The Bible is an extremely anti-Revolutionary book. God did not go around establishing democracy or anarchy, rather He established a Kingdom (both in the Old and New Testaments). Citizens using violence against legitimate government is seen as rebellion against God; this is a major theme throughout the book of Judges, which is why the following sentiment is repeated multiple times in the book as it describes the people’s descent into rebellion and wickedness:

“In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes.” ‭‭(Judges‬ ‭17:6‬, 21:25 cf. 19:1)

When there is no king, when the people decide what is right and wrong by their own authority, God is not happy. This is why St. Paul commands us to be obedient to our civil authorities:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” ‭‭(Romans‬ ‭13:1-2‬)

And don’t think for a moment that St. Paul here is only talking about “good government.” This passage is without question a reference to the pagan Roman Empire, the very Roman Empire that was going around slaughtering Christians! These are the people St. Paul says we must obey as our God-given rulers! How much more, then, are we to obey the civil authorities when they don’t have legal prerogatives to murder us? While we certainly should stand up for justice and human rights, we do not have legitimate authority to be exercising violence against the rulers God has given to us. This is why St. Paul tells us:

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” ‭‭(Romans‬ ‭12:19-21‬)

When Jesus threw over tables in the Temple He was exercising legitimate dominion over His Father’s house, because everything the Father has belongs to Him. This is why he did not allow His Apostles to imitate Him in this, but commanded them to be obedient to the very people He was casting judgement on:

“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.” ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭23:2-3‬)

Vengeance and judgement belong to God and His saints, not to us in this life. Do not be fooled by wolves in sheep’s clothing.