HA TIKVAH - THE HOPE A LAYMAN’S LOOK AT THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CRISIS DESIGNED TO INFORM PEOPLE INTERESTED IN CONTEMPORARY EVENTS WHY is it that not just our own economy but that of most nations of the world are in crisis? And why so suddenly? The author presents a very different viewpoint to what you may be hearing from the government or the media. Take a few minutes to check this out.
HOSEA 2v14-15 GOD IS OUR HOPE IN GOD WE TRUST ROMANS 8v24-25
IN THE LIGHT OF BIBLICAL TRUTH AND PROPHECY BEING FULFILLED
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A LAYMAN’S LOOK AT THE
CURRENT FINANCIAL CRISIS
DESIGNED TO INFORM PEOPLE INTERESTED IN CONTEMPORARY EVENTS
WHY is it that not just our own economy but that of most nations of the world are in crisis? And why so suddenly? The author presents a very different viewpoint to what you may be hearing from the government or the media. Take a few minutes to check this out.
THE LAW OF SOWING AND REAPING “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.”
The Bible: Hosea 8:7
This edition is devoted to this subject for obvious reasons. Ordinary people are worried about their finances, their homes, their mortgage, debt, pension, savings, stocks and shares, etc. The world seems to be in meltdown financially. Why is this? I am going to put forward some challenges as I set this article before you.
Nature teaches us that we reap what we sow. The seed sown into the ground will reap a harvest of the same in due season, under normal conditions suited for growth. I believe the principle of sowing and reaping applies as a universal law throughout creation, ranging from seed sown in the ground or chemical action and reaction to acts of kindness sown into people’s lives or the use of money for positive or negative purposes.
What we are witnessing is the principle of sowing and reaping in operation amongst the nations. We have sown greed and misuse of other people’s money, (OPM) or entered into unsustainable credit & debt deals, and now are reaping the folly of such activities. We reap what we sow.
My brother-in-law runs a finance company in the ‘City’ district of London. He reckons that a key reason for the world-wide recession as being the fact that we are now a ‘global village‘. I think by that he means what affects one nation can now quickly transfer to other nations since so many countries are linked up in some way, these days, especially financially. The development of internet banking, the supermarket chains and the gigantic multi-nationals also supports this. Finances to grant credit or to gain access to credit have been tapped from not only our own country’s resources, but from those of other countries, too. Banks of other nations have been useful banking points for companies and even government in Britain…the Icelandic Bank being a case in point.
My eldest brother is a retired research chemist and was also a higher management figure in a major British company. He puts the reason for such a universal downturn at root as due to loss of confidence. Both of these points of view have merit, and many others including the government and media are giving similar reasons for the problems we are facing.
However, I submit that there is a far more potent reason for this universal effect……the fact that there is a Creator to whom we must answer. God is in control of world events, not Man nor any devil, or world masters. The physical shaking of nations…e.g. climate change, unusual weather and events, unrest between nations…was forecast by the biblical prophet Haggai in the Old Testament of the Bible. This shaking was also recognised and re-iterated by the writer to the Hebrews in the New Testament portion of the Bible:
Haggai 2:6-7 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: '……I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations………”
The context is of the end days of society. This ’end times’ shaking has already begun.
Jesus Himself declared such events of shaking, so now I will refer to the words Jesus declared, taken from the Bible.
Note: When I refer to the Bible, it is as a source book, an original, inspired by God to be written by men as a ’workshop manual’ on how to live a full and satisfying life in relationship with the Creator. The major religions of the world all acknowledge its strength, and over the centuries, it has been recognised by governments and nations and individuals as a remarkable guide to living. It is far more than a historical book - it is living, inspired, a breath of fresh air. The prophecies declared in it have proved absolutely accurate. The laws of the Old Testament find new life in the New Testament, as the Spirit of God was poured out on man, enabling those who believe to live out the law of God in fullness and freedom. There is no law, for instance, against love!
Luke 21:8-11 "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away." Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”
Luke 21:25-26 "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. Luke 21:34-35 "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth“ (Also see Matthew 24:6-8)
The physical shaking of the nations by the hand of God - for ultimately He is the One who sustains all life and all creation - is now moving into an economic shaking, with the world’s economic system (‘Babylon’) now under the judgment of God because of mammon, the love of money, and greed. God is not mocked…we reap what we sow. Hence the current crisis.
