“Irony”

As Christians we are not to take revenge on our enemies, however evil will not rule for long because we must leave room for God’s wrath.  God says, “It is mine to avenge, I will repay (Rom 12:19).  Ironically we are to give our enemy food and drink and to overcome evil with good (Rom 12:20-21) (Pr 24:17).

In the Old Testament book of Esther we read about one of the most evil men who ever lived.  Haman was elevated to a seat of honor above all the nobles in King Xerxes 127 Provinces which stretched from India to Ethiopia (Est 1:1-2) (Est 3:2).  He hated an exiled Jew named Mordecai because he would not kneel down and pay him honor.  So, he decided to kill him and every Jew in the kingdom (genocide).  Esther, who was Mordecai’s cousin rose to be queen and helped thwart Haman’s plot.  Haman had built a gallows on which to hang Mordecai but ended up enraging the King and being hung from it himself.  How God avenged the Jews and saved his people is a wonderful example of surprising irony.

One definition of irony is, “an outcome contrary to what was expected.”  There are so many examples of God executing revenge on his enemies and the enemies of his chosen people with several of them having a sense of irony.  The stunning story of a huge, nine-foot giant being killed by a small boy with a single stone is one.  Another is the way God destroyed the 185,000 man army of King Sennacherib of Assyria who had ridiculed and mocked him.  The amazing irony was it was done in one night by one angel.

Surely Jesus’ Apostle,  Judas who was a thief and loved money (Jo 12:4-6) but in the end threw his 30 silver coins back into the temple and hanged himself (Mt 27:3-5) is an event of complete irony.

And finally the irony of the devil thinking he had at last destroyed Christ on the cross only to discover it was instead the ultimate victory of good over sin, death and Satan (Rev 12:9) (Rev 20:10) (1 Jo 3:8).  These and many other examples of God’s irony cause us to marvel and even smile at things the world cannot understand.

—Jim Bailey