Is God Just?
OPENING: A magician working a cruise ship had recently purchased a parrot to be part of his act. However, the bird was not only clever but also annoying. It was constantly telling the audience how the magician accomplished each trick. For example, the bird would say to the audience, "He has the card in his pocket," or the "The card's up his sleeve," or "It went through the hole in his top hat." One day there was a huge explosion and the ship sank. The parrot and the magician, both dazed and bruised, found themselves together on a piece of wreckage. For 4 days the parrot stared at the magician. Finally, the parrot said, "OK, I give up. What did you do with the ship?"
APPLICATION: There are times in our in our lives when we look at the difficulties we face or the hardships we encounter and we are tempted to turn to God and say "OK God, I give up, what have you done with my life."
The Israelites, in the days of Nehemiah, were faced with a situation that would cause many of us to say that very thing. They were a people of a once great nation, but now they were enslaved to foreign powers. The land was poor. And, while these people had worked hard to build the city walls back up - Jerusalem was still much in ruins.
But notice, they turn and look to God and say:
1. God you were faithful, just and true
2. We did wrong
3. Please, have mercy on us.
I. This is not the world's way of responding to hardship.
The World often responds to life's difficulties by saying:
"I don't deserve this grief, this hardship, this loss. I deserve the good life, a long life, comfort and respect."
The World's response contrasts the difference between deserving and desiring what one receives in life.
Romans 3:23 tells us "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
And Romans 6:23 declares "The wages of sin is death."
If we got what we deserved in this life… none of us would survive.
ILLUSTRATION: The Worl ...
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