Several years ago, after an elderly woman died, family members were cleaning out her house. They found a scrapbook filled with obituaries from the local newspaper. Many of the death notices pertained to people she had detested. As bizarre as it may sound, she kept a scrapbook of her dead enemies. She had five different clippings of her most despised foe in her morbid memory book. Apparently, she had gained some kind of twisted satisfaction by holding such a spirit of revenge.
In Matthew 13:25, Christ taught, "But while he slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way." The reference is to when a man wished to injure his enemy, he watched until he had finished plowing his field, and in the night he would go into the field and scatter pandienellu, or "pig-paddy." This was of such rapid growth, that it would spring up before the good seed, and scatter itself before the other could be reaped, so that the poor owner of the field would be years before he could rid the soil of the troublesome weed. There is also another plant put into the ground of those they hate. It is called perum-pirandi, and is more destructive to vegetation than any other plant. If a man purchased a field which another intended to buy, the disappointed person declared, "I will plant the perum-pirandi in his grounds." Both are actions of a vengeful spirit.
Israel was commanded, "You shall not take vengeance" (Leviticus 19:18). In the East Indies monkeys are called avenging monkeys. Natives revere these animals and seldom destroy them. Their mode of revenge is to sprinkle rice or corn on the roof of an enemy's house or granary just as the rainy season begins. The monkeys will congregate on the roof, eat all they can find outside, then rip off the tiles to get at what has fallen through the crevices. Thus the home or granary is exposed to the weather and the contents ruined.
Paul warned in Romans 12:19, "Beloved, do not avenge yourselves." The word "avenge" means, "to vindicate one's rights, do one justice, to avenge one's self." Denney says, "Even when the Christian has been wronged, he is not to take the law into his own hand, and right or vindicate himself."
"Revenge has no more quenching effect on emotions than salt water has on thirst" (Walter Weckler).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654