Thursday, February 03, 2005

Life is unfair: Job 24

I have four kids ranging from a freshman in college to a third grader. As each of them were growing up they went through a phase where the worst possible thing that could happen was for something to be "unfair". They would complain that it was "unfair" that their older sibling got to stay up one hour later then they did. They protested that it was unfair that everyone else in their class got to see a certain movie that we did not let them see. In there mind, the world had to be "fair". Over and over we would have to explain to them that, "life isn't fair," at least not from our perspective of what is "fair".

As Job examines the life of the wicked and the righteous he observes that life isn't always fair. Sometimes the blessings go to the wicked and affliction to the righteous. Job complains that there are times that the wicked oppress the poor, yet "God does not pay attention to folly." (Job 24:12) Similarly, Job notices that for some who reject God, "they are exalted a little while, then they are gone." (Job 24:24) They come and go, and yet seem no the worse for the wear.

Looking at life from his frame of reference, Job poses this question, "Why are times not stored up by the Almighty, and why do those who know Him not see His days?" (Job 24:1) What Job is asking is, "Why doesn't God give the wicked their just desserts in this life?" Why does God allow the wicked to go to their grave in peace. Its simply not fair! Fortunately, Jesus answered this question for us,
"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' And he said to them, 'An enemy has done this!' The slaves said to him, 'Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?' But he said, 'No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, 'First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.' " (Matthew 13:24-30)
We live in a world where evil and good live side by side. In this world there are both sons of the devil and sons of God. And in God's wisdom and grace, He delays the judgment due to the wicked for the sake of those to be saved. While I do not claim to fully understand it, what Jesus is saying is that sometimes God reserves judgment for a later time if the immediate execution of that judgment could harm the faith of His children. Peter reminds us of this same truth when he says, "regard the patience of our Lord as salvation." (2 Peter 3:15)

Does this mean that the wicked will get off scott-free? By no means! The truth is that we must all appear before the judgment Seat of Christ and give an account of our lives. This life we live is but a vapor. It is the life to come that we should be concerned about. Irregardless of the blessings and/or afflictions we receive in this life, in that day there will be judgment for the wicked and rewards for the righteous. Life may seem unfair, but in the end, God will make all things right. God is a God of justice, and in the end, His justice will reign.

David Robison

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. We need to be reminded of this more often.