For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person -- though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die -- but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8
Scripture doesn't say so, but if our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, were anything like us, I imagine as they crept out of the forbidden Garden of Eden, they probably felt that God was overreacting. After all, they had just taken a few bites from the forbidden fruit. I wonder if they murmured under their breath, "God's not being fair!" The Bible is silent about what our first ancestors said, but there are others in Scripture whose opinions are recorded.
The Old Testament prophet, Habakkuk, lived in terrible times. As things were going from bad to worse, he asked the Lord, "Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife and conflict abounds" (see Habakkuk 1:3-4).
In short, he was saying, "It's not fair."
Here is a passage from Psalms, which speaks to many of us. "When I stumbled, they gathered in glee; attackers gathered against me when I was unaware. They slandered me without ceasing. Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me. O Lord, how long will You look on?" (see Psalm 35:15-17).
Both passages are saying, "It's not fair!" Sometimes we feel the same way.
I've seen honest, honorable farmers look at their hail-demolished fields and thought it wasn't fair they lost their crops -- and the unbeliever down the road hadn't. Have you mourned the death of someone who, by your calendar, had died at the wrong time? It wasn't fair, was it? All of these things, including many more I don't have space to list, lead most of us to conclude life is not fair.
Do you know what is the most unfair thing of all?
It's unfair for humanity to blame the Lord for life's inequities, injustices and inequalities. Rather than thanking the Lord for the good He does, people criticize Him. We've all heard people complain: "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?"
Truly, it's not fair to blame God for the things wrong in our world. He's not responsible. When God finished His week's worth of creation, He surveyed everything His mind had manufactured and made. Content, He decreed it was all "very good" (see Genesis 1:31). If you had been there, you would have seen good as far as the eye could see. It was only when our ancestors felt they could improve upon God's perfection that things began to go wrong.
Of course, there is a Person who can legitimately say, "It's not fair." That Person is Jesus Christ, God's Son, our Savior. Jesus could say it wasn't fair that babies died in Bethlehem when Herod, the king, tried to murder Him. It wasn't fair the people of Nazareth turned their backs on Him who should have been their favorite Son and Savior. It wasn't fair the people He healed forgot to thank Him. It wasn't fair when the crowds He fed spiritually and physically, deserted Him. It wasn't fair when one disciple denied Him and another sold Him for 30 pieces of silver. It wasn't fair that He who was innocent had to die for the guilty.
No, it wasn't fair, which is why we give thanks He endured such unfairness so, by Jesus' blood, we might be saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks You have unfairly suffered and died to win my forgiveness and salvation. May I always rejoice in the resurrection that says You have accomplished all that was necessary to rescue me. This I ask in Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries