Saturday, October 8, 2011

Is God Fair?

(Before you read this, if you haven't done so already, scroll down and read my earlier post on this subject of fairness: "That's not fair!")

Is God fair? Is FAIRNESS an attribute of God? If you mean "fairness" where everyone is treated the same, then the answer is no. 

Let me give you two examples from the Bible so you can decide for yourself whether or not FAIRNESS is an attribute of God (an attribute is a quality or characteristic of a person). Trust me, there are many more examples than these two I am offering up today.

For your consideration (thank-you Rod Serling), I submit example numero uno:

In Genesis 25:19, God tells Rebekah that she will have twins, and that the older will serve the younger. Before her children were even born or had done anything good or bad, God chooses and says that the older (Esau) will serve the younger (Jacob). Why? In that day, the first born was the leader of his family and received a double inheritance. Before they are ever born, God decides that the inheritance will go to the younger as well as the birthright. Now, where is the fairness in that?

Example 2: In Matthew 20:1-16, Jesus tells a parable about a landowner who hired several shifts of men to work in his vineyard, promising each of them a denarius (which is thought to have been the daily pay for a Roman soldier).

At the end of the day, all the workers received their denarius, regardless of whether they had worked only an hour, or had worked the entire day. The workers who had been hired first thought they would be given more than the others. But when they were given the same, they began complaining to the owner of the vineyard.
They said, “The ones who were hired last worked for only one hour. But you paid them the same that you did us. And we worked in the hot sun all day long!”

The owner answered one of them, “Friend, I didn’t cheat you. I paid you exactly what we agreed on.
Take your money now and go! What business is it of yours if I want to pay them the same that I paid you?
Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Why should you be jealous, if I want to be generous?”

The workers who worked hard all day for the same pay as the one's who only worked an hour, thought their employer was being unfair. He felt that he was being kind and generous by paying the late-comers the same rate of pay. This is our God. He doesn't act based on fairness. He is gracious and generous, and His ways are far above our ways.

We think in terms of fairness, He thinks in terms of grace, mercy & justice. We think in terms of getting our fair share and making sure we aren't cheated out of anything that is rightfully ours. God thinks in terms of being a servant who does not complain but chooses contentment. This is a far cry from the ranting and ravings of the mobs protesting against Wall Street. They are wanting their fair share. But what is their fair share? What's your fair share? What do I deserve apart from God's grace and mercy? What have I earned? What do I deserve apart from eternity in hell? That's what we all deserve. Apart from that, everything else is the grace and mercy of God.

In 1 Timothy 6:4-8, Paul is giving instruction to his disciple, Timothy. He says that anyone who opposes his teaching is arrogant and lacks understanding and such individuals will stir up arguments and bring about division, slander and evil suspicion because their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth (sound like anything you see going on today in Washington DC, or in NYC?).
Then, Paul leaves Timothy with this:

6 Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.
7 After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. 8 So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. 

I am thankful that I serve a God who is not FAIR, but He is JUST and full of GRACE and MERCY. He chooses and elects. He chose Abraham out of all the men on earth at the time. He chose tiny Israel to become a nation, His people, His prized possession--out of all the nations on earth. It's always God's call and He is sovereign and His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. He sees the big picture, even in my life.

Knowing this, I will not lobby for "fairness" but for God's goodness and mercy. Moving forward, I want to take on each new day with contentment, trusting God to take care of me. I want to be seen as a servant to others, not a victim, or angry malcontent. I want others to know that my God is gracious and loving, and He will take care of me.

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