I was recently asked an interesting question by a wonderful young co-worker. “How come God’s promises of safety, peace, and riches in exchange for honoring God no longer applies? That doesn’t seem fair.”
And it does seem unfair. Doesn’t it? From the perspective of life in this world, it is unfair. We worship the same God. And, we might even argue that our worship is better, for we worship the Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit of God, a perfect divine trinity. Yet, we know that God does not measure fairness the same as we do, but rather God is just (Psalm 99:4).
God never promised fair?
Some would say that God never promised fair. But did He? Is God fair?
As Moses prepared the people of Israel for his death, he outlined the many promises given to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 7:12-24). Moses explained to them that remaining faithful to God will provide benefits to them as a nation, tangible benefits that will prosper them. If only they kept the commandments of God, maintained the sacrifices to cover over the sin of the nation and of the people, God will bless them as His own. As the people looked forward with faith to the promise of a Messiah, maintaining their part in the Temple rituals, they were blessed. But as they turned away, seeking the blessing of false God’s and personal recognition, God stepped back and allowed them to have their own way, removing his blessing and protection.
Are we offered the same?
Are we not offered the same? The people of Israel looked toward the cross with faith, and too, we look back toward that same cross with the same hope and expectation. But, instead of wealth, peace, and health, we are promised pain and suffering. Until we realize, as the Apostle Paul explained, that we must turnaround and continue walking in the same faith as the people of Israel toward the promised land (Hebrews 12:1-3). When we move forward in faith, we can see God’s promise, the promise the Israelites missed, the real promised land in the presence of God, our Father, His Son, Jesus, and forever with the Spirit of God. We have the same promise as they. But we can see it more clearly when we turn around and walk.