Life is not fair
“From the city the dying groan, and the wounded cry out for help, but God charges no one with wrongdoing.“ – Job 24:9-12 NET
The world we live in is anything but fair. Every day, people suffer injustices of all kinds. Children are born into families where they are unloved and abused. The powerful take advantage of the weak and defenseless. Corrupt governments deny the rights of their citizens. Individuals harm one another. People who have worked all their lives and saved to provide themselves with a decent retirement income, lose it all as the result of unethical corporate executives and greedy lenders. The same was true in Job’s day. In spite of his friends’ assertions that the wicked always face justice at the hand of God, Job argues that this isn’t necessarily so. Plenty of people in Job’s day seemed to walk away without a scratch in spite of their unethical and immoral behavior. “There are people out there getting by with murder–stealing and lying and cheating. They rip off the poor and exploit the unfortunate, push the helpless into the ditch, bully the weak so that they fear for their lives. The poor, like stray dogs and cats, scavenge for food in back alleys. They sort through the garbage of the rich, eke out survival on handouts. Homeless, they shiver through cold nights on the street; they’ve no place to lay their heads” (Job 24:2-7 MSG). This is reality. This is life in a fallen world.
It was true in Job’s day and it is true in ours. Job asks the obvious question: “Why doesn’t the Almighty open the court and bring judgment? Why must the godly wait for him in vain?” (Job 24:1 NLT). There are times we ask the same question. Why doesn’t God step in and do something. When we read news stories of abuse, neglect, corruption, murder, hatred and bigotry, we want to know where God is and why He isn’t doing something about it all. The truth is that the wicked don’t always suffer. Sometimes they actually get away with their actions and profit from their behavior. The innocent suffer while the wicked prosper. It happens all the time. We don’t like it. And we can’t explain it. And the fact is, God doesn’t seem to feel obligated to provide us with an explanation. But Job finds comfort in knowing that in the end, God will deal with all those who practice ungodliness. “But God drags away the mighty by his power; though they become established, they have no assurance of life. He may let them rest in a feeling of security, but his eyes are on their ways. For a little while they are exalted, and then they are gone; they are brought low and gathered up like all others; they are cut off like ears of corn” (Job 24:22-24 NIV). His eyes are on their ways. He is watching them. He is not asleep or indifferent. God has His eye on them. And He will act – in His own good time. In the meantime, the righteous will suffer and the wicked will prosper. Christians will face persecution and even death at the hands of malicious governments. Innocent women and children will be sold into slavery or used to feed the insatiable desires of the world’s burgeoning sex trade. It’s unfair. It’s immoral. It’s offensive and reprehensible. But it does not mean God is out of control or lacking in interest. He is fully aware of what is going on. And one day, He will act. We can rest assured.
“But GOD hasn’t moved to the mountains; his holy address hasn’t changed. He’s in charge, as always, his eyes taking everything in, his eyelids unblinking, examining Adam’s unruly brood inside and out, not missing a thing. He tests the good and the bad alike; if anyone cheats, God’s outraged. Fail the test and you’re out, out in a hail of firestones, drinking from a canteen filled with hot desert wind. GOD’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye” (Psalm 11:4-7 MSG).
Father, You see all. And You are just. One day You will make all things right. Give us patience to wait for Your perfect timing. In the meantime help us to be salt and light in the midst of a dark world. May we bring refreshment and hope to the thirsty and the hopeless. Life is not fair, but our God is just, righteous, and He will act. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men