1998-03-17 - Not Fair!
Jesus' Difficult Teachings, Part 12
(Mat 20:9-16 NASB) ""And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. 10 "And when those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; and they also received each one a denarius. 11 "And when they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12 saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.' 13 "But he answered and said to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 'Take what is yours and go your way, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 'Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?' 16 "Thus the last shall be first, and the first last.""
I don't know about you guys, but I have at times felt a little dissatisfied with this passage. : ) I guess it doesn't seem to go along with our notions of fairness. How could the owner of the vineyard think it's fair to pay those who just came on late in the day, the same as those who were wore themselves out working all day long? Today, we might think, "How can God save someone 'horrible' like a serial killer, when he is on death row? How can God send to Heaven someone who has lived a life of hatred and violence, and repented in his last months of life?" But that is God's decision to make. All we are responsible for is our decision to accept Christ. We are not to be in the judging business.
(Mat 7:1-2 NASB) ""Do not judge lest you be judged. 2 "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you."
Sometimes we don't think God is being fair at the time, but later we see that He had the best plan after all - imagine that. And sometimes we differ with His timing, but that is His choice. He is God. And much to our chagrin, we are not! There are some things we just need to accept simply because He is God, and He is perfectly Just.
(Deut 32:4 NASB) ""The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He."
Dear Lord, please help us to remember that You are always Just, and to not try to put ourselves in Your place. In Jesus' name, amen.