I love this character’s title. It makes me think I want to write a superhero novel about him.
Okay, so the Avenger of Blood – I’m reasonably sure – isn’t a specific character, but the title is so cool that I feel he should be.
There are times where I’m struggling through Deuteronomy, because almost all of it is stuff that I’ve been through before on this journey so far. I was reading this nodding, acknowledging that I’ve read about the cities of refuge before, until it clicked that there used to be more. Back in Numbers 35, there were six cities. So after a moment’s wondering it clicked that of course, we’re now talking about after they cross the Jordan. There’s not really a specific definition about how long they spent camped out on the Eastern side of the Jordan, but it was supposed to be time enough for the tribes of Dan, Gad and half of Manasseh to settle their families into their new cities before they crossed the river with their brothers. I’d assume, therefore, that it was also long enough for them to set out the three Cities of Refuge for this side of the river.
Anyway, though, that’s not what really stood out to me as I was reading this. It was just a side note.
What stood out to me, which is the other side of the coin from the last discussion of Cities of Refuge, was the Avenger of Blood. The passage doesn’t actually capitalise him, obviously, but I just feel like it’s an awesome title.
Anyway, my assumption of this title is that it probably goes to a blood relative who is out to avenge the death of their kin.
It’s Inigo Montoya! “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” ~ The Princess Bride.
Vengeance is a tricky thing. I’ve mused before about what God would allow these days in regards to violence. Vengeance is a little further again.
And it’s pretty much never good.
There seems to be an innate part of us, though, that screams out for vengeance when we’re wronged; and just as I’m writing this I feel like God’s providing a revelation as to why.
We are images of God, created in his image but not as him. This means that there are potential corruptions within us. God is just, he is perfect, he is honourable.
The issue is that we are selfish, therefore we get this warped sense of what justice is and therefore crave vengeance, because what has been done wrong against us also must be done against the person who wronged us. In our own ego, we justify a thirst for vengeance with justice.
I’ve observed, as I’m sure most people have, the statement of “Karma’s a Bitch.” It’s a common statement that comes from people who feel they’ve been hurt, wronged or let down in some way – and most of the time they have.
If I can go off the Christian path for a second here, though. Before coming back to God, I still had this opinion: Karma is not about the other person, it’s about you. Karma’s not about wishing vengeance on someone else, it’s about having the right attitude in your own heart. So therefore, releasing negative thoughts and energy towards a person isn’t necessarily going to have an effect on them, but it may have an effect on you, because you’re sending out the wrong attitude.
The concept of Karma is abused in our world today by people thinking that some cosmic force will get revenge for them.
We all want vengeance. We want what we perceive as justice to be done – but only when we’ve been wronged.
An attitude of vengeance, though, will not help us to grow – and that’s true regardless of whether you’re a Christian or not. The Avenger of Blood might be a cool title for a character in a superhero novel, but it’s not a title that I really want to have.
We live under Grace, now. If anyone has a right for “vengeance” it’s God, against us for what we’ve done against him. He doesn’t seek vengeance, though, he only sends us love.
What kind of a world would we live in if we all did that? Regardless of what someone does against us, we love them in return.
Can you imagine?