Column: Fairly foolish
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, for fools despise wisdom and discipline.” – Proverbs 1:7
Righteousness is the coin of the realm of the Kingdom of God.
But oh, how humanity – foolishly – wants to charge off all moral accounts to “fairness.”
Therein lays the great divine divide between God’s will and purpose, and man’s fear and weakness. “Fear of the Lord” is simply, unconditionally, understanding that God doesn’t operate in the sphere of “fair” as a negotiated, worldly, give and take. To “fear God” means to know in one’s soul, and trust with one’s intellect, that the definition for all that God ordains comes down to the word “righteous,” not the word “fair.”
Much of what transpires in the midst of fallen mankind in a fallen world is a function of man’s fear, man’s greed and man’s arrogance. Humans fear death, we seek physical and emotional comfort, and bear false assurance in the mistaken belief that we can invent and thrive in a moral code of “fairness” born in our own sinful image.
No, we need God in the equation, and we see the sum total of God’s righteousness in Jesus Christ.
“Fairness,” when dealing with God, is the wrong thing to ask, expect, or even to pray for. God – ultimately, finally, always and gloriously – will do the righteous thing regardless of whether mankind agrees that it is the fair thing. As Proverbs indicates, fools prefer their own version of “fair” to God’s unwavering truth and righteousness.
Wisdom and discipline, you see, are the province of God.
One can never understand the Old Testament’s chaos or the New Testament’s sacrifice if one believes God’s objective is to be fair, unless of course one accepts that whatever God does, by definition, is fair because one already accepts God’s righteousness. Then, yes, God is fair. But few people think like that.
“Amen, God is righteous,” many folks agree, yet expect God to be fair. That’s another way of saying, “God needs to see things my way.”
Sorry. God sees things His way. The Apostle Paul’s wonderful line in Romans 8:28 about “all things working together for good” does not mean that every misbegotten human endeavor, interpersonal injustice or situational iniquity in life is going to turn out “OK.” What that passage does mean is that we can trust the righteousness of God whether we in our human, worldly, fallen foolishness agree with it or not.
Levying anger at God and disavowing Jesus are common reactions to perceived divine unfairness, but never solutions.
Faith in God and more specifically trust in Jesus Christ, however, are.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) notes that the cross was not fair, but it was powerfully righteous.