“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”Leviticus 19:18
This Levitical law hits close to home even today. Nothing has changed through the ages: seeking revenge and bearing grudges is in our nature. Yet our holy, loving God calls us to live not according to our fallen condition, but according to His created ideal. Rather than fearing others, being suspicious of others, or threatening others, the Lord would have us view them as neighbors.
Of course, we often fear and mistrust or even hate our neighbors, despite the command to love. Though others may be unkind, cheating, and hurtful, we are to leave revenge to God. He will take care of it.
If any doubt remains that God’s way is the best way, look at the reason He gives for us to love our neighbors: “I am the Lord.” He is invoking His ultimate authority. But we might also remember that our neighbors are created in His image. For us to hate or resent others means we are not seeing God’s image in them. Furthermore, it means we’ve forgotten the great love He has shown us regardless of how rebellious our own sinful hearts are.
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves others has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)
Bible In A Year
- Jeremiah 19-20
- Psalm 113
- 1 Corinthians 1-2