Which god?    God or god?

“Thou shalt have no other god before me.”  (Exodus 20:3 KJV)

Which God Saves Us home Something From My Day home

And we can all go on and on about why it isn't fair -
especially why it isn't fair to us.

And - we probably throw in something about God not being fair to us -
maybe even that He abandoned us.

Of course -
what I'm looking for tonight is what does the Bible say about life being fair.

The first instance can be found in the Prologue to Proverbs:

Prologue: Purpose and Theme

Pr 1:1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

Pr 1:2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight;

Pr 1:3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;

Pr 1:4 for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—

Pr 1:5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—

Pr 1:6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.


Pr 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.


OK - there's the key word - fair -
but after a couple other words -

doing what is right and just and fair

Oh yeah -
one other thing too -
it's not about life being fair to us -
it's about us being
right and just and fair to others.


Let's keep going - maybe it'll get "better".

The next instance is still in Proverbs -

Pr 2:9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.

Pr 2:10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

Pr 2:11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.


This one tells us that we can understand what is right and just and fair -

Nice -
we can understand -
but we still don't have anything about life actually being fair to us.


The next instance of the word fair <at least fair in this context> doesn't appear until Paul's second letter to the Corinthians -

2Co 6:11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.


This is getting closer - Paul is asking them to be fair. One might be tempted to think that Paul's request is getting to the heart of what we mean when we say life isn't fair.
But wait - this is Paul - the Apostle.
Let's look at this in context.
Just before this request, Paul wrote in
verses 3-10 -

Paul’s Hardships

2Co 6:3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.


Take a look at that again.

Now this could be what we are talking about.

But wait -
it isn't.

Paul isn't saying that the beatings, imprisonments ... riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; are unfair.

No - not at all.

He's fine with them.

His closing words for the paragraph are even

and yet possessing everything

No - what's unfair is that the Corinthians are closing their hearts.

Even the closing of this letter shows that what Paul wants is the best for the people he is writing to -
the people he is asking to open their hearts -
as we see in
2Co 13:10 -

...the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.


So far - no luck -
nothing like what we're looking for -
nothing about life being fair to us.


There's one last instance of the word fair in this meaning-
also from Paul -
this time in Col 4:1 - which is actually the last line is a sequence of
Col 3:18-4:1 -

Rules for Christian Households

Col 3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

Col 3:21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Col 3:22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.

Col 4:1 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Somehow -
I'm guessing this doesn't fit in with most of you are looking for.
It wasn't what I often feel like.
This is all about how we should treat others -
not about they should treat us.


Surely - somewhere - God must have meant life to be fair.


Let's take a look at "The Teacher" - Qoheleth -
let's see what he has to say -
for instance
Ecc 3:16-17 -

Ecc 3:16 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,

in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

Ecc 3:17 I thought in my heart,

“God will bring to judgment

both the righteous and the wicked,

for there will be a time for every activity,

a time for every deed.”


OK - now we're talking -

“God will bring to judgment

both the righteous and the wicked,

for there will be a time for every activity,

a time for every deed.”

But -
that still doesn't say that life will be fair -
or even that life should be fair.


All of this leads to a question -

Wouldn't it be great if life really was fair?


Well -
let's check out that theory.

We'll start with Genesis 6:5-7 -

Ge 6:5 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.”


Uh Oh.
That doesn't sound so great.
Maybe this fairness thing isn't all it was cut out to be.


But - just to be sure -
let's keep looking.


Well -
there is the issue of Sodom and Gomorrah -
which a lot of people today would really like to forget -
but still -
it is there -
with the conclusion in
Gen 19:23-25 -

Ge 19:23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land.


That's the problem with fairness -
it goes both ways -
and what is "fair" depends on how objective the observer is.

The people in Noah's time - they got what was fair.

The people in Lot's time - they got what was fair.


There's a prelude to Sodom & Gomorrah that's most interesting.

Abraham actually bargained with God on this one -
trying to get Him to not destroy the cities.
And -
God agreed to the bargain -
which we see in
Gen 18:16-33 -

Abraham Pleads for Sodom

Ge 18:16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. Then the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him , so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”

Ge 18:20 Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

Ge 18:22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

Ge 18:26 The LORD said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

Ge 18:27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?”

“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

Ge 18:29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

Ge 18:30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

Ge 18:31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

Ge 18:32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

Ge 18:33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.


Wow.

For even ten good people -
God would not destroy any of them.

Ten good people were not found.

God did what was fair.


Pr 2:9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair


Time to ask a different question -

is there ever a time when God has don't something that wasn't
right and just and fair -
a time when someone was killed -
someone who's life was ended -
and they did nothing to deserve it?


Actually -
to tell the truth -
there was one time that comes to mind.


But first -
let's go back and see the beginning of this article -

And we can all go on and on about why it isn't fair -
especially why it isn't fair to us.

And - we probably throw in something about God not being fair to us -
maybe even that He abandoned us.

You know what -
that person who was killed - one who didn't do anything to deserve it -
just before he died -
he also said something along similar lines about being abandoned -

why have you forsaken me?


Oops -
context -
to understand the circumstances -

Mt 27:45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”


Think life isn't fair?

Ask Jesus about that one.

What did He ever do to deserve that?

Nothing.


What did we ever do to deserve the life we have?

Nothing.


What we deserve is the death the people of Noah's time got.

What we deserve is the death the people of Lot's time got.


What we actually get is a chance at the eternal life that Jesus died to give us.


Life isn't fair!


No - it isn't.


No matter what we may think at certain times in our lives -
we get so much when we deserve nothing.

Thank God - Life isn't fair.


Life’s not fair!

May 20, 2012

Life's not fair!

Not exactly a news flash, is it?

Everyone knows that.