Poor Job

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away" Job 1:21b

All of the action takes place in the beginning and end of the story of Job. There's 42 chapters and only about 4 have any kind of action. The rest is all Job and his friends discussing the justice and/or mercy of God.

This was the topic of my first essay in seminary's Old Testament class. I remember saying something along the lines of "by God's grace there is justice." and I'll never forget what the professor wrote. "Grace is NOT just."

I think it took me six years for that to sink in and another three for me to formulate my response to it. It's true that if grace is an undeserved gift of God then it cannot be just. Justice must be earned whether positive or negative. Therefore grace is not a part of it.

At least not for the individual who has justice rendered upon them. I believe that sometimes when justice happens grace CAN happen as well. Haven't you ever seen someone get what they deserve and felt good about it? As I see it this is the one exception to the grace is not just. Sometimes we feel God's grace by seeing a wrong in the world righted or by seeing justice leave its mark. Conversely we can feel God's grace when someone we love gets a well deserved blessing in their life. We may not have earned it but they did and we're happy for them.

Reading Job this week brought up that first essay in OT. Now I feel like justice has been served. I've said my peace here in this blog after years of wrestling with this issue. And by God's grace I'm able to blog my answer.

Until Everyone Hears,

Comments

Diane Flynn said…
As a firm believer that life's not fair, I totally grasp the concept of grace not being just. It sort of sits hand-in-hand with 'turn the other cheek', I think. The ability to show kindness to someone who may or may not 'deserve' it is grace. It comes without judgement, and without the expectation of earning or returning.

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