‘I’ll be merciful to whom I’ll be merciful’: Is God partial?’

Dr. Agbodo

The statement of God in the Bible which says “ I will be merciful to whom I will be merciful and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” has thrown up different levels of debates and contributions among Christians and Bible Scholars.

While some people believe that God is unjust or not fair for making that statement, others believe that God is still just to all humans. But from my perspective, I want to state here that the statement of God only emphasised that God’s judgement on any issue is always right both from the seen and unseen reasons and most times people don’t see the unseen reasons and jump into conclusion that God is not fair to all.

For instance,what was the offence of Pharaoh that made God to harden his heart until he was destroyed? What was the offence of Esau that made God to ordain Esau right from the mother’s womb to serve Jacob his younger brother? What was the offence of Manasseh that made God through their grandfather Jacob to place his right hand on the younger one and proclaimed that the eldest shall serve the younger one – Genesis 48 ? What was the offence of Judas Iscariot that qualified him to be the one to betray Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and finally hanged himself?

All these questions are looking for the correct answers because if God has preordained some people to fail and others to succeed, what is the need then to strive to live a holy and righteous life when the final destination have already been adjudged by God.

To answer all these questions, we need to look in-depth into the character of God through His actions from the book of Genesis in the Bible to the book of Revelation. The truth is that God has never showed any favouritism towards any of His children from the time of Adam till date but what God does is that based on His programme for all humans,He may begin with even the younger in His plan to reach a people and end up with the eldest.

For instance,to save the children of Israel from total destruction with famine,God sent Joseph who was the second to the last son of Jacob ahead to Egypt. Although Joseph got to Egypt through untoward circumstances, I believe that even if his brothers did not sell him as a slave,God would have still provided another avenue for Jacob to get to Egypt.

But,while God began the journey of the salvation of the family of Israel through Joseph,He brought down the law to guide them through Moses( the family of Levi) in the wilderness and finally brought Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the lineage of of Judah to save Israel and indeed all mankind from sin and the devil.

So,even though at the beginning, people may question why God had to start with Joseph while Reuben the eldest and others were still alive,He ended the process of the final salvation of humanity through the tribe of Judah. God also used different tribes of Israel for different purposes in their journey to the total salvation of mankind, according to the gifts He gave to them at different times.

So,God cannot be seen to be unfair because it is normal to use an Engineer for Engineering works while a Medical Doctor is used for medical related issues. In the case of Pharaoh, God would have even appeared to him in the past through different means to tell the children of Egypt that He was the true God to be worshipped and he should allow the children of Israel to be free, just the same way God appeared to Abraham,and they disregarded those op- portunities, and in God’s word,there is a particular time that an irreversible judgement can be passed for the destruction of those who refused to heed the call of repentance and that may be what happened in the case of Pharaoh and even Judas Iscariot.

Yes,it was prophesied that somebody who dipped hands with Christ in the same bowl will betray Him, but Judas was not mentioned in that prophecy, hence the sins of Judas Iscariot as a thief, because he was the treasurer of Jesus Christ and the Bible opined that he was not faithful in that department.

In essence his initial unfaithfulness may have opened him up to be used to fulfill that scriptures of betraying Christ. So,God was not unjust in allowing Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus Christ because he made himself available through his past disobedience to the word of God.

Also,God did not preordain Esau to sell his birthright to Jacob and the selling of his birthright to Jacob as a foolish act only made God to be angry with him and this informed the statement of God in the book of Malachi that Jacob I love and Esau hate. But,the preordination of God was that it was Jacob that will continue with the baton of producing the seed that will finally lead to the salvation of men through Jesus Christ and this was fair because it is only God that gives everyone different assignments on earth based on His Wisdom.

Esau was also materially blessed because when Jacob returned from the house of Laban the father of his wives, he met Esau on the way with a battalion of soldiers and other manifestation of riches.

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Furthermore,God chose David to become the King of Israel after weighing him with His wisdom because David was a committed person to keeping the commandments of God even as a young boy. In fact, It was one of such cases of obedience to the directives of his father that he was carrying out in the field with the sheep to feed them when Prophet Samuel came calling to anoint him.

So,God is not fair to some and unfair to others but it is preordination in terms of gifts to all humans and how we obey his commandments that determines our future,and everyone is preordained for an excellent life.

So,when God says He will be merciful to whom He will be merciful, He is only saying that His judgement is always just and should not be questioned. Some people are suffering today because of the sins of their fathers and unless they completely repent and follow Christ with all their hearts to redeem them from the consequences of such sins,a human being without understanding can say “why is this good man suffering and the other bad one enjoying”.

The good man who is suffering may be paying for the sins of his ancestors or his personal past sins and waiting for the day of salvation from God while the proud and bad man who is enjoying some level of riches and comfort may be enjoying the rewards of his ancestors but again squandering them, thereby creating another future of suffering for incoming generations. So,man is the creator of his or her future but God is only the perfect Judge that decides what happens in our future based on our personal and family spiritual and physical histories. Readers are welcome to contribute to this topic. God bless us in Jesus Name.

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