Over the years in my ministering the word of God with various people, I found out especially among the non believers, that the reason they do not believe in God is that they felt that God was not just in dealing with everybody. They raised lots of questions and point to their perceived partiality of God to the Nation of Isreal when compared to the rest of the world. Among the questions raised are:
- Why does God favor the Nation of Isreal over all other nations?
- Why did God destroy the whole world in Noah’s day except for Noah and his family?
- Why did God make some women barren?
- Why are some children born with deformities?
- Why at times do faithful and hard working servants of God have still-birth children especially when they have prayed to God for a child?
- Why are some people extremely wealthy having billions of dollars whereas some are so poor that they cannot afford a single meal a day? And so on.
The questions raised by these people are very tough questions. Without taking a deep thought of the matter one might conclude also that God has not been a just or fair God.
In my few decades of knowing and dealing with God I have found Him to be a fair and just God. I found Him to be impartial, truthful, holy, honest, righteous and always have good reasons for the actions HE takes. In the next few paragraphs we will be doing some case studies and we shall have the opportunity to judge the JUDGE OF THE WORLD – the ALMIGHTY GOD. Before then let us examine the meaning of the word “just” or “justice”.
In the Webster’s dictionary, the word “just” was defined as “acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good”. The dictionary explains justice as the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments.
From these definitions or explanations we can conclude two things:
- In order to judge people there must be laws.
- When people are judged based on the laws, they are either rewarded for being good or punished for being bad or not conforming to the laws. There is a German proverb which says “whoever pays the piper dictates the tunes”. In this case the Almighty God JEHOVAH who created the heavens and the earth and all that are in them (Gen 1:1) makes the laws and we have to obey them. And God in turn rewards everybody accordingly.
Having dealt with people who don’t believe in God on many occasions, I found out that it appears they have very strong grievances against God especially when it comes to the matter of dispensation of justice. In most cases they think God was nor fair. Knowing these people, the explanation that God made everything and therefore can administer justice the way HE sees fit will not go down well with them. What we are going to do now is to bring out some cases from the Holy Bible and analyse them to see if God has been just or not.
CASE 1: God Vs Adam and Eve
God planted a garden in a place called Eden and He puts Adam and his wife Eve in the garden to look after the garden. The garden consist of all manners of fruit trees, vegetables, and animals. God instructed the couple that they can eat of all the fruits of the garden but they are not to eat of two particular trees. The fruits on the “tree of life” and that of the “tree of knowledge” God also warned them that “on the day thou eat of these trees thou will surely die”. The couple of course allowed themselves to be deceived by Satan to disobey God. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the “tree of knowledge” thereby bringing sin and death into the world. God did punish them for disobeying Him and God was right in doing so.
To fully understand how God felt, imagine you are going on a vacation with your entire family leaving your house to your housekeeper who you have instructed to eat anything he/she wants and to make use of any part of the house except your bedroom. But when you came back you found out that he/she had brought his/her friend into your house and they have messed up your room and have slept or defiled your marital bed. What will you do to such a servant? Won’t you dismiss the servant? I will do so too. That was what God did, punished Adam and Eve by driving them out of the Garden of Eden. God was just in doing so.
Case 2: God Vs Cain
And when the time came to offer sacrifice unto God for thanks and atonement of sins, Abel offered the best he could afford to God and his sacrifice was acceptable to God whereas Cain took the worst of his and sacrificed unto God. Therefore God did not accept Cain’s sacrifice. For this Cain became so jealous that he slew his brother Abel. For this offence God cursed Cain by making life difficult for him. God again was right. He did not punish Cain for the bad sacrifice made but because Cain killed his brother, Abel.
To understand what happned, imagine you have two children whom you have spent all your energy and life savings to educate. Now the two have finished their education and have started working and are making good money. Imagine you are very poor because you have no savings at all, you’ve spent all on your kids. Now one of the kids sees all your efforts to make life better for them and this kid tries very hard to provide for you and to take good care of you. Won’t you love such a son? I will too. Now lets imagine the second son who even though is making good money spends his money on loose women, gambling, and traveling all over the world enjoying himself and not caring about the parent who have done so much for him. Won’t you curse such a child? Most of us will. You see again God was right in His judgement and dispensation of His justice.
Case 3: God Vs The World in Noah’s Time
From the accounts in the Book of Genesis we know that to God belongs the whole earth, the universe and all that is in it because God created everything. The Psalmist David also said the same in Psalm 24:1-2. Not only did the people of the earth revolt and disobeyed God but some spirit creatures (angels) in heaven led by Satan revolted against God. They left their place of abode and came to earth and have dealings with the earth’s women thereby having children through them. Now the children produced by these bad angels were very bad and they dominate the earth because they are like giants and also extremely smart. They messed up the whole earth and taught everybody to do the same. Things were so bad that God regretted having made man at all. So God decided to destroy everything concerning the earth. But God is good and just and very merciful. He saw a family that was righteous – Noah’s family. God decided to save Noah and his family and to start the work of repopulating the world again.
Again I do not see anything wrong in God’s justice. God has a purpose when HE made everything and if the people are against what God stands for God has a right to do away with them. I also want to point out that Enoch made God’s purpose known to the people for he preached many years warning the people and asking them to change their ways. Noah also preached to the people for 200 years but they did not change.
To fully understand God’s action, imagine yourself as a sculptor or a porter making a pot of clay. In the process of the molding of the pot you make various changes. Even sometimes when you have completed the work you stand back and take a final look at it. If you are not satisfied with the quality of work done you break up the pot and start again using the part that is good. This is exactly what God did. God saved the part worth saving (Noah’s family) and from this family God repopulated the earth. The rest God destroyed because they are useless and worthless. God will do the same thing again on the last day – the day of judgement and of resurrection of the just.
There are other cases which I will not get into in detail. Abraham was a very faithful servant of God. He was willing to offer his beloved and almost only son to God as a sacrifice because God wants him to. God in rewarding Abraham for his faithfulness decided to create a nation out of His friend Abraham and this nation became the Nation of Israel. God favored Israel because they are descendant children of His great friend. God has a right to do this. If your fathers too have loved God as Abraham did I am sure God will do the same for them. God is a loving God and Father. While we are yet sinners He gave up His Beloved son Jesus for us.
Job was another man that was found faithful and loyal to God and God appreciated Job. God blessed Job after all Job’s problems and replaced all of Job’s losses ten times. God again was just because He never forgets those loyal to Him.
Even though God favored the Nation of Israel because of His love for Abraham their great, great, grand father, God dispenses justice rightly among them. God punished them when they disobeyed Him by putting them in captivity under foreign nations. When they are good God shows His love to them by making them grow and very productive. There were times when God walked among them, there were also times when God sent His angels and God refused to go near them, and there are thimes when God totally forgot them. In fairness I think the Nation of Israel had it tough dealing with God who is perfect and who expects perfection in what He does. You know, I think the nations of the world have easier time than Israel.
In similar manner God loved king David when he was good and punished him when he was bad especially during the incident with Uriah’s wife: You see from this that God is impartial and is no respecter of persons
Case 4: God Vs Satan
Satan was an angel of God that led some other angels of God in revolt against the authority of God in heaven and on earth. God created everything in the heavens and on the earth and therefore should be the one in control. But Satan would not have it and leading some angels and by deceptions caused lots of problems in heaven and on earth. The question that is often raised is “why didn’t God destroy Satan and the rebellious angels?”
The answers to those questions are complicated. Firstly, Satan and the rebellious angels have immortal lives by the the way God made them and therefore cannot die. Secondly, destroying Satan won’t have solved any problem except to create other revolutions or a replacement for the coup leader, Satan. What God did was to give Satan the opportunity to defend the reason for his revolt and the angels and the people to judge them all. To make the issue fair God also gave Satan tremendous powers and knowledge to deceive both the people of the earth and the angels of the heavens. But God have a time table for everyting. So far we can see that God has been fair.
After a while, God got fed up with the deceptions of Satan and ordered that Satan be cast out of heaven and his followers be bound in chains until the “last day” when every creature will be judged by Christ. Satan was cast into the world and now resides on earth where he has continued to cause havoc. God’s Army was led by Michael, an arch angel of God.
Just before the last day there will be another war by the Armies of God led by Christ against the followers of Satan and Satan himself. This is the war referred to as the war of Armagedon. It is a spiritual war and not a nuclear world war as some people have said. As a result of this war of Armagedon Satan will be captured and put in chain and bound for a time interval which the Bible called 1000 years. Again God has not done anything wrong and He has shown HIMSELF to be just.
