Crying day & night for Vindication while Forgiving from the heart? - is that possible?


#1

How can one cry day and night for vindication (I assume against oppressors, persecutors and those that have done/are doing wrong) and yet meet the strict requirements of forgiveness?

Here is what Jesus says:

" And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. " Luke 18 1:8

"but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. " Matthew 6:15

Thoughts?


#2

OK two different messages here. In Luke 18 Jesus is comparing an unjust judge who gives in to the constant cries of the widow because he can no longer tolerate being bothered by her. Jesus makes a comparison saying that if the judge, who cares neither for God nor men, will hear the cries of those who persistently seek him out how much more will God, who is just, hear you. So the message is do not grow weary in prayer and supplication but remember that God is just and does hear your prayer and therefore cry out to Him and even though you may not receive what you want, because God always hears, your prayer will still be to your good. There are many instances where the saints tell us that prayer does not change God but rather God uses our prayer to change us and bring us onto line with His will for us.

The second message is about forgiveness. When you pray, be sure that your prayer is not for your selfish needs but for God’s will for you. And in that is that you forgive your enemies. There is no parable of comparison here, but rather a direct command to forgive your enemies.

The two teaching do overlap in that they are both about prayer, but not in that they are about seeking vengeance and forgiveness. Rather they serve to remind us to pray for God’s will, to pray constantly, and to be sure that God hears us when we pray.

So really there is no contradiction between them at all.

God Bless


#3

It appears, actually, that Jesus is encouraging those who “cry day and night” because God will “vindicate” - which I believe means “defend” against opposition, or in other words: avenge.

Paul says this: "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

So can we pray with fervor & earnestness (cry day and night) to be defended by God from specific evildoers (example: oppressors or thieves), while at the same time forgiving those who trespass against us “seventy times seven times” by repeatedly turning the other cheek?

If so, how is that possible to do without being a “son of thunder”?


#4

Any other ideas on how this might be possible to do?


#5

Any other thoughts out there on how the two things might be compatible rather than seemingly contradict each other?


#6

You are combining two separate things. Let’s give an example to better illustrate. Let’s say my child throws a baseball (after I told her not to) and it breaks a neighbor’s window.

My neighbor can forgive my child for breaking the window, and at the same time can bring a petition to me to have the window fixed. My child is forgiven, but still the window must be fixed.

The same concept is in play here. Sins can be forgiven and still the damage done by them can be “fixed” or vindicated in God’s good time.


#7

Well, here’s my $0.02 for what it’s worth:

I think these two passages are reconcilable when we understand God as the sole arbiter of justice.

On the one hand, God’s will demands justice to be done. Vindication is a matter of justice. An offense has been made, and justice provides a vindication against the offense. Jesus promises that God will deliver justice if we ask.

On the other hand, we have this question regarding forgiveness. Jesus tells us that unless we forgive others, the Father will not forgive us. Why? The reason is that the offenses that are made against us by others are small when we compare them to the offenses we make against God. So if we aren’t willing to forgive in small matters, then why should we expect to be forgiven in greater matters.

But what is forgiveness? To forgive is to allow an offender to forego payment of the debt. That is to say, justice is not met, vindication does not occur. But how can we allow this? As a matter of principle, even if I recognize that I’m not so important, justice is.

The answer is simple. We forgive, not because we don’t care about justice, but because we know God will do justice in the end. And we know what that justice is: it is to allow Christ to bear the brunt of that injustice in His eternal sacrifice of Calvary.

So, we must forgive, that is, allow God to mete out Justice in His own way, but at the same time cry to God for justice, because it is His right to mete it out, not ours.


#8

Thank you both for your insights (above). Drawing from your responses, It seems like the two things are compatible, then.

If we cry and plead for the injustice to be addressed by God (examples: a theft/debt to be paid, painful memories to be healed, a current oppression to be removed, a public defense to be made, etc.) . This is encouraged by our Lord, and such earnestness comes with the promise of a speedy answer. The first prayer can quite naturally flow from the heart and this flow can be directed toward the pain rather than the pain-giver.

