The way we genuinely love the enemy is by having faith in God like Jesus did. It’s faith working itself out through love. Trusting God pushes the desires that lead to sin out of the heart. Jesus didn’t retaliate because He trusted the Father to handle it.
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting to him who judges justly. - 1 Peter 2:23 (the word himself isn’t in the original)
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” - Romans 12:19
Paul is telling us that personal vengeance belongs to God. There are ways we are to be like God and ways we are not. My faith is in God to handle my accounts. If justice isn’t done in this lifetime it will be done in the next. In this way I will be loving the way Jesus did while He was on earth. When I let go and let God handle my accounts I am free to forgive. Vengeance belongs to God but He gives some of His authority to the Governing officials. They are not obligated to turn the other cheek. As Paul tells us in Romans:
There is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God…(This authority is) God’s servant for your good…he does not bear the sword in vein. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer." (Romans 13:1-4).
A Time Under Heaven
Let us deal in peace and tenderness
Lest love and compassion become a hindrance
Then unmix the wine and make it sour
Drinking the blood of judgments power
For there’s a time for peace and a time for war
A time to speak and a time to roar
A time to hate and a time to love
A time and season under heaven above
Paul in Romans is quoting from the Old Testament. Paul’s using the OT God as his background.
Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul. He will return the evil to my enemies; Destroy them in Your faithfulness. ~~Psalm 54:5
He has brought back their wickedness upon them And will destroy them in their evil; The LORD our God will destroy them.~~Psalm 94:23
And in Your loving-kindness, cut off my enemies And destroy all those who afflict my soul, For I am Your servant. ~~Psalm 143:12
Be merciful to me, my God,
for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
all day long they press their attack.
My adversaries pursue me all day long;
in their pride many are attacking me.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
Just as the writer of psalms 56 does we put our trust in God when He says:
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ““Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord; On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” is a direct quote from the Hebrew that has the context of vengeance and the word always means vengeance. We trust God and love our neighbor as ourselves.
Leviticus 19:18 ~~ 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.
Deuteronomy 32:35 ~~‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.’
Proverbs 20:22~~Do not say, “I will repay evil”; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.
Proverbs 24:29~~Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.”
Jeremiah 51:36~~Therefore thus says the LORD, "Behold, I am going to plead your case And exact full vengeance for you; And I will dry up her sea And make her fountain dry.
George MacDonald denies the vengeance of God. In Unspoken sermons “Justice” page 232 he states:
But vengeance on the sinner, the law of a tooth for a tooth, is not in the heart of God, neither in his hand.
But the Bible says God will repay. Vengeance belongs to Him. This is why it also says:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also;…Matt.5:38
George MacDonald had a false God. It wasn’t the God of the Bible.