Image copyright 2012, Marvel & Subs.
This post is another in the current series here on the theme "Enough!" It is also part of the "One Word at a Time" blog carnival hosted by Peter Pollock. You're invited to visit his site and see what others are saying about Justice.
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Samson presents the real life image of an incredible hulk who regularly lapses into fits of wrathful vengeance.
And Samson lay low till midnight; then he arose at midnight, took hold of the doors of the gate of the city [Gaza] and the two gateposts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.
~ Judges 16:3 (NKJV)
The gates and frame which bar an entire city against all intruders might well weigh a ton. The distance from Gaza to Hebron is nearly forty miles as the crow flies—much farther as one winds an uphill path through the mountains, from sea level to 3,000 feet above it.
Whatever the physical feat involved, this story is more noteworthy as the only incident in which Samson doesn't singlehandedly kill a crowd in his quest for vengeance. Although the Lord's plan was to deliver His people from Philistine oppression and dominion through Samson (Judges 13:5), Samson's motives appear to be rather self-serving; he paid back offense and injury without restraint, leaving destruction in his wake.
If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him—fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him.
~ Leviticus 24:19-20 (NKJV)
The intent of this Old Testament law was never to justify revenge, but instead—in the interest of justice—to limit damages to the extent of the injury suffered. Pure justice loves truth that it may bring accountability and fair compensation. Malice seeks technicality that it may vilify and retaliate.
Far too often, human nature isn't satisfied with "damages enough." Many an offense or injury finds recompense only in a form of destruction greater than itself.
Such "victory" rings hollow. Cruel irony befalls the corrupted soul which wins revenge, for there is no smile from Grace upon one who steals what belongs to the Lord.
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord... Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
~ Romans 12:19, 21 (NKJV)