Fair or Faithful

Here is a quote from Daniel 2. Fill in the blanks. “Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the ….?, and knowledge to the ….?

Did you guess simple? Or unwise, or uneducated? That was my first inclination.

The text actually reads “He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to the discerning.” That does not sound right!

But it does sound like the parable of the bags of gold (Matthew 25). God gives 5 to the one who already has 5, 2 to the one who has 2, and takes from the person who has only 1, and gives it to the one who now has 10.

Somehow this parable does not sound fair to us either.

Which leads me to ask, what are our assumptions? I think our default belief is that God is just (and he is); that just means fair, and that fair means an equal share. Furthermore, we assume that where there is a lack of equality, it is because of greed, or hoarding. In other words, inequality is the result of evil.

Greed, hoarding, stealing and the like are wrong. Some inequality is the result of evil. But it appears not all inequality is evil.

The above texts, and others, demonstrate that God appears to distribute unevenly. At times God blesses someone more than others (e.g. Abram, Jacob). At other times it is a result of godliness (Job). At still other times it is a result of hard work (Proverbs). And at other times chance/luck (Ecclesiastes).

If you have received above average, be overly thankful, and overly generous. If you have received less, do not be jealous, or angry, or worried. Be faithful with whatever gifts you have been entrusted.

David Rietveld

Senior Minister

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