“You let her go. Why can’t I?”
“She gets away with everything. That’s so not fair!”
Sound familiar, Mom? We hear many forms of the “That’s not fair!” statement, in raising our children, don’t we?
I also heard it as a teacher many, many times when giving out discipline. It sounded like this, “Why did you give me detention? Johnny was doing it, too.”
The wisdom I was given to handle the situation was to calmly reply with this question, “Did you do _____?” “Then you get the consequences.” End of conversation.
But to be fair, we adults are as guilty as our children of worrying about fairness.
Haven’t you ever felt replaced, or mistreated, or misjudged? And thought, “That’s so not fair!”
I have, too. Many times.
For instance, in our early years of marriage, I worked full-time. Then I worked what felt like another full-time job at home. If you are a working Mom you know what I’m saying.
I worked, came home and fixed supper, cleaned up after supper, kept our house clean (better by far than I have been lately—just keeping it real here ?), paid the bills and balanced the checkbook, did laundry, ran errands, etc., etc. In short, I stressed myself out.
And then blamed my husband for not “helping me” in the way I thought he should. Even though I later realized he actually did more around the house than I had been giving him credit for in my thoughts.
I had been blinded by my “It’s not fair” mentality.
This way of thinking quickly turned into resentment and bitterness that God had to reveal to me and help me to let go of a few years later.
We all want to feel that we are appreciated and are being treated fairly. Don’t we?
In our reading this week in Exodus, I thought about how God, too, cares greatly about the right treatment of His children. He cares about justice and wants us to treat each other fairly.
Because He is just.
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. Deuteronomy 32:4
And because He is just, God gives laws to ensure the just treatment of servants, of parents, of animal owners, of land owners, of borrowers of money, of widows, of orphans, of the poor, and of strangers.
In Exodus 21:24, we read this often-quoted judgment…
Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Exodus 21:24
These laws in chapters 20-23 were given to provide just punishment for offenders. The punishment was to fit the crime. Be just.
And meted out without fail.
Justice Upon the Wicked
The punishments specified were also intended to be serious enough to discourage offense in order to protect the innocent. Protect us from offenders such as murderers, kidnappers, thieves, and even negligent animal owners.
God is so serious about justice that He states…
Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.
If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry;
And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. Exodus 22:22-24
Indignation rises up within me when I hear of unjust treatment of others, especially of those who are helpless to defend themselves. My heart cries out for justice. And in those moments I’m so glad that our God is just, hears their cry, and will repay.
Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. Exodus 23:7
I have no problem wanting God to be just when someone else needs correction. But not so much when it is I who needs correction. After all, they are wicked.
I’m A Sinner, Too.
But then the Holy Spirit will prick my heart and remind me that I am just as guilty. I am a sinner, too.
And I really have no right whatever to cry “No fair!” I deserve God’s just punishment for my sins. As much as anyone else.
Then suddenly I’m not so sure I want God to be the righteous and just God.
Jesus…Just and Justifier!
But instead of giving us immediate justice…what we deserve for each and every sin…God has chosen to be not only just, but the justifier!
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:26
God knew before He even created the world that we would ALL treat Him unfairly. He would bless us with a beautiful world to live in, His boundless love and care, and we would repay Him by rejecting His commands…given for our good in the first place! First in the Garden of Eden and then throughout history.
God is just. Therefore, sin must not go unpunished. Even mine!
However, God loved us enough to make a way for Him to remain true to Himself and His character…and yet forgive sin!
He would still be just…but also the justifier.
Jesus would take our punishment in our place!
God would place my sins and yours upon His sinless Son upon the cross and punish Him instead.
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:24
If God gave you and me justice, we’d be in Hell for eternity! For we have all sinned against Him, separating ourselves from His perfect Holy presence.
But praise God, He loved us enough to make the way of our salvation through His Son’s death for us on the cross.
“Amazing love! How can it be that thou my God shouldst die for me?!from the hymn “And Can It Be” by Charles Wesley
Keep drawing nigh to our Amazing God Who loves you so,