However, we cannot ask for a punishment (like fire brought down from heaven) upon the one(s) that caused the injustice. In fact, quite the opposite: we are commanded to ask through prayer for no punishment upon those that harm (or have harmed) us. This is the prayer of forgiveness. Correct? If so, this second prayer can easily be articulated to God, but would not naturally flow from the heart (especially if the victim is still being oppressed by say a betraying friend or a cruel-hearted, insidious parent).

I don’t think we have to **passionately desire forgiveness **- that might be too unnatural for us as weak human beings with limited eternal foresight. Forgiveness might be more like a signed contract. We might not want to sign the legal document, but through prayer we can articulate through prayer a write-off of all required punishment on our behalf and the behalf of those we love.

As a test of the imagination, I put myself in one of the most heinous situations I can think of, such as in the shoes of the mother in the Maccabees -

“The king fell into a rage, and gave orders that pans and caldrons be heated. 4 These were heated immediately, and he commanded that the tongue of their spokesman be cut out and that they scalp him and cut off his hands and feet, while the rest of the brothers and the mother looked on. 5 When he was utterly helpless, the king[a] ordered them to take him to the fire, still breathing, and to fry him in a pan.” 2 Maccabees 7

As the parent seeing my dear child tortured as such, my obligation there as I stand in utter shock before my oppressor would be to beg God to stop this vile torture, crying from the depths of my heart while at the same time articulating the following: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. Though of course, at this moment in time, it would be nothing less than a miracle that such a prayer would come from my heart! At least I may be able to utter it like agreeing to a contract as commanded and modeled by Jesus hoping in the eternal joys that will put such a grievous moment far behind us.

Any further thoughts or insights?


#9

Just a quick update, I just created a spin-off thread that brings the question of forgiveness from the hear into the original post. Just search for “Does forgiveness have to come from the heart?” if that is of interest to you.


#10

Hmmmm, Vindication:
to show that (someone) should not be blamed for a crime, mistake, etc. : to show that (someone) is not guilty

I don’t see the conflict between being vindicated and forgiving. Seems like being vindicated would enhance our ability to forgive.


#11

Certainly being vindicated could help in forgiving. For example if a religious teacher molested my child (and others’ children), and God allowed that teacher to lose his privates due to VD and to lose his job, I would feel vindicated and could more likely forgive the teacher over time.

However, should I pray for such an evildoer to get VD and lose genital faculties, his job, etc.? I think such a prayer would be a curse, correct?

So in this situation a forgiving prayer for vindication might be: “Father, save this person from Hell, but fix this horrific situation as You see fit - and heal all the families tormented by the memories of such awfulness.”

There seems to be a fine line between praying earnestly for vindication with forgiveness and cursing with unforgiveness.

Thoughts?


#12

Certainly being vindicated could help in forgiving. For example if a religious teacher molested my child (and others’ children), and God allowed that teacher to lose his privates due to VD and to lose his job, I would feel vindicated . . . .

Thoughts?
[/quote]

Well, that example is really not vindication.
Vindication is to show that someone should not be blamed for a crime, mistake, etc. or to show that someone is not guilt. You didn’t do anything wrong in your example, so there is nothing for you to be vindicated from.


#13

Here is what Webster defines Vindicate as:
Full Definition of VINDICATE
1: obsolete : to set free : deliver
2: avenge
3
a : to free from allegation or blame
b (1) : confirm, substantiate (2) : to provide justification or defense for : justify
c : to protect from attack or encroachment : defend
4: to maintain a right to

I’m thinking the passage actually means the “avenge” definition of “Vindicate” based on this plea from the widow: "‘Vindicate me against my adversary.’ and ‘he will vindicate them speedily.’ Luke 18. It doesn’t seem to mean letting the Widow free of a crime. Rather it seems to imply that the adversary committed a crime that needs avenging.

Roman’s 12:19 says the following:"Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

So maybe when we our souls cry for “vindication” in the “avenge” sort of way, it might be safest to humbly redirect the soul to pray to God to “fix” the situation, and to avoid praying for vindication/vengeance against an adversary as the widow did. This would allow us to forgive the enemy but still cry in pain until the Lord comes speedily with the correction.

Thoughts?


#14

Ah, so you actually meant avenge. OK.


#15

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