Britain and the USA, apart from any other nations, are entering into recession as a result of displaying massive greed in so many economic and financial areas, not least the banks in the housing and mortgaging spheres. This has been most apparent in the dealings towards the poorer black American communities who have been granted unsustainable credit.
Add this to western society’s constant desire for gratification outside of God and His wise parameters for the conduct of life, and we see a society in turmoil. Social structures are crumbling as the law of sowing and reaping, cause and effect come into play. We are now reaping what we have sown in our desire for quick gratification. For instance, huge numbers of marriage breakdowns, broken homes (half of the children in GB today come from broken homes), youth crime and social disorder. Now the arising of economic recession could precipitate a meltdown in the social order. We need to face the truth that when a society or a nation rejects God and His requirements, it rejects His favour in granting a stable and blessed society. He is sovereign amongst the nations…He is God.
The following is a reminder to the nations that there is One to whom we must give an account, and to spur on the Church:
Hebrews 12:25-29 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? [At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken--that is, created things--so that what cannot be shaken may remain.} Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire.”
This is a time of SHAKING amongst the nations of the earth, in order to reveal the folly of putting our security in man, the world, and idols. It is in God’s strategy and timing for a redemptive purpose:
Haggai 2:6-9 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,' says the LORD Almighty.
To the ‘city’ of London, a world financial centre, the Bible reveals the reason for the current crisis:
Micah 6:9-14 Listen! The LORD is calling to the city--and to fear your name is wisdom-- "Heed the rod and the One who appointed it. Am I still to forget, O wicked house, your ill-gotten treasures and the short ephah, which is accursed?
Shall I acquit a man with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights? Her rich men are violent; her people are liars and their tongues speak deceitfully. Therefore, I have begun to destroy you, to ruin you because of your sins. You will eat but not be satisfied; your stomach will still be empty. You will store up but save nothing, because what you save I will give to the sword.
Similarly, the word to ’fat cats’, profiteers and greedy banks & institutions:
Micah 2:1-3 Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning's light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud a man of his home and a fellow-man of his inheritance. Therefore, the LORD says: "I am planning disaster against this people, from which you cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly, for it will be a time of calamity.
God still speaks….through the words of the book called the Bible which He inspired several authors to write and collate; by His Spirit, into the heart of man, and through nature, circumstances, events…….we just need eyes to see and ears to hear Him. God can be perceived in all these things and more!
Down through the ages God has communicated prophetically- through people - of His intentions, usually to encourage or to warn. The Church is meant to be a ’prophetic people’ amidst the nations, communicating something of God’s heart and activity in events and circumstances. God even chooses to give a ’prophetic word’ to individuals on occasion, usually in a context where many can witness or hear of that prophecy. Any true prophecy given will always be in line with biblical teaching.
Amos 3:7 Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.
I write this because in 1999 in the book, ’ Journal of the Unknown Prophet ‘, a prophetic word contained in it had said:
…..And so great terror shall strike at the heart of those who have ruled the nations by control and manipulation - by trade and by extortion - as they see their idols collapse before them. And so the great shaking and the judgements upon the Earth shall begin... They exchange the worship of Me, the Living God, for that of stocks and shares and gold and bonds - for the worship of oil and armaments. They have exchanged their souls for that which cannot save them. For so it is that as their life expires, all they have amassed in the high places of the Earth, all their idols shall stand silent.
We now know the one inspired to declare this to be Wendy Alec, co-founder of GOD TV together with her husband Rory. (This TV channel has mushroomed in the last few years and is readily accessed through Sky or found on the internet.)
Some of my associates and friends remember that some years ago - co-incidentally the year 1999 - I also received and published a prophecy about financial shaking. I declared it at the ‘Walk of 1000 Men’ national conference and prayer gathering.
I remember having a strong impression of something within me which needed to be spoken out, and that it was to do with finance. An extract from the prophecy is re-printed below. (Some parts related only to the 1000 Men conference so are excluded.) I must admit that at the time, I thought this was a warning in relation to the Year 2000, ‘Y2K’ anticipated computer disruption, but I soon found out I was wrong! However, years later, the prophecy begins to take on renewed significance. How relevant it seems now!
A great darkness is coming upon Britain and the Western nations. A darkness which I have authored. *
Long have I watched and grieved as your nations have exploited the poor and needy nations in your greed. Long have I seen your arrogance in creating your own gods, gods of mammon, self-indulgence and greed.
