God Is Not Fair

“I know the Bible says not to do that but God isn’t legalistic. He knows my heart so it wouldn’t be fair for Him to punish me for that.”

“It’s unfair for God to punish someone who’s basically good anyway.”

“God doesn’t want me to be happy because He won’t let me have fun. He’s not fair!”

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Consider if these are things you have said or thought. Do we think we are wiser than God or do we think that God will not follow through with what He says He will? Any time we start a sentence with “I know God says this, but” then we are wrong. We aren’t any different from the people of old who thought they knew best. “ In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his eyes.” Judges 17:6.

Holiness Affects Justice

People aren’t any different from those days and neither is God. God’s nature has not changed. He is is fair, just, loving and holy (among other things). People just want God to be only loving and say things like, my earthly father loves me so much he would never kick me out. If I ever need him I know he will bail me out, no matter where I am. So God must be the same way.” Either that or people go to the other extreme and think that since God does punish, He is unfair or unjust. These folks don’t consider another characteristic of God’s nature: His holiness.

God’s holiness is missing from the equation when we neglect to consider that God can’t be in the presence of evil and sin. God is love AND He is also completely good AND completely holy. That means when we go against God in choosing sin we put ourselves in a place that separates us from Him (Isaiah 59:2).

What does God have to say about fairness?

Ezekiel 18:20–32 The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, nor shall the father bear the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins which he has committed, and keep all My statutes, and do justice and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. All his transgressions that he has done, they shall not be mentioned to him; in his righteousness that he has done he shall live. Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked? says the Lord Jehovah. Is it not that he should turn from his ways and live? But when the righteous turns from his righteousness and does injustice, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked do, shall he live? All his righteousness that he has done shall not be remembered; in his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them he shall die. Yet you say, The way of Jehovah is not fair. Hear now, O house of Israel: Is not My way fair? Are your ways not unfair? (When a righteous one turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and dies in them; for his iniquity that he has done, he shall die. Again, when the wicked turns away from his wickedness that he has committed and does that which is lawful and righteous, he shall save his soul alive. Because he looks carefully, and turns away from all his sins that he has committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Yet says the house of Israel: The way of Jehovah is not fair. O house of Israel, are not My ways fair? Are not your ways unfair? So I will judge you, O house of Israel, each one of you according to his ways, says the Lord Jehovah. Turn and be made to turn from all your sins; and iniquity shall not be your stumbling-block. Cast away from you all your sins by which you have sinned; and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no delight in the death of him who dies, says the Lord Jehovah. Therefore turn and live.

God’s not a tyrant and He does not rejoice in the death of the wicked. He is joyous when the wicked repent and chose holiness. We can’t even begin to understand the depth of the grace of God when He sent Christ to bear the sins of the world on the cross so how can we say He is unfair? While God loved us enough to send His son to die in our place, His holiness and justice also demands that evil people are punished for their rejection of Him and His statutes.

If You Want Justice, Love God

How do we know if we love God? If we keep His commandments (I John 5:3). God says His commandments are not a burden but we make them a burden when we decide we want to live in ways that go against God.

How would you feel if your spouse said, “I love you more than anything else in this world” but then doesn’t live like it, how would you feel? Then how do you think it makes God feel? God has been more than fair with every one of us. We are immensely blessed even if we are physically lacking. God set out from the Beginning the plan that gave us Christ to die for us when we didn’t deserve it (John 3:16, Ephesians 1:4).

Based on a lesson by Robert Moss

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