There is a common belief that bad things only happen to bad people and good things to good people – or at least it should be that way. Clearly this is not the case in the world in which we live. I have often wondered why people assume, or even expect that, but as I read Deuteronomy 28 today I made a conclusion.
We expect good things to happen to good people and bad to bad people because that’s what God laid out. In that chapter he says if you obey then you will be blessed, and if you disobey you will be cursed. Pretty straight forward and pretty basic. We also see this in many Proverbs.
So why doesn’t this happen? Was God wrong when he had the authors of the Bible write these things? If you look at Deuteronomy you have to keep in mind he wasn’t making a blanket proclamation to the world. He was directing a certain group of people at a specific time. If you look at Proverbs your clue is right in it’s name – it’s a Proverb. A Proverb is a short popular saying, usually of unknown and ancient origin, that expresses effectively some commonplace truth or useful thought. It is not a universal law of how the world operates.
No where in the Bible does God ever say life is fair. No where does he make any promises of a fairy tale life once you become a Christian. I wrestled with this when my best friend and her children were murdered. She loved God with her whole heart and her twin boys were only 14 months old. How could God not protect them?
God made us with free will. It means we can love others or we can hurt them. His only promise for ultimate safety and protection come after we die, with eternal life. That’s not to say that God is out there somewhere with his arms crossed just watching us like a spectator. He does intervene at specific times for specific purposes. What either of those are I make no claims to know. I just let Him be God.
I do know one specific time with one specific purpose. He came down himself. He stepped into this world of both joy and pain and took all our sin so that his promise of eternity with Him could be possible. Without that act there is no way any one of us could have bridged the gap we created between us and Him.
So for now, if you continue with the expectation that good things will happen to good people, and vice verse, you are going to be frustrated and disappointed for the rest of your life. If however, you chose to let God be God, you will be able to come to terms with the fact that we live in a fallen world but we don’t live for this world. We live to follow Him and He will take us to the next where bad things don’t happen at all.