I have grieved deeply over your destruction of the little ones, those defenceless ones in the womb, and am angry at the way you now attempt to play 'god' in creating those in human likeness. For too long the peoples have shaken their fists at Me and defied My wrath. Have you not observed the shaking I have made in Eastern nations - the bringing down of kingdoms with a puff of My breath? Are you not aware of My judgments upon the immorality of the African nations? Do you not see the approaching storm?
Have you not observed My word being fulfilled that in the last days all nations shall surround Jerusalem and my beloved people Israel? Do you not perceive the days in which you live - days of great turmoil and days of preparation? These are the birth pangs of My Son's return.
The time has come to judge the systems of the West. You shall observe My wrath against the rebellious and the greedy. I am against these nations that have turned from Me. I am against their finances and their monetary systems. I will now arise and judge these false securities. I will bring them down to the dust.Your economy will be shaken and you will cry out, but those who turn to Me shall not be forsaken. I will provide manna in the wilderness, and indeed, after a season, will prosper those who rely on Me.
* The statement, ’a darkness which I have authored’ needs unpacking.
In the light of the current international banking crisis and the effect of this on our own nation, and London's financial centre, the 'City' district, the Bible explains that ultimately, God is in control of all things, be it in heaven, in the created heavens - the starry firmament - or on the earth….His place for Mankind. He forms or creates situations to deal with the folly we bring upon ourselves whereby we can learn the right thing to do:
Isaiah 45:7 “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.”
Isaiah 26:9 When Your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.
Jeremiah 25:32 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Look! Disaster is spreading from nation to nation; a mighty storm is rising from the ends of the earth."
Don’t let that give you the wrong understanding about the nature of God though. GOD IS GOOD! He is not vindictive and eager to judge and smite people, institutions or nations. His judgment, if the frequent warnings He gives go unheeded, is usually simply to allow the folly of man to catch up with him, or allow the enemy some measure of activity. (The Bible … and Jesus himself name the enemy as ‘the devil‘, or ‘Satan‘, which means the Accuser, the Opposer.)
In the New Testament portion of the Bible, the book of Romans and chapter 1 verses18-28 we find this phrase:
‘Therefore God gave them over…‘
It appears three times, each time following an increase of national and individual sin. God gives us over to the inevitable consequences of our own sin and rebellion against His order. We reap what we sow. But it is in this sense he creates a situation designed in the end to be a redemptive judgment, one whereby through repentance - a change of ways - restoration and hope can come into play. The consequences of sin cause society to re-think. Through people and organisations, through contemporary events and occurrences, God has been warning greedy nations, institutions and individuals for years of the consequences of going their own way.
Amos 3:6-8 When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it? Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. The lion has roared--who will not fear? The Sovereign Lord has spoken--who can but prophesy?
Let’s consider some ’signs’ He has set before our nation in the last 25 years:
The Bible teaches that, ‘Judgment begins in the house of the Lord‘, hence the first contemporary sign to the nation was when lightning struck York Minster in 1984, on the occasion of the installing of a Bishop of Durham (second only to the Archbishop of Canterbury) who denied the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Many commentators in the papers recognised this could be the hand of God revealing His displeasure, but the (then) Archbishop of Canterbury denied this to be so! Some recognised God was grieved at the way the nation and the church representing the nation were turning from belief and the honouring of His laws and ways, on which the main institutions and foundations for Britain’s national life had been based for centuries.
Following this sign, some in the church actively sought God, and a key prophetic word declared that the church nationally had three years to get its house in order…especially the Church of England, the official national state-endorsed church. This could have been a time of national intercession, repentance, and returning to the bible-based beliefs which were being eroded, the church calling the nation back to following the laws of God and godly way of life in the honour of God and His Son….. in what was supposed to be a ’Christian’ country.
However, no such repentance was forthcoming in both nation and national church. Three years later, a series of national tragedies occurred, the first being the sinking of the channel ferry, ’Herald of Free Enterprise’, the cause at root being the over-emphasis of the profit motive in the company, hence the hurried - and in this case negligent - turn around at ports, with the huge bow doors not being secured. God’s view on free enterprise?
Then the Hungerford massacre, revealing the effect of violent videos mixed with occultism. Then the hurricane which closed the City of London (including the Stock Exchange for the first time ever) and most of the South East of England - the richest part of Britain. Following this, the ‘Black Monday’ London Stock Exchange crash which affected the whole world’s stock exchanges. After this the King’s Cross Station fire and the M1 Motorway airline disaster. What a catalogue of disasters!
