THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2010
INJUSTICE AND THE UNRIGHTEOUS
God loves us, and He wants the best for us. God created the
universe that is good. God intended for all of us to dwell
with Him eternally in paradise. God is all powerful and He
can do what He wants to do.
then do bad things happen to people? Why do people suffer,
for one thing, we have free will. God is all good, but we
are not, and many times we choose to do what is wrong. This
gets us into all sorts of trouble. Second, there is evil in
the world, which affects us whether we like it or not. But
why does God not protect those He loves? Well, God is all
powerful and in control, but chooses not to control our lives.
Out of love He does not violate our free will. He does try
to guide us, and at times He intervenes, but basically we
choose our own path.
Why do bad things happen to good people? There are many reasons.
Spiritual warfare. Satan opposes whatever is of God and
whoever is for God. This is what happened to Job.
We are children of God and so He disciplines us as a father
does to a son. This is for our own good, to bring us back
to the right path.
God allows affliction and suffering to see if we are with
Him only because of the rewards and blessings. This is what
Satan claimed about Job. When our consolation is removed,
are we still there for God? It is a test of faithfulness.
We are called to holiness, and suffering is a fire that
purifies, that burns out the imperfections in us.
The way of salvation is the way of the cross. This is Jesus’
own way. Through suffering we help redeem ourselves and
Affliction and suffering deepen our faith like no other.
When we are at our lowest point, when God seems to be nowhere,
when we are helpless and have no more hope, and as we grapple
with our condition that seemingly is unjust, there we enter
into the gateway of a much deeper relationship with God.
This is what happened to Job.
Fine. God loves us, and suffering makes us better persons.
Further, after the discipline, testing and purification, we
look to blessings. Indeed Job was restored and his blessings
bad things happen to good people. But why do bad things not
happen to bad people? Why in fact do the unrighteous thrive?
Job was dismayed. “Why do the wicked survive, grow old,
become mighty in power?” (Job 21:7). The good suffer,
while the bad flourish. Is this not injustice?
is the mystery of evil in the world. In the face of a just
and righteous God who is all-powerful, why does God allow
this seemingly unjust situation? This was part of Job’s
Job and his friends, we have human thinking. God did not even
try to answer Job’s questions, but simply pointed to
who He was. God was not being autocratic, not just demanding
unquestioning obeisance, not being stubbornly unreasonable.
Rather, God wanted to bring Job to a much higher plane.
It was not enough that Job’s human questions would be
answered. God wanted to reveal Himself, and His frame of reference
would be not man but God.
If God were to bring us to a higher plane in our relationship
with Him, just as He did to Job, then we can begin to appreciate
why the good suffer. As was said, affliction and suffering
deepen our faith.
we good simply because of the blessings? What if the blessings
are withdrawn, as in the case of Job? Do we pray because we
get what we ask for? When God says no or does not respond
at all, will we still persevere in prayer? Do we serve and
give of ourselves sacrificially because we have the consolation
of God and the approval of man? What if those we serve fail
to appreciate us, or worse, even turn against us and malign
us? Do we give of our time, talent and treasure because we
look to God’s reward? What if we see those who do not
give as much still being blessed by God, even more than our
wants us to love and serve Him for His sake alone. Not for
rewards. Not for material blessings. Not for recognition.
Not because we fear punishment. Not in order to make it to
heaven. In this, the ultimate test might precisely be that
the unrighteous thrive! Will we still continue to do good,
even when it is seemingly unjust? So God allows the unrighteous
to thrive, for our sake! So that we, like Job, might enter
more deeply in our relationship with Him, and know Him for
who He truly is.
the inscrutable depth of the love of God for us!
The book of Job could have ended without the Epilogue (Job
42:7-17). In a way, the restoration of Job could detract from
the very lesson God wants to teach, because it still makes
us look to eventual reward and blessings. Perhaps the human
writer, painfully aware of the human condition, felt he needed
to give this final consolation and basis for hope.
in this world the good might suffer and the bad thrive. We
might experience this injustice for the duration of our life
on earth. But ultimately, in what really counts, the good
can look to redemption and eternal life in heaven. This
is the ultimate justice for the righteous.
Almighty! Just and righteous is He.
(January 2, 2010)
Jesus of course is the one Redeemer, but we participate in
his work of redemption -- by working to transform our lives
and grow in holiness, by evangelizing others, by intercession,
by our work for social justice, and so on.
 A lot of bad things of course happen to bad people. But
there are also so many others who seem to live a nice fulfilled
 We will look deeper into this in another paper.
 There are unfortunately also those who, when afflicted
and as they consider the injustice in their situation, turn
away from God, rather than being drawn more deeply to Him.
 Or worse, they are blessed while we suffer.
 In this many have fallen and simply joined the company
of the wicked, or at least, no longer persevered in growing
 See, I myself have fallen into this hope-of-eternal-life
mode. I suppose that in the weakness of our human condition,
we need this hope to cling to. But how I hope I could simply
cling to God alone.
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Theme for 2010- Part 11[PDF]