Is God fair? Part 1
Fairness, as defined in our age of “tolerance,” is that everyone should get the same thing, be given “what we deserve.” In light of this, when we ask the question, “Is God fair?” we have to answer the question, with “No,” “Yes” and “No.” We’ll look at the first answer today.
So, is God fair? “No!” If God were fully fair and gave us what we actually and naturally deserved, all people, as sin-twisted rebels, would immediately be sent to Hell. As the Word says, we are by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3), and in our natural selves there dwells no good thing (Rom 7:18).
Since God is righteous, He must punish sin–if He did not punish it, there would be no justice, with no hope of change for the good, and no solution to the problem of evil. Before a just God, we would naturally all go to Hell right now–if He acted only from fairness.
However, praise God, His character is not limited to the low and simplistic standard of being fair. He is also merciful, loving and full of grace. Therefore, in this area, He chooses to not be fair; that is, He does not give us what we deserve, but instead offers the possibility of pardon.
An entry in my worship journal expands on this.
You, Lord Jesus are faithful–faithful to Your righteousness, to your holiness, to your justice, to perfect judgment of evil. And you, Heavenly Father, being love itself, are faithful to your hatred of sin, of evil, of anything contrary to your character.
In your love, you judge sin, rebellion, and all that does not measure up to your perfect righteousness; if you didn’t judge them, you would not be love, for love that is righteous, pure and perfect cannot abide with anything that is tainted by anti-love: selfishness, pride and evil.
I praise you, O Lord God, that you rise far above our ability to comprehend. How could One who hates sin so profoundly, provide–against all logic we know–a pardon for your creatures who are so thoroughly sinful, selfish, evil and rebellious–so contrary to you?
Yet, in your wonderful, rich grace, you refused to be fair and instead opened the way, at great personal expense, to provide reconciliation through crushing your Son without mercy, that mercy might flow to all your enemies, giving us the potential for redemption, reconciliation, transformation, and eternal life with you.
Praise you that you are forcefully faithful to your character—that you are Light, you are Love and you are Life itself. You are altogether lovely. In this, you have not been fair, but merciful and gracious; you have given us the opposite of what we deserve—the very definition of grace–and we praise you for it!