June 09, 2006

VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY, SAITH THE LORD
Mt. Sinai, Egypt
Years ago while visiting Israel, we took a detour into Egypt and hiked Mt. Sinai very early one day to see the sunrise. A few of us rode on camels some of the way, truly an unforgetable experience. Interestingly, 40 years prior to then, my father also visited Mt. Sinai while in Egypt to work on the movie, "The Ten Commandments" with Charleston Heston. It was at the base of Mt. Sinai that he purchased for me my first Bible at St. Catherine's monastery. Thus, my earthly father worked on the move, Ten Commandments but my heavenly Father wrote the REAL Ten Commandments!

This morning, I finished reading the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. Here is a man who was rejected by his brothers, sold into slavery, innocently spend years in prison, yet never became bitter but always turned to God. And in the end, he was ruler over Egypt under Pharaoh. The Lord was using all of his difficulties to prepare him for his calling. Then, when he was reconciled to his brothers, Joseph told them, "Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones."

May we each daily put our faith and trust the Lord, no matter what's going on in our lives. As bad as it is at times, it could always be worse! Forgiveness, not vengeance, is the key to freedom because Jesus Christ forgave us while we were yet sinners and we need to forgive one another as well.

"Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:14-21)

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