God is not fair - and am I glad.
In today's climate of politically correct filtering of all reality, "fairness" is a key concept and buzzword. But thank God, He is not "fair." You see, "when we were (His) enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son" (Romans 5:10). Jesus, the Son of God, who had done no wrong, died in the place of wrong-doers. That, my friends, is not fair.
Isaiah 53:8 says, "By oppression and judgment He was taken away." This means Jesus was wrongly arrested, falsely accused and received an unfair trial by the religious leaders. Does that seem fair to you? Two thousand years later, I call on God as a guilty sinner, full of problems and pain, and He completely forgives every evil thing I have ever done! Now that is not fair - but I sure am glad!
The Roman governor of Palestine, Pontius Pilate, was pressured to execute Jesus but declared Him innocent. Instead of letting Him go free, he gave the riotous mob the choice of saving Jesus or crucifying Him. That is totally unfair. The crowd in the street chooses the murderer Barabbas (meaning "son of the father" instead of Jesus (the true "son of the Father"), thus rejecting Jesus completely as the Son of God. This is blatantly unfair.
I hear the "good news of the gospel," believe with my heart, confess with my mouth that "Jesus is Lord" and God adopts me into His family with all the rights and privileges of a "son of the Father." I am accepted, adopted and acknowledged to be His child apart from any good works of my own merit. Now that is totally unfair - but be that as it may, I am shouting on the hill-tops.
God's goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life (Psalm 23:6). That seems like God is being too nice to someone who really doesn't deserve it. It sounds a bit "extreme," doesn't it? Well, I guess that makes My heavenly Father an "extremist."
The parable of the Laborers in the Field (Matthew 20) describes a man who hired five groups of laborers: groups at 6 a.m., 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The normal work day was from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. He agreed to give the first group a set amount of pay and to the others "what was right." When pay time came, they all received the same pay. The early group accused the man of being unfair. They wanted more because they had worked longer. But the truth is they got what they agreed upon, and to the others he was "unfairly generous." The man was not only "fair," but he was beyond fair to the other workers who also had bills to pay. Isn't it ironic that those who claimed "unfair" treatment were falsely accusing the good man who was being merciful to help his fellow man?
God is not fair. He is more than fair. He has been to me. He will be to you - if you will call on Him. "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on Him" (Romans 10:12).
- Butler is the pastor at Wings of Love Community Church in South Williamsport.