It’s not Fair

Have you ever come to a point where you think the world’s such an unjust place? I’ve been reading this week about a 5-year-old girl who died in a horrible accident on her own driveway. I know God’s not the author of suffering, but I also know (from the book of Job in the Bible) that the devil can’t do anything without God’s say-so. It seems incongruous that God would allow something like this to happen to Christians who’d done so much for Him and even turned to Him in prayer at the time of the accident. As I read about the family processing their grief, one thing stuck out to me – the confusion, and this verse came to mind: “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33). It wasn’t God’s heart that wrote this into their story.

Later I was in church, and a situation came up that I just felt so annoyed about. “How can that be fair?” was my question to God, and He did the unexpected. He reminded me of Jesus dying on the cross. If anyone had the right to say it’s not fair, surely it was Jesus, but what kept Him going? The joy that was set before Him. He knew all about eternity and the kingdom that would spread out in front of Him – the kingdom where fairness and justice will finally reign supreme.

Sometimes life in this world isn’t fair, but I hope you find comfort in this verse, as I have:

“Then a kingdom of love will be set up, and someone from David’s family will rule with fairness. He will do what is right and quickly bring justice” (Isaiah 16:5).

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Concern for Justice

A fountain is something I’ve wanted for myself as long as I can remember.  I used to live near a friend who had a conservatory with a fountain just outside it.  You could sit there listening to the birds singing and the water bubbling …  I joked that for me, the commandment:  “Do not covet your neighbour’s house” should read:  “Do not covet your neighbour’s fountain.”

 

I love water-features, in garden-centres or in formal gardens, and here God talks about justice flowing like a river, and goodness like a never-ending stream.  He repeats His displeasure at the oppression of poor people, and assures Israel of His presence with them if they would do good.  Any worship-rituals the Israelites performed were worthless to God while there was no love of justice in the land.

A Better World

“For the many crimes of Israel, I will punish them. …  They walk on poor people as if they were dirt, and they refuse to be fair to those who are suffering” (Amos 2:6-7).

 

Seeing an end to oppression is really important to God.  These verses tell us walking all over people, taking advantage of them, is a crime in God’s eyes.  I’m sorry if you’ve been a victim of that, but I’m sure it doesn’t go unnoticed.  In our dealings with people, if we considered not only the law of the land but the words of our God, this world would be a better place.

An Audience with God

“Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that one gets justice” (Proverbs 29:26).

 

Have you ever signed an online petition, written to a government department, or seen your MP about a problem?  If you have, why not consider praying about the problem too?

 

I remember seeing my MP about a problem, and all she was interested in was that I was unemployed.  That wasn’t what I’d gone to see her about, but it fitted in better with her party’s policy.  Your MP may have an agenda, but so does God.  His agenda is your wellbeing.  When someone’s important to you, you want to spend time with them.  You love to hear their voice, and you want to know what they’re thinking.  That’s how God is with us; He loves and delights in us, so let’s share our lives with Him.

Happy to see Justice?

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“Those who disobey what they have been taught praise the wicked, but those who obey what they have been taught are against them.  Evil people do not understand justice, but those who follow the Lord understand it completely” (Proverbs 28:4-5).

 

How much do wickedness and unfairness bother you?  Has your faith in God changed the way you see the world and what goes on around you?

Cross – not Conscience

Have you heard the news today – news that 3 cases have been lost in the European court?  Or did you just hear about the lady who won her case?

 

Let me explain it, as I understand it.  A British Airways stewardess is told that yes, she can wear a cross to work, and by disallowing this, her employer was discriminating against her.  Meanwhile, a nurse hears she can’t wear a cross to work, due to health and safety issues.  A registrar is told she doesn’t have the right to refuse to conduct same-sex civil partnership ceremonies, and a sex therapist finds he has to offer therapy to same-sex couples.

 

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel cynical about the lady winning her case?  They gave her a victory, so while she and her lawyers are jumping up-and-down celebrating that Christians can wear crosses (which are worn by non-Christians as well, by the way), it’s taking attention away from more important matters.

 

For me personally, if someone said I couldn’t wear a cross, it wouldn’t faze me.  I would care that my freedom of choice had been taken away, but from a Christian point-of-view, it wouldn’t tear me up inside or stop me believing what I believe.  But if I was a registrar and I had to declare 2 women a couple and give them a certificate of civil partnership, now that would tear me up inside!  Apparently we’re allowed a cross, but not a conscience.

Transformed

Someone at church this morning encouraged us to think of Jesus not only as our Comforter, but our Challenger. Back home afterwards, I got to thinking of the woman caught in adultery – John 8:1-11.

People often read this passage and focus on the love of God, saying: “Jesus doesn’t condemn”.

They’re right; He doesn’t condemn, but He does ask something of us. “Go, and sin no more”, or “Leave your life of sin”.

For the woman caught in adultery, that must have meant a big change of lifestyle. Presumably, she wouldn’t have committed the sin if there was no attraction there. As followers of Jesus, we don’t stop being tempted, and we’re not suddenly zapped out of the community where we live to start afresh somewhere different. She would’ve had the same people around her, including the man she had feelings for, who’d never met Jesus and may not have wanted things to change.

When she was with Jesus, there was no escaping the fact she could have been stoned to death, and owed Him her very life. But as the days, weeks and months went by, as she looked through the window and saw the man she loved walking down the road … I don’t know about you, but I sometimes wonder what happened to that woman. Did she make it to the end of the race? Is she in heaven now, sharing in Jesus’ glory? Did she allow Him to transform her life, or did she desert Him and go back to the life she’d left behind?

“Leave your life of sin” can be a tremendous challenge, but Jesus is a tremendous Saviour! Just like that woman, we need to remember His part in our lives. Let’s never forget what He did for us that day on the cross. God is a just God; He can’t tolerate sin. We should have been cut off from God for the things we’d done wrong, but God loved us so much, He sent Jesus to take that punishment, so we could be in a loving relationship with Him. Let’s give Him our gratitude, and our love; and with His help, let’s live to please Him.