Monday Morning Devotion-November 2, 2020
Is God Unfair?
Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations? Tell me if you understand who marked off its dimensions. Surely, you know. Who stretched a measuring line across it? Job 38:4-5
Reprinted from April 2018
As I frequently do when trying to find a meaningful topic for this week, I searched through my home library for ideas. Lots of times I return to some of my favorites like John Ortberg, Mark Batterson, Sarah Young, Charles Stanley, Tony Dungy and too many more to name. Sometimes this is not a good idea because I will start reading what these authors have written and a half-hour later (sometimes more) I'm engrossed in reading, not writing. I'll still be sitting there with a blank page on my computer.
Today, after a while, I picked up a book by this guy Jim Crosby called: "Monday Morning Devotions." It had been a while since I read anything from that book°it was the first one I wrote back in 2002. My gosh is that right? That's 18 years ago. Doesn't seem like I have been writing that long.
So, anyway I picked up the book and just opened it to the middle, pg. 151, Devotion #34, and read the title; "Is God Unfair?" It seemed interesting and I'm pretty sure the author wouldn't mind if I shared it or most of it with you so here goes, hope you enjoy it:
Is God unfair? Does He let bad things happen to good people and evil doers get away with murder?
In his book, Disappointment with God, Philip Yancey says, "The answer depends on how closely we identify God with life. Surely life on earth is unfair." Yancey points out that no one is exempt. The cross of Christ makes it clear that life on earth is unfair.
We strive to gain fairness. We want justice. That's what Job wanted. He wanted some answers to why all those bad things were happening to him. He kept crying out to God, in his despair, for answers. Finally, God responded to Job's pleas; not in the way Job had hoped for or expected. God boomed out at Job from the midst of a storm and instead of answering Job's questions God asked some questions of His own.
God wanted to know how Job could possibly understand the things that were happening to him, if he didn't first understand how creation works. As Job 38:4-5 points out unless Job had been there he couldn't possibly fathom how all this creation was brought into existence.
Charles Swindoll (The Mystery of God's Will) says: "Job got a four-year seminary education in a few fleeting moments with the Living Lord." Then God kept piling it on until Job got the message.
Now as contemporary, sophisticated, and enlightened people we may have a problem with that. Here's where faith comes into play. We must each analyze our own situation and realize we are God's creation. We only know as much about our Creator as He chooses to reveal to us. God wants us to seek Him. When we do, He reveals more each time. God doesn't have to answer our questions.
As Swindoll says, "When God says it shall be done, it will be done. If it makes me unhappy, it makes me unhappy." To put it bluntly, God loves us. He has a plan that is based on our ultimate good and His glory. As Jeremiah said, He has a plan, to prosper us, not to harm us. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Because we can't fully comprehend God's magnificence and what is required for Him to run this universe, it's very unlikely we could understand why the things in our lives happen. Yancey calls it "Theological Ignorance." He says God keeps us ignorant because enlightenment might not help us.
At times we all ask the same question of God that Job asked: "Why me?" Even if we knew the answer we might not be comforted. In fact, we could get argumentative and think we could suggest a better plan. You know who would win that argument between you and God! There is just no way our minds could comprehend all of the variables that God considers in the master plan for our lives.
Yancey says: "No intellectual answer will solve suffering." He also posits the idea that God keeps us ignorant because we are not capable of understanding the answer. "A tiny creature on a tiny planet in a remote galaxy simply could not fathom the grand design of the entire universe."
Part of the problem is that we are time-bound. God is not! Yancey makes this point so strikingly in the example of an astronomer in Chile who observed, with the naked eye, on February 23, 1987, the explosion of a distant supernova. This was a "blast so powerful that it released as much energy in one second as our sun will release in ten billion years."
The truly amazing thing about this event and what puts it in perspective for us, is that supernova actually exploded 170,000 years prior to 1987, but the light generated by it, traveled six trillion miles a year and still took 170,000 years to reach our galaxy. Wow! What does that say about the vastness of the universe? How incomprehensible to our finite minds is all that time and space created by God? Obviously, we can only see the smallest tip of the iceberg.
The reason it is so hard for us to comprehend why some things happen to us is our viewpoint. We tend to see these events like a series of still frames. We are trapped in time. Event B follows event A, then comes event C.
But God sees the whole movie at once. He can see it from a distance or from the place where you are. As Yancey says, "God doesn't foresee us doing things. He simply sees us doing them in an eternal present."
If we try to figure out what God is doing, we do so from a time-limited perspective. It's like forming an opinion without all the facts. We can only view the past and future in terms of the present. God sees it all. If we are too myopic in our view of what we want God to do, we might miss out on what he has already done.
The big thing He has already done was to send His Son to earth to dwell among us, take on our sins, and die for us. Now we are free to concentrate on God's individual plan for us. It is amazing that God, who controls the universe, cared enough about us as individuals to send His Son. It shows that, despite that huge, infinite universe out there, He is interested in each one of us personally.
When we look at it from that perspective, we realize that far from being unfair God is eminently fair. We experience that fairness in our lives every day.
Prayer: Father God, your fairness often goes unappreciated by us. We do not have your knowledge, your foresight and understanding of everything at work in the universe.
Forgive us for our short sightedness and shallow in-the-present-only thinking. We know you love us and you are fair in your dealings with us. Thank you for all the blessings. In Jesus' name. Amen!