Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.
– Romans 12:19
The person on the other end of the phone line needed my last name.
When I gave it to him, he paused before asking, “Are you Japanese?”
I nearly laughed out loud at the question. He wasn’t even close.
My maiden name is Prussian, a distinctly ethnic and confounding mix of letters that caused endless confusion for others as I grew up. I’m proud of my name, because my father was a local celebrity and a well-respected figure in the community. When I married my Scandinavian husband, though, taking on the name Thorson was a relief of sorts. It was much easier to pronounce and spell.
With the current cultural fascination with mythical gods, our last Norwegian surname has become cool. The Thor of recent movie fame is handsome and powerful. He rights wrongs. He’s the guy you want to have on your side.
Like the other superheroes of myth, he’s also prone to eccentricities and faults. That’s because he’s a figment of human imagination. Like all idols, Thor is a god made in our own image. We can’t construct a perfect deity, because we don’t understand perfection. We don’t comprehend unconditional love. We can’t fathom pure justice.
Contrary to the claims of secularists, the real God isn’t a creation of the human mind.
He’s so high above us, so powerful and righteous and holy, we can’t even begin to construct such a God. Our study of His creation, His Word, and His story reveals a murky vignette of His glory.
We will only fully understand when we stand before His throne on that great day He is revealed to humanity in all His glory.
Until then, we must accept His wisdom and leading by faith. We must trust Him when life gets hard. We must remember, when we see brokenness all around us, that He will make all things right. One day He will avenge all wrongs, dry every tear, and deliver the afflicted. He never acts out of evil motives. He is jealous with a godly jealousy for His beloved and fiercely protects His own.
Who wants to trust in a myth when the real Avenger is at the door?
A jealous and avenging God is the Lord;
The Lord is avenging and wrathful.
The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries,
And He reserves wrath for His enemies.
– Nahum 1:2