Teaching God to be fair...

Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm and said, "Now gird up your loins like a man; I will ask you, and you instruct Me. Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified? Or do you have an arm like God, And can you thunder with a voice like His?" (Job 40:6-9)

Do you blame God for your poverty? Unhappy marriage? Sickness or suffering? The accident you had last week? Having to work at a job you don't like? Not being able to be an overseas missionary? Not being an elder?

Victimhood is everything today, but the Christian must understand that victimhood has terrible costs. And here's the principal one: the victim starts his blame game with God. When he thinks or says, "It's not fair," he's really thinking or saying "He's not fair." When we give ourselves to bitterness, like Job we are annuling God's judgment. We are condemning Him in order to justify ourselves.

Seeing God's power and hearing the thunder of His voice, let's reverse direction and trust every one of His decisions that have brought us to this very time and place and condition. He does all things well.



Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.


The question for me is not that people's attitudes like this are wrong, they are, but where they come from in the first place. If people are given unrealistic expectations about, well, anything, it is not a surprise that they react in the way Job did when things go wrong. One could also argue that Job's friends had expectations about God and how He acts that were as unrealistic as Job's, just in a different way.

I don't think the Reformed tradition is opening people up to the 'tyranny of expectations' but there are many other Christian movements which do this, by making promises about the Christian life which are simply silly. E.g. in my Pentecostal background, I sometimes heard it said that God would 'command a [material] blessing on people' as long as they tithed. Not a mistake I could imagine a Reformed pastor making?

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