Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
Wait for the Lord and he will deliver you.
I read this proverb and thought about the balance of the universe.
King Solomon is telling us that evil will be repaid by the universe, there is no need to take matters into your own hands. Especially since our response would be futile since we do not have control over the balance. The balance is there, always has been and always will be.
Paul wrote about this in Romans 12:19-21:
Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.
Those who have tried to live with God in their hearts, knew of the balance of the universe thousands of years before we started to understand the technical side of the universe. Many would try to tell you that religion was born out of ignorance and superstition, yet thousands of years before we became such highly intelligent beings, these men understood the principle.
In 1686, thousands of years after Solomon wrote this proverb, Sir Isaac Newton reinforced the balance of the universe in a physical manner, with his Third Law of Motion; for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
This law helps explain how we are able to put a rocket into space and why a gun recoils when fired. It shows a physical balance to the universe.
One hundred and fifty five years later, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote an essay titled, “Compensation”. In the essay Emerson writes about this balance in life.
The repayment by the Lord that Solomon writes about in Proverbs 20:22 is much like “the fear of the Lord”. Repayment by the Lord isn’t the Lord floating on a cloud in the sky shooting lightning bolts at those we see as evil. It’s not about our expectations of proper repayment. It’s not about what we perceive as justice.
Repayment is the balance of the universe, which is there and will take care of itself. Man has known about this form the beginning, from King Solomon, to Saint Paul, to Isaac Newton and Emerson.
It’s when we allow our arrogance to step in, and decide how the universe should balance and how it should be meeting our expectations, that we become disenfranchised with our beliefs and our faith. Then we deny the existence of God and the balance and decide it’s just a haphazard mess of actions and coincidence. Because we cannot see it and understand it, then it must not exist.
But it is there.
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