God has no favorites. That is such a comforting concept for people who grew up as nobody's favorite. The following Bible verses emphasize God's fairness:
- Romans 2:11 - The deeds that Jews and Gentiles did on earth will be judged fairly without favoritism (1).
- In Ephesians 6:9 believers are urged to treat their slaves well, as God is both the Master of the slave and the free (2).
- Colossians 3:25 assures us that He will repay everyone for the wrong they did (3).
- In 1 Peter 1:17 we are again assured that God will judge people impartially (4).
Let's look what happened to people in the Bible we might think were entitled to favoritism:
- Moses. He regularly spoke to God and had an intimate relationship with Him, yet he did not enter the Holy Land because he disobeyed God's command (5).
- King David. He was a man after God's heart, who sinned with Bathsheba, had her husband killed in battle and lost 4 sons as a consequence (6).
- The apostle Paul. He wrote most of the New Testament letters and had revelations from Jesus Himself, yet he suffered intensely because he persecuted the church (7).
- The judge Samson. He was a hero who won great victories over Israel's enemies, yet he did not get past God's legal system. His disobedience cost him his two eyes (8).
The reason God did not excuse the people He chose to do a special work for Him, is what I call God's legal system. He has to have a water tight legal system, because of His enemy, the devil. The latter was sentenced to eternal hell in the lake of burning sulphur to be tortured day and night for ever and ever, although the sentence only starts at the end of time (9). He would like to use any possible loophole to get that sentence annulled. If God favored any of the Bible characters we mentioned, or any other person, what would the devil say to God? He would ask, 'Why are they favored? Why don't your rules apply equally to everybody? Why can't I be excused from the consequences of my deeds?' God is obligated to be absolutely fair and honest.
God's legal system is sometimes a problem for believers. For example, a Christians steals a big sum of money. He asks forgiveness from God, and we accept that he is forgiven and can carry on with his life. Is that fair to those from whom he stole? Can the thief go free, but the person who was robbed must pay the full price of lack of finances? What about the atheist who lives a good life, and dies without Christ? Why can't he then appeal against his sentence of eternal hell, saying that he lived a good life, while the 'Christian' was a thief? In all fairness, he may. He has a valid argument. God in wisdom lets everyone reap what they sowed (10). God cannot allow any loophole in his legal system, since He is not going to argue with any person on the day of judgement. The book (the Bible with God's constitution) and the books of people's lives will be opened (11).
God's impartiality is a drawback for believers: do they believe the Scriptures and obey them, or are they very relaxed, trusting that God's mercy, forgiveness and love will save them from reaping what they sow? They are wrong. God gave the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures to teach His children to live sanctified lives. If He changes the rules for one person, He has to do it for everybody, and that includes the accuser, the devil. His name is not 'accuser' for nothing. It is his job to accuse the children of God before God day and night, with Jesus pleading their case. Implicit in that is that he will surely accuse God of being unfair, and that he also needs a pardon. That will never happen, and so God's righteous rule stands forever, and we had better ask the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Let us compare God's way of doing things with Allah's. Allah does favor some people.
- His attitude is that men are better than women: "The prophet said, 'Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?' The women said, 'Yes.' Then he said, 'This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind'" (12). God could never be so unfair to women, because that would give them the right to complain. They could ask God to change His legal system. If they had deficient minds they were not able to understand the Scriptures as well as men, so they were disadvantaged. God created men and women with intelligence and the ability to understand. God's judgements will be fair and righteous.
- Muslim men are allowed to have up to four wives (13), while Allah allowed Muhammad more wives (14). When he died he had nine living widows and women slaves did not count as wives, but could be used sexually.
There is an unbridgeable gap between God and Allah. God is setting up an eternal planet of peace, to which all people are invited. Nobody will be treated unfairly and nobody will have any reason to complain on the day of judgement. Allah favored Muhammad, men over women, and Muslims over the rest of people. It is for the reader to decide which 'legal' system he prefers.
1. Romans 2:11. 'God does not show favoritism.'
2. Efesians 6:9. 'Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.'
3. Colossians 3:25. 'Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.'
4. 1 Peter 1:17. 'Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.'
5. Deuteronomy 32:52. 'You broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites ...and ... you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. Therefore you will see the land only from a distance, you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.'
6. 2 Samuel 12:9-11. 'You struck down Uriah the Hittite with ...the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah ...to be your own.'
7. Acts 9:16. 'I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.'
8. Judges 16:21. 'Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison.'
9. Revelation 20:10. 'The devil ...was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur .... They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.'
10.Galations 6:7. 'Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.'
11.Revelation 20:12. 'I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.'
12.The Correct Books of Buhari, vol 1, bk 9, no 490, Narrated by Aisha, cited by M Gabriel, Jesus and Muhammad, Charisma House, 2004, p 168
13. Surah 4:3, Ibid, p 174
14. Surah 33:50, Ali translation, Ibid, p 181