Five days later the high priest Ananias went down to Caesarea with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus, and they brought their charges against Paul before the governor. When Paul was called in Tertullus presented his case before Felix. “We have enjoyed a long period of peace under you, and your foresight has brought about reforms in this nation. Everywhere and in every way, most excellent Felix, we acknowledge this with profound gratitude. But in order not to weary you further, I would request that you be kind enough to hear us briefly. (Acts 24:1-4)
Ananias wanted revenge because Paul was a threat and disrespected him, so he hired Tertullus, a sleazy lawyer, to speak for him. Ananias and his elders couldn’t have kept a straight face if they had called Felix excellent and a peacemaker or had acknowledged their gratitude for him. Felix’s wrongdoings included stealing one of his wives, Drusilla, from her husband and hiring assassins to kill Jonathan, a high priest.
But many lawyers have no problem lying or stretching the truth into gray areas because they get paid a lot of money to achieve the desired results for their clients.
It’s still common to hire a lawyer to seek revenge. Many Christians do even though the Bible says: “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. ‘But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’” (Romans 12:19-20)
If there’s someone you want to avenge because they’ve treated you poorly, do something nice for them—not because you want to—but to show Jesus you trust his promises and to heap burning coals on your enemy’s head.
Father, I praise You for Your promise to repay my enemies. Help me trust Your promises and give you my burdens so I can live in peace. Keep me and my loved ones safe and bind us closer to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.