Blogging with Habakkuk (9) – Is God Fair?

(Part 9 in a series of posts on Habakkuk.)

Habakkuk’s three big questions were the same questions that many people have struggled with over the years. “Does God care? Is God fair? Is God there?” We have already looked at the first of those questions: “Does God care?” Now it is time to move on to the second question: “Is God fair?”

Have you ever questioned God’s fairness? Has something bad ever happened to you, and you responded by saying, “God, that’s just not fair!” Actually, life is frequently unfair. That’s something I often tell my boys. They will complain about something and I will tell them, “I’m sorry, but life’s just not fair.”

But saying that life is unfair is very different from saying that God is unfair. I can live with life being unfair. After all, I am a sinner. I live in a world that has been affected by sin. And I live here with . . . a whole bunch of other sinners! So it makes sense to me that life is not going to be fair all the time. But when you ask, “Is God fair?” that is a very different question.

In the first section Habakkuk struggled with the problem of evil in the world. In this second section he struggles with the problem of God’s justice. When confronted with the problem of evil, Habakkuk questioned, “Does God care?” Now when confronted with God’s judgment for sin, Habakkuk questions: “Is God fair?”

I think that is very typical of how many people think of God even today. The two biggest questions people ask about God are: 1) “How could a loving God allow evil in the world?” and 2) “How could a loving God send people to hell? Why doesn’t he just look the other way?” Those are the modern versions of “Does God care?” and “Is God fair?”

What people often don’t realize is that the second question answers the first. Yes, God is a loving God who cares about evil in the world. We know that because God does not look the other way but in fact will judge all evil and sin in the world. God is both loving and just. Yes, God cares. And yes, God is fair.

Habakkuk’s situation was a little different, though. He wasn’t questioning God’s right to judge sin. He was questioning God’s method. How could God use the Babylonians to judge the people of Judah, when the Babylonians were even more wicked than the people God was judging? Wouldn’t it make more sense to judge the Babylonians? Was God being fair in this situation?

(Looking ahead: Next time we look at Habakkuk’s actual complaint in 1:12-17.)

Here are the links to the whole Blogging with Habakkuk series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Blogging with Habakkuk (1) at Ray Fowler .org
  2. Blogging with Habakkuk (5) - Does God Care? at Ray Fowler .org

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