By Michael E. Brooks
“For I proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are justice. A God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is he” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4 NKJV).
Nepal and Bangladesh are two of the poorest nations on earth. Their citizens are hungry, with little medical treatment, inadequate shelter and little material opportunity in life. Conversely much of the developed west has a high standard of living with an abundance of all those things for the majority of their people. Why does such disparity occur? Is this a just world?
A popular modern comment often heard when bad things happen is, “Who said life is fair?” There is a certain truth to this cynical observation. Children become sick and die. Drunk drivers destroy the lives of innocent people. Victims of crime do not apparently deserve the damage which they suffer. Yet these things continually happen. Good people receive terrible injuries. Evil people seem to prosper. Surely life is unfair.
Though that is a true observation it is incomplete, or perhaps to put it better, it is short-sighted. The inequity of life is measured before the final results are in. One of the great teachings of the Bible is that God is righteous and just and that life is essentially and eternally fair.
God is just by nature, as Moses stated in the verse used as our introductory text. That is to say that it is fundamentally impossible for him to allow sin to go unpunished or righteousness to be unrewarded. Paul asserts that God “Will render to each one according to his deeds . . . for there is no partiality with God” (Romans 2:6, 11). And again he says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
The fairness of God is reflected in some of the provisions of his laws. Consider this statute from the law of Israel. “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain” (Deuteronomy 25:4). Paul comments on this law that it was not given because God is concerned with oxen, but that it is a principle which applies to human work and reward (1 Corinthians 9:9-10).
In other words, God was concerned with fairness or equity, that one who labored might be recompensed for his efforts. The same principle is cited in 2 Timothy 2: 6: “The hard working farmer must be first to partake of the crops.”
Life is fair, eternally. Do not be discouraged or dismayed when some difficulty overtakes you. Do not allow trials and tribulations to distract you from serving God with hope and faith. Remember rather that “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
By Michael E. Brooks