God’s Payback

The next section of chapter 1 speaks to God’s judgment against those who are against Him and His people.  Here is what we read in verses 5-6:  “which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,”  Paul wants the Thessalonians to know that though they are enduring persecution and trials, God will repay those who are troubling them.  This will be a consistent theme over the next few verses and I hope you appreciate the “payback” of God.  God is a God of love and mercy but also one of judgment.  Note that Paul states that this payback is a “righteous thing”.  God’s righteousness demands judgment.  Any righteousness demands or requires judgment.  You and I can struggle with righteous judgment because we don’t know all the facts or the motives, but this is not a problem for God.  And God is not unwilling to bring judgment on those who oppose Him and His people.  This is clearly what Paul is reminding the Thessalonians.  Now I think we should be careful with this.  There are those in the Christian community who seem gleeful over the idea of those who oppose them receiving judgment.  I think that’s wrong.  I shouldn’t be happy over God’s judgment on anyone.  However, if I feel like the tribulation or judgment that I am facing is severe, I can remind myself that God is not going to forget about me or about His people and that those who are causing trouble will be troubled themselves, unless they repent.  That’s what righteousness demands.


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