Summary: That’s not fair! (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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,