“There was a small town with only a few people, and a great king came
with his army and besieged it. A poor, wise man knew how to save the town,
and so it was rescued. But afterward no one thought to thank him.”
Ecclesiastes 9:14,15 NLT
Solomon told this story in his quest for why bad things happen to good people. Here a poor but wise man saves his town from a king with his besieging army, then is forgotten and not thanked.
And haven’t all of us had similar questions about the unfairness of life?
- We do everything we can in the right way and we’re belittled by those around us.
- We eat right and exercise more than most and get sick and end up in the hospital.
- We speak courageously to set a relationship back in order and get trounced for it.
- We speak up for Godly righteousness and are mocked publicly for it.
What’s going on here? Aren’t we to be commended for good behavior, for caring, for doing more than expected of us? Where’s the applause and affirmation? We’re left standing in a corner feeling sorry for ourselves.
That’s when we start asking, “Why me, Lord? Why do bad things happen to good people?” And by that very sincere question, we open up other important ones. Like: Who determines what is bad? Joseph in Genesis 50 told his brothers “Even though you planned evil against me, God planned good to come out of it.”
So bad wasn’t bad … it was really good when looked at from God’s perspective and timing.
The second question then is: Who determines who the good people are! Usually we believe it starts with us and goes higher to those who pray more, give more, testify more, do less sinning than others, etc. We don’t say it, but it’s almost like believing that bad stuff will come into the lives of some (but not to people like us).
God sets the record straight. “… there is no one who does good, not even one.” Psalm 14:3
We need to turn our pathetic whining question around and honestly ask: “Why do good things happen to bad people?” (Like Us!) Then we must walk in the reality of this:
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases: his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22,23 ESV
Let all your fairness questions wait patiently and enjoy God’s undeserved mercy.