Case 6: God Vs The World After the Flood
In this case we are going to look at two examples. The first one is about the city of Sodom and Gomorrah. The people of this city were very bad and the city existed in Abraham’s time. Lot, the nephew of Abraham, and his family resided in the city of Sodom. When God heard the complaints about this city, HE could have simply destroyed the city based on the information he had. But God came down with two other angels whom He sent into the city to investigate and confirm the information available on the city. God also went as far as promising Abraham that if He can find ten good people in the city HE will spare the city and HE will not destroy it.
When the angels came into the city, they were of course attacked by the inhabitants of the city and demanding to have intercourse with them. God of course destroyed the city the following day after the angels’ visit. Again in this case God was very fair, because He investigated before punishing them. Secondly God gave them opportunity to repent which they refused to do.
The second example is another city and this was in the time of Prophet Jonah. The city was Nineveh – a great city. Complaints came to God about the city of Nineveh and God dispatched Prophet Jonah to the city that they should repent of their sins and change for the better or HE would bring judgement on them. Jonah went to the city and preached as a result of Jonah’s message the people repented, fasted, humbled themselves, and begged God for forgiveness.
When God saw their humility and that they repented, He forgave them and did not destroy the city. This again goes to prove that He is a fair and forgiving God.
Case 7: God Vs Individuals
In this case I will site only one example from the Bible and take the time to explain why some people have still-birth kids, why some women are barren, why some people are very rich and some very poor, etc.
There are numerous examples in the Bible of God’s dealings with individuals as far as justice is concerned. We know how God gave Prophet Jonah a second chance to go to the city of Nineveh instead of punishing him for running away and several other examples. The one that we really want to look at is that of King David. King David loved God dearly and God loved King David too. God described King David as “A man after my own heart”. That is how close they were. Satan was and still is a very powerful spirit person and he is always after people dear to God. Remember what Satan did to Job. Well in the case of King David Satan made him to sin against God by sleeping with the wife of Uriah the Hitite whereby committing adultery. Not only that David went further to murder Uriah by arranging for him to be put where the war was toughtest and ordering the troops to pull back so that Uriah will be killed. It happned exactly as David planned and God saw everything. Did God keep quiet about the incident? NO, for HE immediately sent Prophet Nathan to him and God punished David for the sins. The child was killed and God raised problems in King David’s house. David’s daughter was raped by her half brother. The rapist was murdered by another of David’s children. Absalom revolted against the King and Absalom was killed and so on.
You can see that God did not let His love for David stand in the way of His decision to judge righteously even concerning David. God is most certainly fair to Uriah by avenging his death and impartial to David by punishing him.
God has a purpose and a plan in the life of every individual. God created us first of all to serve and worship HIM. We are His. When we have served this purpose God in turn intends to give us everything we need or asked for. Many refuse to do this and as a result are not blessed by God. That is the first reason for some making it and others not. Secondly, God has the right to show favour to whoever He likes and to show disfavor to whoever HE hates. That is His prerogative as the creator. In doing this God looks back to the past of the individual and investigates the individual’s ancestors and based on His relationship with them He blesses or does not bless the individual. For example, God blessed Isaac and Jacob because He loved Abraham. God blessed Solomon because He loved David his father and so on. God says of Himself that HE blesses the children of those who love Him and He punishes the children of those who hate Him even up to the fourth generation.
Fourtly, if you look around you will notice that there is enough money and food to go around except that this wealth is concentrated into a few hands. God’s intention was for everybody to live well and to have all that they want. Satan now comes and puts greed, selfishness in the hearts of men so that they are no longer satisfied with their own shares but they want everybody else’s. God didn’t cause the present situations, Satan did. That is why God is trying to change things back to His way. A fifth point we have to note is that we humans see the outward appearance and we conclude that a person is good or bad. However, God looks in the heart of individuals and evaluates based on what He sees. A sixth point is that we humans know of what is past but God knows both the past, present, and future and bases His decisions on this. Lastly, God makes some people barren, poor, etc to test their faith in Him and as soon as He is satisfied He changes their situations. The mysteries of God’s intention for us is known by God Himself alone. He makes people to complement one another and so on. It is such a complicated matter that it is best to leave judgement to God.
From all the cases we have presented and all the evidence we have seen, God has been found to be fair, impartial, righteous, merciful and gracious. I therefore conclude that GOD IS JUST.
To God the only wise judge be honor, glory and praise for ever. Amen.