Would you say God is fair? Have you ever heard, “What He’s done for others, he’ll do the same for you”? Many of us buy into this notion of God fairness. To be fair is defined as reasonable, unbiased, or impartial; but does this really describe the God of the Bible?
Understand that fairness is steeped in human expectation and reason. What is “reasonable” is subject to opinion and speculation. For example: modifying a standardized text for a special needs child. Is this act be fair, by equalizing the playing field for the child? Or is this act unfair to the other students, because if there is a standard, shouldn’t all students be tested against it? I’m sure you can see how this debate could cause tension, being subject to public opinion.
Conversely, God is subject to no one and nothing. The God of the Bible is a sovereign ruler who is free to do what pleases Him. For us to expect and, in some cases, demand fairness is to request that God abandon his will for ours; and I guarantee that will never happen.
God toldIsrael, after wondering in the wilderness for 40 years, to go and get the land that was promised to them. The only problem was that people lived there already! For generations the peoples of Cannan were established, yet God said this land belongs toIsrael. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I’ve built a house and planted crops, I would be highly upset at the man that shows up at my front door and says, “Please leave. God said I can have your house.”
Believe me, I feel you saying, “But Murph, the Bible says that God is not a ‘respecter of persons’ (Acts 10:34).” However that passage is speaking in matters of acceptance, not in deeds or discipline. His love and favor is available to everyone, by grace, through faith. Grace is unmerited favor, and faith grants access to this undeserved advantage. Moreover, God doesn’t show favor in the same way you and I do. Most of us with good sense favor others, in order to be favored BY others. Yet God favors us by His will and His goodness. How could we favor Him in return? We can’t! So why would we, then, ask God to be “fair” with us, after being favored? Or did we miss the part that said death is a fair wage for sin? (Romans 6:23)
God is all knowing and He has a plan. He says in Isaiah 55:8-9, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor my ways are your ways … my ways (are) higher than your ways, and my thoughts your thoughts.” (NAS) If he needs me to suffer or be inconvenienced, then so be it. I will be in good company because it “pleased the Lord to bruise (Jesus).” (Isaiah 53:10 KJV)
We must learn how to operate within the will of God, even when His will hurts. The last few months have been personally challenging for me, but I found consolation in one fact: If God has a purpose for my pain and disappointment, then it’s all worth it. (Murph’s paraphrase of Romans 8:18)
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