Equity of God

  • Randy Karlberg
Sun rays shining through the clouds

Do I have your attention?  The word “equity” is extremely charged in our current culture.  The definition given in Webster’s for equity is: “Justice; right. In practice, equity is the impartial distribution of justice, or the doing that to another which the laws of God and man, and of reasons, give him a right to claim.  It is the treating of a person according to justice and reason.” 

So, one question might arise as we read this definition, that being, “who decides what is equitable?”  It would make sense to me that God is the one who decides what is equitable.   Yet as we look at our own lives and the lives of those around us we can honestly say that there are some pretty major differences with regards to comfortable living.  So, is that cause for an indictment against God for not being equitable or as the definition says, not being just?  Great question. Maybe we need to try and look at equity from God’s point of view. And yes, that means getting into Scripture. 

First of all, every person is the same in the eyes of God.  Romans 3:23 tells us, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  In God’s view every human being born since the beginning of time is guilty of sin and does not measure up to God’s standard of holiness.  Each of us is equal in God’s eyes; we are in need of a Savior for our sinful condition.  When we read about the coming of our Lord and the day of judgment in II Peter 3 we read that God is, “Not willing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”  God is impartial in His love for all people.  But we are also told in Scripture that not all people will come to know Him as their Savior.  As a matter of Biblical truth, the majority of people will not call on the name of the Lord and be saved.  Jesus told us in Matthew 7:13-14, “For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  So it is very clear from the Bible that not everyone will join Jesus in His Heavenly Kingdom.  

Okay, but what about how things work here on earth?  Does God play favorites with blessings and with punishment?  Does He bless those who love Him and make things difficult for those who reject Him?  This is a complicated question to answer.  I might suggest that this is not the best question to ask.  Yes, God does bless His people.  But what does that blessing look like?  Yes, God does cause and allow difficult things to happen to those who reject Him.  But they also have blessings in this life because God is good and they are a part of His creation.  Neither of these are out of spite or preferentialism.  Scripture is clear that God treats each person the way He decides to treat them, and He uses both challenges and blessings for His purposes.  Let’s look first at Matthew 25:14-30.  This is the Parable of the Talents.   This is preceded by the parable in Matthew 25:1-13, which is introduced with, “The Kingdom of Heaven will be like…”. The context leads us to the conclusion that the Parable of the Talents also gives us a perspective of the Kingdom of Heaven.  In this parable we are told that the master gives three differing amounts of money to keep for him while he is gone, and each servant was given an amount “according to his ability.”  And as we read the parable we see exactly that. The three servants had differing amounts of success according to their abilities and their willingness to work.  So if I have it right, according to today’s popular use of terms, the Kingdom of Heaven will not be equitable.  Each person was given money and an opportunity corresponding to their own make up and situation.  But this blessing is given in such a way to teach and to bless each one in their situation to help them see the Kingdom of Heaven more clearly!  As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us that rich people on earth will have a much harder time repenting and confessing Jesus as their Lord.  Remember, Jesus told us in Matthew 19:23, “Only with difficulty will a rich person enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”  I don’t know about you but I would much rather struggle with life here on this earth and be welcomed into Jesus’ Heavenly Kingdom than have a life of ease and opulence on earth and spend an eternity separated from Jesus!  I think we can easily see this life as all that there is instead of the eternal perspective that we are told with which to view the world.  But Jesus also told us to be kind to the poor and to be generous with everyone.  We are to look out for the needs of others as more important than our own.  Even when we share a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name, we are honoring our Savior.  

So how are we to find a Godly perspective as to things of this earth, both blessings and trials?  Well if we are honest, we learn much more through difficult situations than we do through easy instances.  At least this is what I have found to be true as I venture through the life that God has granted me on this earth.  I also have come to love a few verses from Proverbs that help to explain the mindset that God has with regards to life on this earth.  Proverbs 30:7-9, “Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”  The request is that God only give the writer what He alone knows will meet his needs.  He does not want more that is needful for him because he knows that he will be tempted to be too full with food and thus not rely on the Lord.  But equally a concern is that he would not have enough to eat and thus be tempted to steal food and bring blasphemous acknowledgment to God’s Holy Name!  That to me is what equity from God’s perspective is all about.  Trusting God to provide for us in this life just what is needed for us to love and serve Him to the best of our ability that He has given us.  

I hope this encourages you to seek God’s Word for yourself and see how God uses the things of this life to bring His people to a saving knowledge of Him.  I hope you are challenged to look at your own life as the preparatory work God is currently doing in you so you will be ready to join Him in glory.  We must see life on this earth from an eternal perspective.  This is difficult, I agree.  But it is also critical if we are going to be transformed into the people God wants us to be.