Summary: That’s not fair! (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Malachi chapter 2 verse 17 to chapter 3 verse 15.
Ill: A socialist once came to see Andrew Carnegie;
• Who was an American businessman, the founder of Carnegie Steel Company;
• Which later became U.S. Steel.
• A socialist once came to see Andrew Carnegie;
• And soon was railing against the injustice of Carnegie having so much money.
• In his view, wealth was meant to be divided equally.
• Carnegie asked his secretary for an assessment of everything he owned;
• And at the same time looked up the figures on world population.
• He did a little arithmetic on a pad;
• Then said to his secretary.
• “Give this gentleman l6 cents. That’s his share of my wealth.”
Those words ‘It’s not fair!” So easily fall from our lips;
• ill: According to Ann Landers,
• The average teenager uses the phrase “it’s not fair”, 86 times a day (ill: youth club).
• ill: This week I did a web search for this simple phrase: “when life is not fair.”
• The search yielded a staggering 97.2 million results.
THIS EVENING WE ARE LOOKING AT MALACHI CHAPTER 3:
• We are linking it up with the last verse of chapter 2.
• Where we read that God is tired of playing games with His people.
• He tells them:
• “You have wearied the Lord with your words…”
We think of the word ‘wearied’ as repetitious entreaties:
• Ill: Parents get weary when their young children are always asking for things;
• Can we have some sweets? Can we watch TV? Can we…….?
• As it turns out it is not so much the repetitiousness that bothered God;
• It was much more the nature of the complaint
• God was more offended by the content of their complaint;
• Than by their never-ending moaning.
God is offended that the people would accuse him of injustice.
• The Jewish people of Malachi's day were facing a problem;
• That many in the Old Testament wrestled with;
• Why does God allow rotten people to get away with doing evil and they even seem to prosper;
• While good people seemed to suffer most.
• They did of course think that they were ‘The good’ people;
• Despite all their faults and failings that are recorded in this short book of prophecy.
• What they are actually saying is; ‘We are good but are not getting rich, why?’
• ‘Where is the God of justice?’
“People who are out to find fault seldom find anything else”
• The Legend of Prince Llywelyn of Gwynedd;
• Who went away on a hunting trip.
• One morning he was ready to set off but his favourite Irish wolfhound;
• Named Gelert was nowhere to be seen.
• Although he was normally the keenest of all the hounds,
• His master blew his hunting-horn but he would not answer.
• So Llywelyn and his men decided to set off from the hunting-lodge without him,
• And they did not have their usual success.
• As evening fell, Llywelyn returned to the lodge while his servants stabled the horses.
• But when he came to the door, to his surprise it had been pushed partly open,
• Thinking at once about his young son who had been left in the cradle upstairs,
• He rushed up stairs to find him.
• But the sight that met his eyes was not the peaceful scene he had left there that morning;
• None of the maidservants were there,
• Everything was overturned or smashed or most ominous of all covered in blood.
• Then he saw the wooden cradle, lying on its side, empty;
• There were the bed-clothes in a bloody heap, and there was Gelert lying on the floor,
• His jaws covered in blood and wagging his tail.
• Llywelyn did not know why his dog had so betrayed him and attacked the baby boy;
• Maybe it was hunger or perhaps jealousy.
• At this moment in time, he did not care. Only revenge mattered,
• And drawing his sword he stabbed the hound in the heart.
• Gelert gave a low moan, but did not move;
• As he walked away from the hound, he noticed another animal lying still in the room.
• It was a wild wolf that had entered the house looking for food.
• Gelert had not killed the baby after all, just the intruding wolf.
• Prince Llwelyn had made decisions without having all the facts;
• And it led to disastrous results.
• He was just like the people of God in Malachi’s day!
• Who had made statements without having all the facts;
• With their limited understanding;