For the last decade the world has been caught up in Avengers fever. With the premier of Iron Man in 2008, Marvel created not just a fun movie, or a new way of doing movies, but changed the entire industry and our culture along with it. We had seldom heard of the concept of a “movie universe” at the time, but today the initials MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) are everywhere, and this spawned other universes, like the DCEU, and even a MonsterVerse where both Godzilla and King Kong, stars of their own original movies, will fight each other.
Yet with an explosion of Universes, Marvel still rules the day, from television to movies to comic books. And their core is the gathering of heroes called the Avengers.
Reading today’s Psalm, we see that God is the original Avenger. Not a role we often think God takes in the world. In fact, we usually pair God with forgiveness and grace, not vengeance, yet the bible tells us again and again that our God is a God of vengeance against the evil in this world. In fact, the call of this Psalm is for God to avenge His people against the proud and wicked.
With any of these kinds of traits of God, we get very uncomfortable. We don’t want God to hold people accountable, to pay back evil, or to penalize us for not following the rules. We want a God who gives suggestions, not commandments, and who will be happy with as little as we are usually willing to give Him. Until, that is, someone wrongs us. Then we suddenly want a God of vengeance who punishes those rule-breakers.
For better or worse, God is not bound by what we think He’s like, or our opinion of His rules. God is God, and He will take vengeance against those He chooses to. We just have to be careful that this category doesn’t include us.