When God is Unfair

When God is Unfair

Why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me . . . For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted. Habakkuk 1:3-4

The times I’ve questioned God most are when he just doesn’t make sense, or when I can’t feel him. I believe that God is loving and all-powerful. So, when I read then of a teenager who is kidnapped and her parents murdered, it doesn’t make sense. How could you allow that to happen? Where were you? Similarly, in my addiction, I prayed to experience God’s miraculous intervention . . . but nothing happened. Again, the doubts crept in. Are you even there? Don’t you care?

Habakkuk similarly questioned God. Witnessing the evil that his people committed against each other caused Habakkuk significant turmoil. Why would you allow the wicked to hurt the innocent? What I’m experiencing doesn’t match up with what I believe about you God. Why?

God answered Habakkuk, which we’ll get to eventually, but the first lesson of Habakkuk is that it’s not wrong to take our questions to God. Habakkuk honestly didn’t understand, so he went to God who didn’t chastise him, but rather revealed a much greater reality.

This is often my problem. I see only one piece of a giant puzzle, and I can’t make it make sense. In the case of my addiction, I wanted God’s miraculous healing as I was taking the pills. God showed me however, that I wouldn’t experience transformation until I radically obeyed him. I didn’t get to feel God until I practiced faith.

In the case of the kidnapped teenager, I can’t possibly explain it. Like Habakkuk though, I do believe that somehow God allows man to make evil choices, while he remains in control. This is Habakkuk’s second lesson: Sometimes we get an answer, but sometimes, faith doesn’t make a lot of sense right now.

Though Habakkuk questioned God, he began with the humble premise that God was God. For some, this is simply too much. There are those who will never find faith because they demand that God satisfy their sense of reason. If God is God though, he will necessarily be profoundly mysterious to our limited minds. Faith doesn’t mean we can’t ask questions, but it does mean that we follow, even when it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

No Responses

  1. Sarah Blom says:

    Do you think that knowing the “why” would make it easier? If you could see all the pieces of the puzzle do you think that you would still learn and grow? Like you said, faith doesn’t always make a lot of sense, but that’s why it’s faith, right?
    In going through many personal trials of my own I have grown to feel that not knowing the why and just trusting that “God’s got this” is easier than trying to figure it out on my own. To me, being at the completion of the puzzle and then realizing how all the pieces came to be seems much more rewarding than knowing what was coming along the way.

    “The answer to why doesn’t help us heal. But knowing that God’s glory can be displayed, even in the brokenness of our lives, gives us hope despite our circumstances. I promise you will find more purpose and joy in your life if you set aside the why and ask the how. ” – Laura Story

    • Scott says:

      As it happens, if you read ahead, Habakkuk gets his answer from God and doesn’t particularly like the answer. So, you’re right of course. The point of faith is not “hoping to understand the why”, but rather the goal is simply learning to live by faith itself (maybe never knowing the why, like Job). Faith is its own reward, but that’s not an easy lesson to learn and it’s one that personally, I have to relearn every time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

three × four =