Summary: Ever have one of those days when you want to scream, ‘it's not fair’? Have you ever read stories in the bible and thought, "that's not fair"? We'll look at some of these stories so we can hopefully gain perspective for the times when we think God's not being fair.
"IT'S NOT FAIR!" (part one)
Ever have one of those days when you want to scream, ‘it's not fair’? Perhaps you feel like that statement defines your life as a whole. My father-in-law was born with deformities and had to have multiple corrective surgeries. On top of that, he had a very deprived childhood.
My mother-in-law’s parents died when she was young. She was separated from her siblings and had to grow up in abusive foster homes. And their troubles have extended into today. It seems they can’t catch a break. They are two people who could scream, ‘life’s not fair’.
Have you ever read certain stories in the bible and thought, "that's not fair"? We'll be looking at some of these stories so we can understand what went on and hopefully gain perspective for the times when we think God's not being fair with us. We'll start right at the beginning.
1) "It was just a piece of fruit!"
We know the story of Adam and Eve's fall from grace. And not only was it just a piece of fruit, it was only one time! God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden for one act of disobedience. That doesn't seem fair, does it? Well, let's look at the dynamics of how this all went down. God warned Adam that if he ate from that tree he would die.
Gen. 2:16-17, "And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
So, it's not like God didn't give Adam fair warning. "But it's not their fault. God tempted them by putting that tree there." Not true.
James 1:13-14, "When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed."
God would not tell Adam to not eat if he didn't give him the power to resist. Everything was fine until Satan whispered in Eve's ear. He was able to get to her. She should have and could have told him to get lost; but she didn't-she entertained him. And in doing so, got trapped and her desire for what Satan told her would happen caused her to eat. Her evil desire conceived and gave birth to sin (James 1:15). Adam, who was with her, ate too. They both were responsible for being dragged away.
Ok, but why the harsh punishment? God hands out the consequences for their disobedience. For the woman, her childbirth pains were going to be increased. And she would be subservient to her husband and there would be contention for the dominant role instead of having a holy partnership. And for Adam, he would have hard labor working the land. It wasn't going to produce like it did before; now there were going to be weeds and thorns. And then the biggie.
Gen. 3:22-24, "And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life."
Here they were, getting kicked out of the garden, along with all the other consequences just for one act of disobedience? Sounds severe. Why did God do that? The consequence is what would've naturally occurred. While we would be focused on the sin, God is focused on sin-period. We are viewing the consequence as unfair because we're looking at the singular act. Thus we fail to see the significance of what they did from a spiritual standpoint.
With them now knowing sin experientially, they automatically forfeited the privilege of spiritual life. So God wasn't being mean and unfair, he was merely acting in accordance with his holiness. Holiness cannot exist with sin-they are polar opposites. Adam and Eve were now stained with sin. If something stained with sin was allowed to be in a place that is purely holy, that place would then cease to be holy. Since Adam and Eve were now sinners; they could no longer be in the place where sin doesn't exist.
And they could no longer have the relationship with God they once had because now they were spiritually dead. A lot changed when they disobeyed God. The consequences that resulted from their compromise were inevitable-God was in essence bound by his own holiness to do what he did. So God was not being unfair to Adam and Eve; he was merely operating according to his holy nature.