April 2021, Vol. 40, No. 4

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It’s Just Not Fair

posted on April 1, 2021

[582 words]

A question that has troubled mankind for thousands of years is this: Why is life so unfair? From start to finish the books of the Bible talk about it. Saints and sinners alike feel they have been wronged for no reason but want to know why, and both of them point their finger at God.

The first thing Satan did in Genesis was to accuse God of being unfair. He insinuated that the Lord was being too hard on our first parents. He told Eve that God was trying to keep them from having something good. “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5). Satan appealed to Eve’s curiosity, selfish desires, and her finite sense of justice, and it worked for him.

When Cain killed his brother Abel out of envy and hate, God told him there would be a penalty. Cain responded with words that have been repeated times without number: “My punishment is greater than I can bear” (Gen. 4:13). He didn’t think about how unjust he had been by murdering his brother. All he thought about was how excessive his punishment was in his eyes.

Toward the middle of the Bible we find the book of Job. He was nothing like Cain; in fact, God said a better man couldn’t be found (Job 1:8). When Job lost his Wealth and his ten children, he resigned himself to his tragedy and praised God (Job 1). But when the devil tormented him with a terrible disease, Job eventually complained and said that God was being unfair to him. He even told God, “You have become cruel to me” (Job 30:21). When God later addressed this charge against His character, Job was speechless and repented.

In the last book of the Bible the martyred saints want to know why God kept allowing the enemies of the church to persecute His people. “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev. 6:10). To this day we have the same thought. How much longer will God allow evil people to get away with what they are doing?

How easily We forget. How often we ignore the beam in our eyes. We are unjust and yet we question God? We expect God to execute justice with others but We want Him to be long-suffering and merciful to us. ls this just?

We forget the cross. No injustice done to us can compare to the injustice of the horrible death of the Son of God. He did absolutely nothing wrong ever and yet He willingly gave His life at the hands of evil men. It is hard to be obsessed with how unfair others are to us when We remember the crucifixion.

We are often so consumed with the injustices of the present that we forget that payday is coming—in this life and certainly in the world to come. Read Psalm 73 and the little book of Habakkuk. God takes care of sinners in His own time. Read 2 Thessalonians 1. A day is coming when God will set everything right. Until then, we must bear the pain of knowing that life can be very unfair. But recalling these profound themes will keep us from losing heart and will even give us the peace we crave.

Kerry Duke
West End church of Christ
Livingston, TN

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