Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father in killing his seventy brothers. 57 Also God returned all the wickedness of the men of Shechem on their heads, and the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal came upon them, (9:56-57).
Sometimes this idea of God Who Repays the Wickedness does not quite fit into our New Testament ideology. But our ideology is not truth; His Word is truth.
We love to dwell on Him as the God of Grace; and He is, even in the Old Testament. But often we want to only accept the parts of Him that make us feel comfortable. But we are not to place our faith in our own ideology or comfort. It is His Word and truth that fully explain Him.
God revealed Himself to Moses, proclaiming His Name.
Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin…” (Exodus 34:6-7).
And we would be quite comfortable if He would complete His thought right there. However there is more to His Name, His Person. He is the same God in our New Testament Bible as He is in the Old. He is God Who Repays the Wickedness.
Consider Him Who Repays the Wickedness
- “… yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations,” (Exodus 34:6-7).
- Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father in killing his seventy brothers. 57 Also God returned all the wickedness of the men of Shechem on their heads, and the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal came upon them, (9:56-57).
- …they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, (Romans 1:32).
- For the wages of sin is death, (Romans 6:23).
How do we respond to Him Who Repays the Wickedness?
We begin by examining our own life according to His Standard, the Word of God. In the Old and New Testament, the truth of our condition is plainly stated: “There is no one who does good, not even one;” “There is none righteous, not even one.”
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,”
They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice;
There is no one who does good.
2 God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there is anyone who understands,
Who seeks after God.
3 Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one, (Psalm 53:1).
“There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one,” (Romans 3:10-12).
And the judgment on our condition, the penalty we owe, is also plainly stated: death.
For the wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23).
He Who Repays the Wickedness, has not left us on our own to pay a debt we could never fulfill, but He Himself has provided the payment as His free gift.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 6:23 emphasis added).
His gift of eternal life is free… however, it is imperative we agree with the truth of our condition before we can accept the truth of His provision.
So often we are concerned with all the evil and injustice in this world (and rightly so), but we overlook the truth of our own predicament. We compare our evil to that of others and reason we are not nearly so far gone; and we earnestly desire His justice, that He would Repay the Wickedness in others.
But we must recognize and acknowledge our utter unworthiness, our desperate state in light of Holy God. It is only as we compare ourselves to Him that we are able to ascertain an accurate analysis.
I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good besides You,” (Psalm 16:2).
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; (Romans 7:18).
Though there is no good thing in us worthy of His forgiveness, in His perfect love and perfect justice, He gave His only begotten Son that we could be saved.
When we place our faith in Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord, when we believe and accept the offer of His gift of grace, He accepts what we deserve: the Repayment for the Wickedness of our sin.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God,” (John 3:16-18).
When we place our faith in His sacrifice and believe in Him, we need not fear Him Who Repays the Wickedness; in Him our debt is cancelled on the cross.
When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross, (Colossians 2:13-14).
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us, (1 John 4:18-19).
Think about His love, how He first loved us in order that we would love Him; His grace and love are truly indescribable! May we grow in love and gratitude each and every day for such an indescribable gift of grace that has paid our debt in full, granted by Him Who Repays the Wickedness,
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15).