God is a good Father. He has to discipline in order to correct, because he loves His children. God was disciplining Britain at the time, and allowing these ‘signs’ by withdrawing His hand of protection upon the nation for a season, so that we reaped more directly the consequences of our own actions. But the warning signs, and their interpretation by those God raised up to comment on them, went unheeded by most in the nation and even many in the church.
Remember, The biblical book of Romans chapter 1v18-28 reveals to us what God does when a nation, a people, an individual chooses to ignore His warnings. This passage says and repeats, ‘He gave them over …’ basically meaning that God’s judgment is simply to allow us to go on in our folly until we come really unstuck! He will only intervene as we seek Him and ask for His intervention, with repentance. This can only happen as we begin to understand the truth of who He is and what we have done.
There was a bible verse which seemed to be highlighted to the Church in the Seventies:
2 Chronicles 7:14...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
God still waits for all the requirements to be fulfilled by His people, the Church, on behalf of the nation. Only now do we have signs of understanding, now that things have become so serious. I refer not only to the financial crisis, but to so much in the life of the nation.
There was a gathering of representatives of the Church at the London Stock Exchange on October 29th 2008 to pray before God on behalf of the nation, over the whole situation. This was repeated in many of the world’s stock exchanges. The Church represents the nations before the justice and the mercy of God‘s throne. May He respond to that outpouring of prayer to intervene in the life of the nation - and nations.
To give a better understanding of God’s point of view towards a society to which He has granted life and responsibility, we need to understand a little of sociology. There are five social institutions in the society and life of a nation by which its health can be measured. These are:
The Family, Education, Religion, Law and Government, & The Economy.
Family: Britain has suffered an unprecedented attack on the Family mainly through the laws we ourselves have passed, which has affected and influenced all the other four major social institutions. The pop culture of the 60’s, the gay manifesto, the increase of births outside marriage (only up to 5% of all births in1970, but in 2007, the rate was 50% of all births in the UK) have all bred a society of ’orphans’, children without fathers in their lives, who are now compensating for this lack by breeding the ‘gang’ culture. Not only do we have the problems of absentee fathers, but also of child poverty, obesity, truancy, teen pregnancy, sex slavery, and the lack of home discipline and of a stable nuclear family.
Education: Teachers have become disempowered to administer full discipline. Most schools lack male role models. Child abuse in some types of school has been exposed.
Religion: The immigration of the 1960s and onwards has birthed other religions and Christianity has become disfavoured in many respects. Compare the fact that in 1955 about 75% of children went to Sunday School to now, when there are very few Sunday schools left! State separation from the Christian religion is likely now, and the demand for equality of religions in Britain, with state funding for other religions and ideologies, e.g. Islam.
Law and Government: The anti-biblical laws passed in the last 30 years are stacked up. We have had little regard for our Christian heritage, on which the foundations of society and its government and administration have been built.
The laws of the land can hardly keep up with the changes in society…knife crime, gang crime, rape, drunk & disorderly, ‘dog eat dog’ in the business world, lack of local role models….
Economy: The gambling, greed and profiteering has reached epidemic proportions. Perhaps the Barings Bank crash of 1995 should have warned the city of the dangers of such activity. Did you know that the code of ethics for the city of London, the ‘Rules for the Conduct of Life‘, published in 1740 by the Lord Mayor of London for the square mile of the city, was built squarely on the word of God? The Bible’s ethical and moral principles for the operation of the commercial life of London were foundational. God was honoured. The word of a man was his bond. How the mighty have fallen! In the economy, banks are falling like a stack of cards! Communism has fallen, now it is the time for capitalism. The effects of greed and of immoral principles needs to be fully recognised. We are bearing the consequences now.
The economies of the West, and the foundations of Christianity in our day are being undermined in order to destroy their influence. The instability and lack of moral foundation resulting could be disastrous. Western civilisation is at a crossroads. But God wants to discipline the nations of the ’Christian West’ towards redemption and restoration. God wants to bless us, not curse us. He wants the Church to pray into being a new economic and spiritual reformation affecting the whole of society. Without it we will descend into decay.
But how can each of us be a reformer? How can we reform the arts, media, family, government, education, economic systems? The political parties within the United States and the United Nations are currently running on a platform of reform, as corruption is being exposed around the world and the citizens are shouting, “We are tired of being used!”
