It’s Just Not Fair


“IT’S JUST NOT FAIR!” If you’ve spent any time around kids, you know that these words usually stem from a child being jealous because he is being punished for something that another child did not get punished for. Or because another child got a toy he didn’t deserve, while they got nothing. One would think that a mature adult would not have this attitude. But if we are really honest with ourselves, we often wonder why a colleague got a raise while we didn’t, or how our best friend can afford that new flat screen while we can’t. It’s just not fair right? How often do we do that in our relationship with God as well?

  • Think of a time recently when you wondered why, if you were trying to follow God when others around you were not, did they seem to be thriving when you were not?


13 “Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’ 14 You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? 15 And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’”

16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. 17 “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18 Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.


(Today’s questions focus on verses 13-15.)

  1. What did God say about how the Israelites had approached him (vs. 13)? How does this reflect their heart attitude toward God?
  2. What were the Israelites accusing God of? Why did some of the Israelites argue that it was vain to serve God (vs. 14)? In saying that serving God was useless (and by their expectation of blessing for their half-hearted service), what did the Israelites communicate?
  3. What did the Israelites see as the rewards of not following God, but of acting arrogant and evil (vs. 15)? 
  4. How do you respond in a similar way as the Israelites, grumbling against God? Is there a situation where you are going your own way while expecting blessing and provision from him?


As Christ followers, we are called to live a counter-cultural existence. What we call “faithful living” is quite often the exact opposite of what society says we should do. Faithful living is difficult to do, at times, because the wicked seem to thrive while we don’t. Instead of indulging the temptation to choose our own way in an effort to prosper, believers must instead set God’s standards for faithfulness as our own.

  • Ask God to remind you that your hope is in him, and not in the promises or the temptations of this world.
  • Ask God to reveal to you where you are choosing self-reliance over pursuing him wholeheartedly.