Prayer for the day
Turn to me and have mercy upon me; give your strength to your servant; and save the child of your handmaid.
Scripture for the day
Anyone familiar with the scriptures knows that God doesn’t play any favourites. But the knowledge of God’s impartiality is often negated by our experience of the world. We believe that God is impartial, doesn’t play favourites, but that belief is continually challenged when we, like Job, see people who we know are evil having a great time, while people who are righteous seem to be losing.
Job’s friends try to prove to him, based on “common sense,” that people who are wicked come to wicked ends. While this may prove true in the cosmic sense, it does nothing to lessen Job’s discomfort, nor does it acknowledge his innocence. Instead, his friends are trying to intimate that his end is wicked because his actions are wicked. They are trying to speak wisdom, but in Job’s ears, they are speaking foolishness. Job maintains his innocence by claiming that what his friends are saying is wrong, utterly and completely, proven wrong by experience and theology.
God, says job, is not a man. He does not treat his people the way men would.
Peter has a similar argument to make to the new converts among the gentiles. His point, that God does not play favourites, is proven both by theology, and especially by the evidence right in front of them, that the Holy Spirit inhabits them, that they do miracles, that they have received the gifts of the Spirit and are working toward the goodness of the Kingdom of God.
It is far too easy to assume that God likes “us” better than “them,” or that God will treat “us” better than God will treat “them” because of who we are or what we do or any other rationalization we make.
At the end of the day, our assumptions are wrong. They are proven wrong by the outpouring of the Spirit, by the witness of the scriptures, and by the grace of God.