Bridges on Proverbs 20:22
 
Charles Bridges on Proverbs 20:22
 
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22.  Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
 
“Vengeance belongeth unto me” — is the awful proclamation of God.† Most reverently do his people adore this high prerogative.† Who besides is fitted to wield it? He is Omniscient; we know but imperfectly. He is without passions; we are blinded by our selfish lusts. He is just, “without partiality;” we are prejudiced on our own side. What presumption, therefore, not to say impiety, for the angry worm to entrench upon his prerogative! Revenge is indeed a cherished lust of the flesh.† Were it not for the Divine restraint upon it, this world would be an “Aceldama — a field of blood.” But never did the LORD allow it in his people.† Not even an Edomite, their most bitter enemy; not even the Egyptian, their most cruel oppressor — was to be abhorred. (Deuteronomy 23:7.) The folly and sin of this passion are alike manifest. ‘He that studieth revenge, keepeth his own wounds open.’† His enemy could not do him a greater injury. The tongue, “speaking like the piercings of a sword” (Chapter 12:18; 25:18), is here the instrument of this passion. Yet often, when the open purpose is restrained, the passion broods only the more fiercely within.† Or at least it is only a reluctant obedience, not the glorious victory exhibited in the history of the men of God — “overcoming evil with good.”†
What then is the remedy? In humility and faith lay our matters before the LORD. Put them in his hands. Wait on him, and he shall save us. Revenge rises, only because we have no faith. For did we believe that God would take up our cause, should we not leave ourselves implicitly in his hands? How did he plead the cause of “the meekest man upon earth!”† With what confidence did David rest himself in the midst of reproach,† thus warranting his rule of faith by his own experience!† And thus did David’s Lord “commit himself unto him that judgeth righteously.” (1 Peter 2:23.) After this blessed example therefore, “let those, that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” (Ib. 4:19.) ‘Let it suffice thee for the “possessing thine own soul in patience,” to know, that all shall be righted one day. God will set all straight at the last; but that day is not yet.’† Be satisfied then with his management. Suffice it, that “he shall deliver and save, because we put our trust in him.” (Psalm 37:39, 40.) Let us stay our souls, as his praying people, on the great consummation. “Shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you, that he will avenge them speedily.” (Luke 18:7, 8.)