The college bowls have all picked their teams. Now, we wait until the end of December to find out which team will come out on top. But there is one thing you can count on – many football fans will be unhappy that their team didn’t get a better bowl or face better competition. At the very least, they’ll have a complaint or two about bad calls by the referees.
I try to remind my kids all the time (and myself) that life is not fair. I think I’ve lived long enough to have experienced that reality – and it goes far beyond college football games.
We are not the only generation to wrestle with life’s unfairness in the face of a God who is good. Consider Asaph. He was a man who lived a long time ago. You may recognize his name as a writer of some of the Psalms. I won’t reprint all of Psalm 73 here but I suggest you read it.
Asaph starts by recognizing the goodness of God in verse one, then it is as if he begins to consider the broken world around him. The wicked prospered and seemed to live trouble-free lives. They were callous and conceited and oppressed the poor but they still seemed to succeed, and God seemed to look the other way. Where was the fairness in this? Where was the justice? They even mocked God, and nothing happened.
Verses 16 and 17 are the transition in the Psalm. Read what Asaph writes: “When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” When Asaph went into worship and encountered the presence of the Living God, his attitude was changed. The wicked may or may not get their due in this life, but they will most assuredly get it in the next.
Hear the final words as Asaph puts it all in perspective: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” (verses 25-28)
In truth, all we need is the Lord. We get distracted and dazzled by all this world has to offer, but compared to being in relationship with the God who created the universe everything else means very little. We know that one day God will balance the scales. We entrust that to Him. As for us; we will cling to the Lord – both now and forever. We will trust in His justice to balance the scales and His grace to cover the sins of all who believe in His Son.