Don't look to man for help, turn to God

Monday, June 19, 2017

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Dear Editor,

Hear Jamaica, the Lord thy God is one. We must love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength, and our neighbour as ourselves. This is the command of the Lord to this nation.

But we have disobeyed the Lord our God, Creator of the universe and everything in it. He is holy, righteous and just and because He is, He cannot help but judge a nation who has violated His commands. Everything that we need to know about God — who He is, what He expects of His creation and how we must live — is set out in His inspired word, the Bible. However, because He is loving, merciful and compassionate He always warns a nation beforehand, “surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets,”(Amos 3:7), whose prerogative it is to warn the nation's people who are sinking into sin and degradation.

A parent punishes a child when he/she disobeys, so it is with God —He has to punish sin. For many years God has been speaking to our nation through storms, hurricanes, diverse diseases, pestilence and drought, but we have not turned to Him. We continue to look to successive governments for help. Now there is an upsurge in lawlessness and still we are looking to the police commissioner, et al, to solve our decaying moral problems.

These men can do so much with whatever resources they have. I say all of this to tell our prime minister, the honourable Andrew Holness, and my fellow Jamaicans that “the axe is already at the root of the tree” (Luke 3:9). Jamaica is under the divine judgement of God. If we fail to heed His call to repentance then we do so at our peril.

Repent means to turn from our sinful, wicked ways and return to the ways of God — to righteousness. “Return to me with all your hearts, with fasting and weeping and mourning (Joel 2:1)”; declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly, bring together the elders, gather the children... weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, spare your people, O Lord” (vv15-16). “I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me,” said God (Hosea 5:15). Misery denotes the judgement of God.

These were the charges God had against Israel at the time, and today they are the same for Jamaica. “There is unfaithfulness, there is no love, no acknowledgement of God in the land, only cursing, lying, murder, stealing, adultery. Bloodshed follows bloodshed. Because of this the land mourns, and all who live in it waste away. The beasts, birds and fish are dying.” (Hosea 4: 1- 3).

The people refused to heed the call to repent and the judgement of God came upon them. It was after they experienced God's judgement that they sought God's mercy and forgiveness: “Come on, let's return to the Lord, He has torn us to pieces. But He will heal us, He has injured us, but He will bandage our wounds. He will restore us in a very short time, He will heal us in a little while so that we may live in His presence. So let us acknowledge Him, let us seek to acknowledge the Lord. He will come to our rescue as certain as the appearance of the dawn.” (Hosea 6:1-3).

'Come on' signifies an urgency; they now recognised their disobedience and sought to make restitution. If as a nation we would truly repent and return to God, who alone can heal our spiritual sickness, then we will come to know Him intimately and experience His manifold blessings.

We want to be a people who recognise our sins against a holy, just and righteous God and repent before Him so that His judgement will not be unleashed on this land, but instead we will receive His blessings.

Loretta McNeil

St Catherine




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