In my Bible reading this morning, I came across the age old question: “Why does life seem so unfair?” In fact, an even more specific, targeted question is: “Why does God let those who oppose Him seem to live without any divine punishment? In fact, many of them do quite well in life.”
This very sort of question was posed by Job:
7 “Why do the wicked prosper,
growing old and powerful?
8 They live to see their children grow up and settle down,
and they enjoy their grandchildren.
9 Their homes are safe from every fear,
and God does not punish them.
10 Their bulls never fail to breed.
Their cows bear calves and never miscarry.
11 They let their children frisk about like lambs.
Their little ones skip and dance.
12 They sing with tambourine and harp.
They celebrate to the sound of the flute.
13 They spend their days in prosperity,
then go down to the grave in peace.
14 And yet they say to God, ‘Go away.
We want no part of you and your ways.
15 Who is the Almighty, and why should we obey him?
What good will it do us to pray?’
Here are a few personal reflections in response to Job’s question:
1. It only SEEMS that many folks go through life without trouble. That is a faulty perception. In truth, everyone (righteous and wicked – and everyone in between) experience trouble in life (Job 14:1).
2. God’s patience and love for His creation keeps Him from immediately dealing with wrongs. Because He loves the world (John 3:16) and longs for people to repent, He is long-suffering with even the wicked and gives them time to return to Him (2 Peter 3:3-10).
3. Ultimately, the Day of Judgment will right all wrongs. There is coming a day when every knee will bow before God and give an account of their life. Those who are saved will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:6-10) and those who are unbelievers will be at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). This accounting with be so thorough that even the casual words that we speak will be weighed in God’s righteous courtroom (Matthew 12:36).
4. This is why we can forego treating even our worst of enemies with cruelty (Romans 12:19-21) and why we can forego immediate approval for our righteous deeds (Matthew 6:1). We know that one day, we will stand before Jesus. On that day, He will punish all wrongs and reward all rights.
So, does it seem that sometimes those who live a godly life experience more than their fair share of trials and some folks who stiff-arm Jesus experience more than their fair share of successes? Just wait, my friend. One day, our God will make all things right.
In the meantime, we should strive to share the Gospel and take as many as we can to the Judgment Seat of Christ!