Summary: How many times have you challenged God’s Justice or even wondered what you would do if you were God? That was the mindset of God’s people. God helps us see that His ways are indeed Just.
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Title: IS GOD UNFAIR? By Pastor Douglas Koehler
Text: Ezekiel 18
A father and mother both are killed in a car accident, leaving behind their three children; there are no other living relatives. Is God unfair? A young man endeavors to become a lawyer, he was born with dyslexia and had to work doubly hard to achieve his goal. Five months after passing his bar, his heart stops for good. Is God unfair? How many times have you heard about or lived out scenarios such as these and truly wondered about the unfair nature of this world or for that matter, of God?
Because we are a family; one Body in Christ we cry out with those who shed tears over any number of trials, none of which can easily be mended with a hearty dose of fellowship and love. We pray and ask God to remove the bad diagnosis, the malformations, the difficult circumstances and then we wait until we have strength to call upon God in prayer once more. Often we see the Lord provide answers; turnabouts that lean toward hope and healing. But there are also moments when we can become completely exasperated with the harbinger of bad tidings. There are times when all of us have looked up to God and felt, even if only for an instant, that we could have handled things better, better than God.
Wouldn’t anyone of us, if given the power to ultimately heal all ailments, immediately place our hands upon anyone we could, just so that they would be restored? If given the power of God would we not remove all weapons from this earth and provide food and fertile land throughout the world? Would we not also provide an equality of resources for every man and woman so that no one would know want. I wonder if serving as God ever became an elected office, how many people would vote in a new candidate for the Almighty’s position.
Imagine the platform of some worldly contender. “If I were God, I would strike down all forms of illness, something that our present God has failed to do. I would extend all lives to enjoy more of what this world has to offer. If I were God, no children would ever have to suffer, and the sins of the father would never fall upon his children ever again.” It’s always easy to believe we could do things better, at least when it comes to moral judgment and good will solutions.
In the movie “BRUCE ALMIGHTY” Jim Carey’s character was given the powers of God for one day. When he was bombarded with prayers, he realized he would never have any personal time because he would be too busy contemplating each request. So in his wisdom he decided to answer “YES” to every prayer and chaos quickly erupted as a result.
Is God really unfair? If he wasn’t why then do we have to pay for the sins of our original parents, Adam and Eve? When a parent is sent to jail for crimes against a neighbor, does our court system also send the rest of the family to prison as well? No! So then why then does God allow it?
In the day of Ezekiel, God’s people were in captivity and considering a similar question. They began to believe that they were being punished unjustly. They were saying of God, “The way of the Lord is not right”
False prophets eventually got wind of these feelings and rose up to convince them that God was indeed on their side and that they would soon be set free. You see none of them at the time owned up to their own sins. They just blamed their present situation on the sins of their parents. There was a popular saying about this form of injustice, it went as follows: ‘The fathers eat the sour grapes, but the children’s teeth are set on edge.” A more familiar form of that expression can be found in Exodus 20:5, “…I the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and fourth generations of those that hate me.”
Those words seem unjust and if you read them out of context, they are unjust. Those words have been rebelled against to this very day and the sins of the father have been our scapegoat. A person who abuses others might have at one time been abused and because of that history, finds an excuse to avoid responsibility for his actions. A person born in poverty turns to crime and after the thief is caught claims it’s her parents fault for birthing her in such an environment. Their responses indeed gather sympathy because we believe that everyone should get a fair shake in life. But just because we don’t always catch a break while others seem to have the joys of life handed to them on a silver platter, doesn’t mean we have a justifiable excuse for rejecting personal responsibility for our own actions.