(The Lord God said) "Yet the house of Israel says, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' O house of Israel, are My ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?" Ezekiel 18:29
"God is unfair."
According to the Ezekiel passage above, this is not the first time -- nor are we the first generation -- which has said the Lord is unfair. Even so, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed as I hear people say God is responsible for famine, wars, prejudice, pestilence, drought, hatred, persecution, family problems, illnesses, etc., etc., etc. Indeed, just about anything which has gone wrong in this world is being laid at God's feet.
Now there are a number of ways believers can respond to the charge of God's unfairness.
First, we can admit that the Lord has the power to be fair and rectify all the world's sinful shortcomings. This He could do by erasing the old (and us) and beginning from scratch. That He does not do so is a credit to His grace, mercy and long-suffering, or the Lord could take charge of each and every one of us. When we were disposed to doing something wrong, He could give us a great, big electric shock, or a heart attack, or a stroke, or some other nasty kind of punishment. Yes, God could make us into robots and program every aspect of our lives.
Yes, we can respond to this charge of unfairness many ways.
I think the best way is simply to admit, yes, God is unfair. Does that surprise you? I hope not, because it's true.
If you doubt me, go to Golgotha and watch as the Roman execution squad pounded nails into the hands and feet of His innocent Son. It was unfair to punish His sinless Son that way.
Yes, go to Calvary.
That day, when Jesus was nailed to the cross, He was carrying our sins. He had done nothing wrong. Indeed, Jesus had kept every law perfectly. The greatest accusation which could be made against the Savior was that He healed the sick on the Sabbath. Of course, that hardly counted since such an action was a violation of the Pharisees' laws, not the Lord's.
No, Jesus had kept the Commandments and loved people who hated Him. It was an extraordinarily divine act of caring. And for His concern He was railroaded to the cross by the very people whom He had come to save.
Look through the annals of history and you will never see anything more unjust then what happened in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. Even one of the men crucified with the Savior was compelled to confess the tragedy which happened to Jesus, the One who had "done nothing wrong" (see Luke 23:41).
So is God unjust? Yes, He was -- once and only once, and we can get on our knees and give thanks that He was. Because of that injustice, well, how did Isaiah say it, "He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for the commitment You made to save us. Send Your Holy Spirit so the world may recognize Jesus' sacrifice and Your love. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries