“He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness.” – Psalm 9:8.
“It’s not fair.” We have all said those words at one time or another. At the core, those words reveal our expectations. We want something to go a certain way and believe it should. We have expectations of God as well, and when those expectations are not met, we say, “it’s not fair.”
Is God unfair? Where is the God of balance and equity that we expect? Hurricane Michael has raised this topic anew. We struggle daily with the “…for he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike” thing found in Matthew 5:45. We are not alone. The prophet, Habakkuk, questioned God’s “fairness” in using the wicked Chaldeans to punish the more righteous (Habakkuk 1:12-13). A faithful Job suffered the loss of his property, family, and health, with God’s approval. The book, A Martyr’s Grace, tells the story of 21 Moody Bible Institute alumni who gave their lives on the mission field for Christ. None of that seems warranted or fair.
It is natural to hate unfairness. But it is also natural to have our sense of fairness easily skewed or warped. We find it much easier to see injustice and sin in other people’s lives than we are with our own. So it seems unfair that people who sin more are doing so much better than those of us who are trying to follow Jesus Christ. Seeing the cross rightly means that we see ourselves rightly. Because if we could see everything clearly from God’s perspective, would we really want God to be fair? Would we still be seeking God’s perfect justice? Or would we be okay with the rain falling on the just and the unjust alike?
When we understand that our sins have earned us the death penalty, we realize we don’t warrant preferential treatment. Isaiah 64:6 says, “We are all infected and impure with sin.When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags…” The key words “we are all.” We need God’s grace as much as anyone else to overcome our sin. Nobody warrants eternal life. Jesus Christ was willing to die in our place—to pay the death penalty for you and for me. He did nothing worthy of death. He never sinned. As the Son of God, His life is worth far more than all human lives put together.
When you consider these facts, isn’t Jesus’ death the most unfair punishment ever? Yet He willingly gave Himself to make it possible for us to repent and be forgiven. His sacrifice made His mercy possible and available for everyone. You can’t be more fair than that.
- Do you think God is fair? Why or why not?
- Do events like Hurricane Michael change how you view God’s fairness? If so how?
- How would your life be different if you believed God was completely fair?