Can God bless Jamaica?
I said this some time ago and was met with a blast of condemnation; but I will say it again: God will not allow Jamaica to climb out of the pit of economic mess as long as it continues to shed blood the way it is doing. I believe, according to Holy Scripture, that economic success, coming from any human or other factor, is ultimately a blessing from God, who punishes sin and rewards righteousness.
The United States, the most economically powerful country on earth was founded by Christians on christian principles. It has succeeded for over two hundred years because it has sought to guard those principles. Now it is departing from them and is seeing its economy weaken. This isn't mere coincidence.
The 'murderousness' of Jamaica is having effect in two spheres: the material and the spiritual. In the material sphere a significant number of Jamaicans who have contributed to the economic life of the country, and who could guarantee its future are killed everyday; along with the very young, who are to grow up and invest in the future of the country. Business people are also murdered, their businesses close, people are put out of work, and the country suffers. This is a direct hindrance to economic progress.
Professor Anthony Clayton of the University of the West Indies, in a report prepared for the Ministry of National Security, called A New Approach: National Security Policy for Jamaica, said last year: "Other estimates suggest that the cost of crime to Jamaica may be significantly higher. For example, Ward et al (2009) estimated that the direct medical cost of injuries due to inter-personal violence accounted for nearly 12 per cent of Jamaica's total health expenditure in 2006, while productivity losses due to inter-personal violence-related injuries accounted for approximately 4 per cent of Jamaica's GDP. If the latter is added to the estimate of security costs by Francis et al, then the combined total is 7.1 per cent of Jamaica's GDP."
In the spiritual sphere, any nation that sheds blood as Jamaica is doing is under God's curse, either a curse of infliction or abandonment. Maybe this is why since the murderousness began to rise there has been a commensurate decline in the economy which no government has been able to halt or reverse.
In Holy Scripture, the first murder is that of Abel being killed by his brother Cain. When God called Cain to account for it he refused, and God pronounced this judgement upon him: "The voice of thy brothers blood cries out to me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive thy brothers blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth."(Gen. 4: 11-12, NKJV). Here not long after the dawn of creation, God curses a man for murdering his brother not only show His displeasure with murder, but to tell future generations of this displeasure and give them a guide to ensure His blessing.
There are three things to look at in this simple account. Innocent blood cries out for vengeance; the murderer who refuses to repent and atone for his sin is cursed; and the curse will bring misery and lack. Cain was condemned to a barren earth and vagabondage. Today his name is spoken with odium. Put that in Jamaica's case and you have this: the blood of multiplied thousands of innocent Jamaicans crying out to God for retribution. In April of this year the Jamaica Constabulary Force said that, over the past ten years, some 10,000 Jamaicans were murdered by the gun. Maybe just as many were murdered by other implements such as machetes and knives; so I'm not exaggerating.
Now put aside your specious horror at what I am saying and ask yourself, can God bless any nation as blood-soaked as Jamaica is? Go further and ask yourself, could the economic and social distress, which Jamaica is finding it impossible to escape, be tied to its rampant bloodletting?
Could it be that with all its rich natural resources, abundance of human talent, and the determination of many Jamaicans to forge ahead to success, blood guilt is causing God to withhold economic and social success, until Jamaica repents, even as He blesses other nations around her? Of course some of you will have none of this and will accuse me of unpatriotsim, especially since I am not living in the country to help it emerge from economic misery. But this you can't deny: God is displeased with bloodshed.
Is there national repentance in Jamaica for bloodshed? No. Instead there is determination to take bloodshed further with legalising abortion. Will God forgive this? Will He overlook all this bloodshed and bestow blessings on Jamaica? You be the judge.
Ewin James, a Jamaican, is a pastor and writer living in Florida.