Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 30th August 1998
From the Pastor: Three plus Four is not Seven I
"There are three things that will not be satisfied, four that will not say 'enough!' ..." Proverbs 30:15|
The famous American multi-millionaire Nelson Rockefeller was once asked in an
interview what he most desired in life. His answer was both sad and
astonishing: "Just a little more". Think of it: all his "jillions" and he was
still not satisfied!
This leads us to the surprising statement above. You will probably wonder if
the pastor has "lost his marbles"! However, despite all appearances, it is not
a statement about arithmetic but a reference to a set of observations on life
and nature at the end of the Book of Proverbs. The pattern "three ... four" is
the same as "six ... seven" earlier in Proverbs (6:16), and the same pattern
forms the structure of Amos 1 and 2. It has the same sort of force as an
expression we sometimes use: "For two pins I'd ... indeed, for three ... ",
that is, a climax or emphasis, a device which (in Proverbs) highlights the
following snapshots of men and nature. Over subsequent weeks we will explore
these observations according to the sage who wrote them.
The four examples which then follow in Proverbs 30:16 have one thing in
common: they are never satisfied. The cemetery never has enough bodies,
the barren womb will never be satisfied until it has a child, dry ground
will always absorb more water, and fire consumes whatever is fed to it.
Greed is denounced many times in Scripture, not least in the Lord's parable
of the Rich Fool (Luke 12), but here the lessons from nature ring the
climactic changes on the theme. Beware of greed; beware of addictions!
Once addicted to these vices they will leave you forever dissatisfied!
Those who frequent the tabaret or the casino testify that the message there
is "have just one more go; it might be the big one!" Pornography is likewise
an addiction: lust will always thirst for more, and the more degrading. So
those have likewise testified who have been rescued from this perversion.
We may not go that far, but we still need to ask whether we are merely dry
ground or consuming fires. To all the message is the same: in Christ alone is
there true satisfaction.
None other Name for me;
There's love, and life, and lasting joy,
Lord Jesus, found in Thee."