The Limitation of All Human Vengeance
Psalm 149:9
To execute on them the judgment written: this honor have all his saints. Praise you the LORD.

To execute upon them the judgment written. "It was the thought that vengeance was the righteous retribution, written in the book of God, which made Israel glory in inflicting it." "The psalmist probably desires to fire the broken-spirited despondency which the history shows to have weighed so heavily on the returned exiles." Just in one thing humanity has always failed - it has overdone its vengeance. Vengeance may be duty, but whenever man tries to do that duty, his passions come in and spoil his work. Illustrate by the treatment of the conquered in Old Testament wars; by the horrors of the Roman siege of Jerusalem; by the awful scenes at the sacking of besieged cities in modern warfare. Christianity has wrought a great blessing for humanity in putting strict limitation on vengeance. And it puts as strict limitations on the vengeance which an individual man may take on a fellow-man who has wronged him. Works of fiction often present the exaggerated vengeance taken by men who are under no restraint of Christianity. The Christian limitations are twofold.

I. HUMAN VENGEANCE IS LIMITED BY THE FACT THAT THOSE ON WHOM WE TAKE IT STAND IN THE LOVE OF GOD. The Mohammedan can freely slay the "infidels" in propagating his doctrines with the sword, because in his view they are altogether out of the love of God, and these vengeance-takers think they are executing the vengeance of God. We can do nothing of the kind, for that love of God in which we live embraces every fellow of our humanity. To strike a man is to strike one whom God loves. This checks our taking vengeance.

II. HUMAN VENGEANCE IS LIMITED BY THE NECESSITY OF KEEPING IN VIEW THE WELL-BEING OF THOSE ON WHOM THE VENGEANCE IS TAKEN. The servant of God must never do anything but good to anybody. He may do seeming injury in order to reach ends of good; but he must always have in view the salvation - in the large sense - of those with whom he deals. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

WEB: to execute on them the written judgment. All his saints have this honor. Praise Yah!

The Honour Paid to Saints Departed
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