One leader in the United States said that it was because of the addiction to ‘OPM’ ( ‘other people’s money‘ ) that corruption has almost destroyed our economic systems.
Understand, God is the Creator, and He knows how to heal nations! Judgment can be averted and a blessing left behind with economic systems changed in such a way that will eradicate systemic corruption, so that we can eradicate systemic poverty. God wants to make a distinction between those submitted to Him at all levels of society, and those not. At the time of Joseph, ruling in Egypt, he was led of God to make provision for the nation in times of difficulty and shortage. He was so used because he was willing to honour God in his life and governmental position.
In terms of finance, God wants to prosper those making ethical investments, and companies operating out of Godly principles. He wants finances so created to be wisely invested. Have you ever considered submitting your income and investments to Him, as stewards who must give account? If one looks at the history of the 1929 stock market crash, although many suffered, there were those that gained great wealth because they knew what to do in difficult times. God can use such people for great purposes.
During this time of great economic shaking, God can lead you in what to do. He can give you an understanding of the times, and how to use it for good.
1 Chronicles. 12:32.……men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do…..
I have included here an extract from a prophecy given through a well-known figure from the American Church in September.
“.....if my people respond and fall on their face and cry out at this time with a mighty cry, I will hear them and heal their lands.”
“Hear, o nations of the earth! Respond with weeping and travail and pray for the stock markets and economic systems. Pray for your leaders as well for the earth is in the throes of a deep shaking at this moment, for the systems of the earth must be reformed.” “Do not despair and think that I cannot heal—that I will not hear your crying to Me from My throne in heaven. My ear is carefully listening for your sound so I will reverse the curse and bring a blessing upon your lands.”
The following is an extract from a prophecy given through a well known figure in the English church, received in September:
'…….A new global economy has begun and a financial era is over.……Don’t look to the US dollar. Their economy has stumbled and is falling. Don’t continue credit card debt. Be willing to wait on immediate gratification. I will assist those who have removed themselves from credit card debt with a grace of supply lines for the season ahead like Joseph. Enablement, favour, grace can be your portion where you will sow sacrificially, distribute with discernment, and cultivate a storehouse. The whole provision structure has changed….
Of course, prophecies are given through fallible human beings and are therefore less than fully accurate. However, when prophesies given in different countries about the same issue match up, they are at least worth giving some attention. The character of the person giving the prophecy is always to be considered.
‘TIKVAH’ - HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Despite the harsh realities we face, with God, nothing is impossible. That is why my own trust was called ‘Hatikvah Trust’ and my publications are under the banner of ‘HaTikvah’. There is always hope in God, THE Hope!
There is future hope for the city and the banking centres of London:
Jeremiah 32:13-17 "In their presence I gave Baruch these instructions: 'This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Take these documents, both the sealed and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time. For this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.'
"After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the LORD: "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.
In the biblical prophet Jeremiah’s time, after a national period of discipline and exile for the people of Israel, there was restoration, and their idolatry was removed. Jeremiah was enacting his confidence in God’s promise of restoration following a period of humbling. The same can be true for the city. There is also a message of hope and opportunity to the Church, and through the church to the nation:
Isaiah 54:1-3 "Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy……."Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.
The context of this passage is the hope being given to Israel of release from Babylonian slavery to return and rebuild Jerusalem. The nation’s barrenness would be changed into fertility and prosperity.
We in Britain need to be set free from the things that enslave us - avarice and greed, self-centredness and rebellion against God. As we honour God in society, and even humble ourselves to ask for His guidance and help, then we too can move from barrenness to fertility.
There are many in our society who are beginning to turn again to God for hope, as the younger generation grows up and perceives the failure of the get-rich-quick generation that has gone before. There are many who are fatherless, with an orphan spirit, many who do not know the way of the Lord, many who have no understanding of the hope and security which those in the Church do have. God is our Father!
There are unprecedented opportunities for explaining why this financial crash has occurred, to family, friends, neighbours, colleagues. We have turned from God to idols……..‘ the love of money is the root of all evil.’ The Church’s message is now highly relevant to society in its crisis…which is only in its early stages at present. People need to understand that the foundation of our society is rooted in the Word of God, and is based on Christian principles. I met with our local MP towards the end of November to examine this truth and to encourage him to apply it in a practical situation.
