the Truth, we must know that we shall be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous – that is at the first resurrection, when our Elohim is coming with His vengeance and recompense!
The Greek equivalent for the word in Hebrew for ‘vengeance’ is ἐκδίκησις ekdikēsis – Strong’s G1557 which means, ‘vengeance, vindication, avenging the wrong, retribution, punishment’.
We find both of these words being used in the verse I started with tonight:
Romiyim/Romans 12:19 “Beloved, do not revenge yourselves, but give place to the wrath, for it has been written, “Vengeance is Mine, I shall repay,” says יהוה.”
As well as in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:30-31 “For we know Him who has said, “Vengeance is Mine, I shall repay, says יהוה.” And again, “יהוה shall judge His people.” 31 It is fearsome to fall into the hands of the living Elohim.”
We who are in Him and stay in Him, being held firmly in His Hand, shall not fall into His hands!!!
In speaking on the end times יהושע Messiah said in:
Luqas/Luke 21:22 “Because these are days of vengeance, to fill all that have been written.”
And in understanding who Elohim will be taking vengeance upon, we are told in:
Tas’loniqim Bět/2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 “since Elohim shall rightly repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give you who are afflicted rest with us when the Master יהושע is revealed from heaven with His mighty messengers, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know Elohim, and on those who do not obey the Good News of our Master יהושע Messiah, 9 who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Master and from the esteem of His strength, 10 when He comes to be esteemed in His set-apart ones and to be admired among all those who believe in that Day, because our witness to you was believed.”
Again we are able to see here the proclamation of the vengeance and recompense of Elohim that is coming, and how He is coming to save us! He will take vengeance on those who do not know Elohim and those who do not obey the Good News!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands.”
Those who do not guard the commands of Elohim, do not know Him, and His vengeance is coming upon them; while He is also coming to save all those who believe – and here we see another clear reference to belief being linked to obedience to the commands of Elohim!
Tonight I simply wanted to speak the words of Yeshayahu and expand on the meaning therein, with the clear purpose of causing us all to be strengthened and stripped away of any anxious hearts, in order that we may stand firm and walk in the way of set-apartness, knowing that as we sojourn here in our wilderness journeys, that we shall have sufficiency in Messiah, as we drink of the Living Waters of His Truth and in our returning shall be enabled to continually sing praises to our Elohim who is coming with vengeance and recompense, for He is coming to save us!!!
This is the message we are to be speaking to the weak and anxious!!! For this is the message that will bring the healing truth to the blind, deaf and lame! Will you too speak these very words of truth – that our Elohim is coming with vengeance, with the recompense of Elohim. He is coming to save you!
Be strong and do not fear – and speak up and proclaim for the reign of the heavens has drawn near, and in calling many out of Baḇel, we need to speak these words!
THE VENGEANCE AND RECOMPENSE OF ELOHIM IS COMING. HE IS COMING TO SAVE YOU!!!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!