“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? Ezekiel 18:25
How often have we heard this statement, “It’s not fair.” What’s fair? Are we promised any fairness? Is life fair? Is God fair?
Fairness is what we desire as long as it gives us the advantage. We don’t want fairness when it places us at a disadvantage and gives someone else the advantage who thinks their advantage is fair to them.
Fairness is one of those words that is subjective. Israel thought God to be unfair. They didn’t want to have to follow His ways. They seemed hard, too unfair. And of course when He disciplined them that really seemed unfair.
Again fairness is in the eye of the beholder. What’s fair to someone else, may not be fair to you or me, because the fairness we might want is usually on the opposite end of the other party’s perceived fairness.
So, when fairness becomes polarized, people tend to compromise their beliefs. When in fact, it’s not about fairness at all. It’s about what is right and what is wrong.
God reminded His people that He’s fair. In fact, He had been more than fair to His people. Think about it. God rescued them from Egypt. He gave them the land of milk and honey. He protected them. He guided them. He destroyed their enemies before them. He prospered them. And when they wanted an earthly king, He gave them what they wanted knowing it would not be to their benefit.
Yet, with all that was going on, the people continued to rebel. Suddenly, they wanted to define fairness. Fairness is what they wanted. It’s what they desired. And what they desired was not God’s desire.
We see this in our world today. People want rights that are against God. Yet, when people rise up to oppose ideas that are ungodly, the opposition accuses them of not being fair. Politically, fairness is used to stymie growth and to destroy wealth. Those who do not pay everything they own to the government are not being fair.
You see, fairness is used all the time. And depending on the side you find yourself, fairness can either look good to you or it can look very evil.
When God talks about fairness, I am not sure He is using it in the same sense we would. God is not a fair God. He does not operate this way. He is, in fact, a “just” God. He is the One who wrote the rules and those who follow His rules receive fairness or justice. Those who do not follow His ways receive His wrath or discipline. And while we would like to think our ways are best, they are not. And so we blame God.
Yet, the Word is very clear, His ways are not our ways. His ways are much higher than our ways. God sets the bar high. If it were not for His mercy, no one would survive. No one would live out their days on earth. All would fall under His wrath. So, while God is not in the business of being fair, He is in the business of extolling His mercy and grace on those who need it, including you and me.
Think about it. Without His mercy and grace, how long would we survive? Not very long. God has the right to destroy us on a daily basis, but He chooses not to do this. Even the wicked receive the benefits of grace.
Yes, God is very fair. His fairness does not come with compromise. It comes with mercy and grace. He gives us these, through His Son Jesus. He allows us to live for another day. He doesn’t do this because we deserve it or He wants to offers us a human type of fairness that compromises His Laws and His character. Instead of fairness, we deserve His justice. Yet, we do receive fairness. All of us do. His fairness is mercy and grace on both the just and the unjust and justice where it needs applied.
So, when you get to thinking God is unfair, think about what He did for us. He came down and became one of us. He gave Himself as a ransom. Yes, Jesus, who is part of the Godhead, came down, died and rose again. Was it fair that our Lord had to die for our sins? Would you die for someone else’s sins and call it fair? Our Lord did that. He committed no sin. Yet, it was very fair to God for our Lord Jesus to die in our place. For this was God’s plan from the beginning. It was very fair, because He gave us His Son, not for our sake, but for His. You see, I believe God wanted to give us mercy and grace. And since He could not compromise Himself, He gave us a mediator. He gave us Jesus. Jesus is now our mediator between life and death. He is the one that stands between God’s justice and us. He is mercy personified. He is grace. He is love. And because of Him, we have the opportunity to grow in grace, as God removes our sins and makes us more like His Son Jesus.
Next time you think about fairness from God, ask yourself this question. How fair was it for Him to have to send His Son to die for our sins and take on the punishment we deserve? He, who was without sin, bore our sins and died a most cruel death, so we can sit around and grumble about how unfair God is to us.
God is just and He is merciful. Thankfully, God is not fair, as we define fairness. He is fair according to His mercy and grace.
Copyright 2010, GodFire Revival and Discipleship Outreach
Author: Lynn E. Sheldon
GodFire | Disciple Bible Study
Author writes and distributes discipleship material and articles to train believers in the Word.