“Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelech had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers. God also made the men of Shechem pay for all their wickedness.”
In Judges 9, we read the story that Gideon’s son Abimelech wanted to be king, so he persuaded the people of Shechem to support him, who helped him murder his seventy brothers (9:24). In verse 23-24, we read, “And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem, and the leaders of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers.”
Our soul deeply groans when we are sinned against, and justice seems no where to be found when the wicked person who has sinned against goes on living without harm or punishment, especially when they continue to sin against us over a long period of time. But remember, God sees all things and remembers all the evil they have done. His words are true, when He says, “Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.” (Proverbs 11:21) He has assured us, “‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.'” (Deut. 32:35) Let’s not repay evil for evil, but submit our sufferings to the hands of the Lord, who is faithful to all His promises, who sees our pain and is on His way to deliver us. He acts on our behalf.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Jesus has warned us beforehand, “In this world you will have trouble.” but he has also given us the answer to our suffering, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” so that “in me you may have peace.” Life is hard, life in Christ might even be harder, the difference is that our sufferings are not without hope. Christ, our Lord has overcome the world, and we are over-comers in him.
Facing temptations and trials, our own strength and wisdom always fail us, but God allows them to test our hearts and turn our eyes to him, knowing that He is the source of all wisdom, strength, and grace. Without looking to Him, we cannot love others well, especially those who sin against us. If we are not looking to Him, we will quickly look to ourselves, and define love base on what we have received, how well we have been treated (the way we want to be treated). Then we make a mental decision if the other person is lovable or not, and we lose sight of God completely, with no pursuit of holiness. (1 Cor. 13:1-3)
How do we love when things are difficult? Let’s first turn to the source of all pure love, draw near to the throne of grace, and learn from Him, remembering how he kneels down to wash his disciples’ feet even though he knows that they would use those same feet to run away and deny him the next day (when he is dying for them!) remembering how he is willing to die for us on the cross so that we could be reconciled to God and have eternal life. He is good and faithful, and will give us mercy and grace to help us journey through the difficult times in life. He will sustain us and grow us to love like Jesus, the One who sees all our flaws and sins and loves us still to the end by giving us all he has.