The Fallacy of Fairness

Sometimes I look at certain situations or circumstances and think that it’s not fair. Sometimes I think what God does isn’t fair. Sometimes it’s not. There are so many things in life that aren’t fair, and never will be.

I’ve had so many things in my life that I’ve always viewed as “not fair”. I am the firstborn of my two brothers. I have never liked being the firstborn. I have siblings looking up to me, looking at me as an example, whether its a conscious thought or not. And I have to be the example, the role model, and I’ve never thought that was fair.

We picture “playing fair” as abiding by the rules so everyone gets equal treatment, opportunities, etc. And sometimes, it seems like God doesn’t “play fair”.

But if we really wanted God to “play fair”, we would all end up dead.

Look at Uzzah, in 2 Sam. 6:6-7. He simply reached out to steady the ark of the covenant, when the oxen pulling it stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against him, and he was struck down dead beside the ark. God technically was fair. The ark wasn’t to be touched, Uzzah touched it, and God punished him accordingly. That was completely fair and just, right?

Nadab and Abihu, in Lev. 10:1. They offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, and fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them (v. 2). Yes, it’s a human tendency to make mistakes, but even mistakes, when breaking God’s law, must be punished. God punished them according to the sin they committed. It’s all fair.

Look at one last illustration: there’s a heaven and a hell, and we’re all going to either one or the other. Our sin keeps us from entering heaven, because no sin is permissible there. And because we broke God’s law, and we have sinned, we’re receiving our punishment by going to hell. That’s fair. What’s not fair is that God sent us Christ, to pay the price for our sins, so we could spend eternity with Him. That’s not fair. It would be fair if we all went to hell; we broke the rules, we receive the punishment, right? That would be playing fair. But God wasn’t fair, so He sent us His Son. Shouldn’t we be grateful when He doesn’t “play fair”?


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