Ask a Pastor Column

Presenting biblical answers to tough questions


August 17, 2023

Q: Isaiah 1:24 describes God taking vengeance on his enemies; isn’t it a sin to take revenge? Why does God avenge Himself but require us to forgive?

A:  This question gives me another opportunity to talk about the importance of distinctions and context when understanding Scripture. On its face Isaiah 1:24 seems to be a very harsh and vengeful statement from God (which is somewhat true!). But when we understand the big picture, it becomes easier to see how this passage fits with those which encourage individuals to forgive and withhold vengeance.

       Context first: as we read I...

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