Can you now better understand what has happened in the last fifty years to so denigrate our society? The undermining and erosion of the 5 social institutions, five pillars of society, upon which civilised society rests? Furthermore, as we have rejected God, we have come away from His place of blessing as a nation. As a result, many of our national utilities and so many companies are now owned by foreigners. We are GB wholesale! We have sold ourselves to other nations and to their religions, which allows a foothold for their agendas in Britain.
A lack of respect for God has lead to a lack of respect for our fellow man, for government and authority, towards the monarchy, towards head of family, etc. The five pillars of society are tumbling down together. Amidst this chaos, the nation needs to hear again the requirements of God, which is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
William Wilberforce, himself a dedicated Christian, sets the pace, as we have recently remembered the 200th anniversary of his triumph, the repeal of the slave trade in Britain. People can make a difference!
How can we make a difference for family life in Britain? What example will you set to your children? Will you maintain your commitment to your spouse and offspring?
What about the economy? First of all, let’s ensure our own attitude towards money and finance is right. Generosity to the needy, refusing credit, living within your means, resisting greed can all be embraced. If you work in the financial sector, stand up and make a difference. Demonstrate righteous principles in your workplace. When you stand for what is right, God stands with you. You don’t have to lose your job! We need to engage in righteous business dealing and investment programmes, and repent of our greedy ways. We are now caught up in the law of sowing and reaping….reaping the folly of greed. We need to sow righteousness.
How about making a difference in education? There are all sorts of opportunities, such as clubs, lunch-time supplementary courses, homework clubs, talent competitions, assisting teachers, taking assemblies, helping on camp weeks or day visits, etc. As we serve local schools, we can allow the school to set the parameters to our ideas.
Law and order, and government issues can be addressed first by stopping the complaints to your local authorities or MP and by taking the opportunities presented by the local authority, getting to know councillors, becoming one, or maybe a parent governor at your child’s school. Then there are local consultation groups and community groups & networks.
Of course, you - the reader - cannot hope to address all these issues and needs, but maybe just one area? Let us not abdicate our responsibility. Currently, I am involved with three councillors from my own locality including the Chairman of the local council. Also I see our MP from time to time and have set up a support group for him and am able to keep in touch. Some of my friends are seeking appointments in places of responsibility and authority. We need to respect our leaders not undermine them. Remember the Queen and Royal Family, Government and Parliament, National Assemblies, Mayor of London, Local Authorities, those in authority in education, commerce and business, religion, family heads. How they need wisdom at this time! Let’s support them not criticise them.
What about ’religion’? Let’s stand up and be counted. This is a Christian nation, with over 50% of the populace claiming adherence to the Church…in some places 75%. The Christian faith is our heritage, with so much of the nation’s institutions and structures based on Christian principles. By ignoring this we are disrespecting our own national religion in favour of others. Other nations expect us to respect their national religion. And so we should expect the same of those joining or visiting our society. We should not be ashamed to unite in being a Christian nation. What is right and wrong according to God’s standards needs once again to be clearly defined in society. On a positive note, we have sown Christianity into the Empire and now are reaping an influx of true Christians into Britain, and many of their children raised here are also believers in Christ. How we need their positive and radiant style of Christianity.
A WIDER PERSPECTIVE: There are several biblical reasons for the state of Britain today. Jeremiah chapter 8 verse 7 and chapter 9v12 show that the nation of Israel did not know God’s requirements. This is true of Britain today. We have neglected or ignored God. We have been doing what seems right in our own eyes (The book of Judges 21v25). National Church leadership has failed God and Britain over decades by remaining quiet as to His requirements.
An example: As a nation we are guilty of the ‘shedding of innocent blood’ as the Bible puts it. At the time of King Manasseh of Judah (Judah being one of two main parts of the nation of Israel), child sacrifice was prevalent in society, which deeply grieved God. In due course, God judged the situation in Judah:
2 Kings 24:2-4 The LORD sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite RAIDERS against him. He sent them to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed by his servants the prophets. Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord's command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood….
How is this relevant to us? We too have shed the blood of the innocent in the womb through wide scale convenience or social abortion. Embryo experimentation similarly. The ‘raiders’ God has sent against Britain, a nation once renowned for her godly ways and laws, have been foreign nations who now own large amounts of our utilities and major industries and companies. We are no longer self sufficient, and could no longer defend ourselves in wartime…our hands are tied!
