It is perhaps the most oft-spoken objection against circumstances and God: “That’s…not…fair!”
Virtually every hardship will elicit that comment — everything from overcharges in a store or a flat tire to a five-year-old’s cancer or a tsunami that destroys tens of thousands. And certainly it is the primary complaint against God’s judgment of the unrighteous. “How dare God judge those who don’t believe in Him…just because they don’t follow Him doesn’t mean they are bad,” is the indignant indictment against Him.
Yet in the midst of God’s final bowl judgments of the Tribulation (Revelation 16), a concise statement squashes that indictment: “They deserve it” (v. 6). The judgment they are receiving corresponds to their sin.
Reading the Tribulation judgments is hard. They are harsh and strong and unrelenting (v. 21). And yet, whatever those who are under those coming judgments receive from God, it will be just and deserving. God will not miscarry justice. He will do what is right and holy. And those who are under those judgments may blaspheme His name and remain unrepentant (vv. 9, 11). But there is nothing wrong with God. His actions will be true and an outworking of His holiness (v. 5).
In fact, not only are these judgments of God deserving, but for God not to carry out these judgments would be unjust. When God judges in the Tribulation and in eternity, He will be doing only what is right and deserving. Whenever God judges and demonstrates His anger against sin, He is always doing what is right and deserving.
People may not like God’s “fairness” (justice). But let this statement stand: God always does what is right and fair.