Our ch. 12 in Romans is one of the most significant in God’s word. How significant for us is the advice given in v.12. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” The world around us offers nothing in which we can genuinely rejoice. Most if not all of us can feel blessings in times of rejoicing between ourselves, The only real rejoicing is in the “hope” we hold and live for.
Our world is increasingly hopeless – it is a world that – becauseof its godlessness deserves the vengeance of God . Paul advised the believers at Rome, advice that was surely for believers for all ages.” Repay no one evil for evil … so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all … never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” [v.17-19]
Later this month we will come to Psalm 94. It starts “O LORD, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth! Rise up, O judge of the earth.” Our creator is one “who disciplines the nations” [v.10] He did in ancient days – we are reading in Exodus how he disciplined Egypt – and later we will read how he disciplined those who escaped from Egypt under Moses. History tells us how Israel was disciplined, indeed, in the end, destroyed in the 1st Century for rejecting his Son.
So what of our world today!? Has it not rejected God’s Son!? Paul’s advice to Romans is totally applicable to us – let us heed it. Paul told them (and us) “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind …”[v.2] and then proceeds to describe that transformation. Let us heed his advice, especially noting how the chapter ends, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”