The New Testament book of Romans chapter 1,verses 18-28 reveals the wrath of God against mankind’s wickedness. Firstly in rejecting His authority and laws of life and conduct, and then in descending to increasing perversity. The concept of Creator, the sanctity of life, and accountability to ultimate authority and consequence, has been rejected in favour of Darwinism and humanism, deceiving us into believing that anything goes, that there is no accountability or consequence.
Romans 1:21-25 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised.
Notice how a consequence of rejecting God is to worship something other than God…because we are created to worship. For example, we worship consumer goods and go into debt to acquire them in our folly and greed. We idolise people (note the rise of the 'celebrity'), or performance...e.g. in sports, etc.
Society needs to be re-educated as to the requirements of God and the consequences of the rejection of His requirements in society. The law of sowing and reaping, a basic law of God and of life needs to be understood and applied rightly. For instance, we have said that lawlessness by God’s standards is legal, by changing so many of the foundational Christian laws of Britain in the last 50 years. We are now reaping a lawless society of violence and strife.
We have built an economic ’Tower of Babel’, a world system with no reference to God. The Old Testament book of Daniel chapters 2 & 7 will give greater insight to the four main civilisations which have dominated the world since Old Testament times, the fourth (Roman) continuing its influence and enjoying something of a renewal through the emerging united states of Europe, even to the present.
One result of the shaking of Communism was a greater freedom for people in all kinds of ways, including the freedom to worship God and know Jesus. The current shaking of Capitalism will no doubt have a similar effect for many, as their security is shaken, and many reach out to God for their security, as is meant to be.
The Church has so often said, in the words of the prophet….
Haggai 1:2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "These people say, 'The time has not yet come for the LORD'S house to be built.' "
The Church is guilty of disunity, preferring to build our own empires instead of standing together as a witness to God in society, though thankfully, this is beginning to change. We need to disseminate the truth of God’s requirements into society. Christians need to be mobilised to share the truth of God’s rule and law in society. We are to, ’Go into all the world and preach the Gospel’…the good news of who God is, His plan of salvation for every individual and for society.
The good news of the 'Gospel' in a nutshell is this:
God wants to reconcile each person He has created to Himself, through His son, Jesus, who became one in human form, to share the life of God with us and experience our lives Himself, as a human being. Each of us, as human beings, stand apart from God, separated by rebellion against His rule in our lives, an independence of spirit, wanting to do our own thing.
But Jesus lived perfectly…no rebellion against his Father in heaven….and then willingly gave his perfect life to God on a Roman cross. Death for Him because of our imperfect lives….out of love for each one of us. This ‘Divine Exchange’ means that each one of us can be accepted by God in His perfection, despite our rebellion and many flaws, God’s justice was satisfied in that someone’s life was given for what in all of us deserved death. Ultimately, death means eternal separation from God unless we choose to accept God’s plan for restoring us to Himself…being ’saved’ from the consequences of our actions. You can even turn to God right now and ask Him to make Himself known to you, and make known His requirements.
From God’s point of view, the current shaking of national and individual security, bringing people to the point of anguish and perplexity, to fear and apprehension in their lives, is a tool in His hand. It is designed to set them free to consider and reflect on the Gospel, to look at believers’ lives, their confidence, peace and provision, and as a result, to seek for God themselves, and to find Him!
Rather that someone finds the true meaning of life, and their true purpose in it, and a hope beyond death, through this great shaking process, than have an easy and quiet life with no meaning, no future hope, no purpose deep within…and no relationship with our Creator.
Finally….your financial future
You may be worried or anxious about the future, about the performance of your savings, pensions, investments, housing value. With the uncertainty in the financial and housing markets, the national and international scene seems gloomy. However, the Bible puts forward a different economy:
Matthew chapter 6:31-34 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.
A song I learned many years ago:
I do not know what lies ahead, the way I cannot see.
But One stands near to be my guide, He’ll show the way to me.
I know who holds the future, and He’ll guide me with His hand.
With God things don’t just happen, everything by Him is planned.
So as I face ‘tomorrow‘, with it’s problems large and small,
I’ll trust the God of miracles, give to Him my all.
May one result of the above analysis be that people from all walks of life begin to ’fear God’ in the sense of beginning to understand His ways, and His hatred of avarice and greed in people, and learning to respect His eternal laws for society.
DH First published in pamphlet form: November 2008