In Ecclesiastes 3:16, the Teacher says “And I saw something else under the sun: In the place of judgment—wickedness was there, in the place of justice—wickedness was there.” Later the Teacher comments, “There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve” (Eccl. 8:14). What’s more, he warns, “God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked” (Eccl. 3:17).
Have you ever said, “It’s not fair?” You’re right, life isn’t always fair. It stopped being fair in the garden the day of the Fall. Yet God has put a sense of what is right and what is wrong—what is fair—deep down in our being. What’s fair and unfair raises its voice inside us, so even a small child will appeal to some unseen yet known standard of right and wrong.
When our two children Judy and David were in kindergarten, David hated to sing. One day their teacher in the small one-room schoolhouse asked the children if they would like to sing. Most responded “Yes!”
“Put your hand up if you don’t want to,” the teacher demanded. David put his little hand up. “Good,” he thought, “she’s going to tell me it’s all right if I don’t join in.”
“Go and stand in the corner!” the teacher thundered at David. He did, and stayed there throughout the class. Judy was horrified. Watching her brother standing there, his little face to the wall, her five-year-old mind saw the injustice of it. She got to her feet, the tears running down her face. It’s no fair! It’s no fair!” The teacher turned a wrathful eye upon David’s little sister and said, “What’s not fair?”
“You asked him if he wanted to,” the little girl replied. “You asked him if he wanted to sing, and he told you!”
Good point, Judy. She was still sobbing when I picked the kids up that afternoon. We all need to do a little more sobbing, I think. There is injustice in the world at every level and we need to address it at every level.
Why does God allow it when He has the power to stop it? You may ask. Finding myself facing that question like so many others on 9/11, I resorted to a verse in Deuteronomy: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever” (29:29).
One thing He has revealed is that life here on earth will be full of injustice and sorrow until He has made a new earth where righteousness reigns. Jesus Himself said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We who profess to know the Lord are to live rightly in a “wrongly” world! To shine as lights in the darkness and do our level best to point out inequities.
“Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen.18:25). Yes indeed, He will! He will bring everything to judgment. Meanwhile, we need to do right too.
Just Between Us Magazine
Just Between Us Magazine