God Will Keep You Safe

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Do not say, ‘I will repay evil;’ put your hope in Yahweh and he will keep you safe. – Proverbs 20:22

This quote represents a moral truth. Yes. There is such a thing. Though many today would deny it. But, in spite of all their denials, when a moral truth is ignored, or defied, there are always inescapable, negative consequences. Moral truths cannot be denied without consequences any more than gravity can be denied without consequences. The light of such truth can only come from God, not from the human intellect. The God-given human intellect, though, is designed to seek and to recognize truth; not just scientific “truths,” which change with time and better questions, but universal moral truths, which are true for every one, at all times, in all places, and do not change. The more we deny God’s moral truth in our public lives and our private behavior, the more we remove the moral vocabulary that gives our lives meaning, purpose, and justice.

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Revenge is a powerful desire. When we are injured unjustly, in any way, this powerful emotion rises in us like a terrible storm. Our minds grow dark with dangerous anger. When we allow ourselves to unleash that storm on the one who has injured us we are acting in accord with evil. If the one who injured us did so with evil intent, the response of revenge only makes us participate in furthering evil, rather than bringing about justice. The moral truth, then as now, is that if we let revenge consume us it will destroy us, even more than the one on whom we seek our vengeance.

What is above gives us the “Thou shalt not,” negative command perspective. But here is the same truth, as seen from the positive command of the New Testament: “Bless those who persecute you; never curse them, bless them.” (Romans 12:14) The way to avoid the evil of revenge, is to develop the positive, courageous habits of faith. It is only through these faithful habits, practiced in the light of God’s truth, that true justice will come. This is the universal moral truth revealed to us in Jesus. Jesus showed us the true nature of God, but it is also true that he showed us how to be truly human. True, righteous justice can only come from God. Our job is to strive to become fully human in the light of God’s truth. When we defy, or ignore our true nature, we curse ourselves, and history is replete with the consequences that come from denying God’s universal moral truths.

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.