Matthew speaks! Can we hear his voice?

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY - Al Miller Al Miller is se­nior pas­tor, Fel­low­ship Taber­na­cle. Send feed­back to col­umns@glean­erjm.com or fel­low­shiptab@gmail.com

AS A na­tion, we must give thanks, as God in His mercy has spared us again. We must be care­ful not to fall in the trap of tak­ing it for granted or scoff at it.

Al­low me to lay a foun­da­tion for un­der­stand­ing. As there is a re­la­tion­ship be­tween spirit, soul and body, so there is be­tween hu­man be­hav­iour and its im­pact in the phys­i­cal world cre­ated by God and which obeys His laws for oper­a­tion.

Let it not be lost on us that there is en­ergy that is emit­ted from hu­man be­hav­iour, which af­fects the phys­i­cal earth’s en­vi­ron­ment, pos­i­tively or neg­a­tively. Evil and wicked­ness have a neg­a­tive im­pact which, when it is sus­tained and built up, causes at­mo­spheric and di­vine dis­quiet that of­ten be­comes judge­ment on a peo­ple, or ‘acts of na­ture’ as it re­ferred to by many.

The Bi­ble records in Ge­n­e­sis 3:18 that when orig­i­nal man sinned, thorns and this­tles sprang up as a direct con­se­quence. It is here that we first see the prin­ci­ple that when a peo­ple re­pent (change their think­ing and be­hav­iour) and turn from un­righ­teous, neg­a­tive be­hav­iour to whole­some, pos­i­tive ac­tion, there is a pos­i­tive turn of events; such as the re­cent mirac­u­lous and in­ex­pli­ca­ble act of a hur­ri­cane by­pass­ing an is­land. This is ev­i­dence of God’s bless­ings (hap­pi­ness), mercy (pity) and grace (un­de­served favour) of God to­wards them.

As a na­tion, we must re­alise that we are over­due for nat­u­ral judge­ment from an act of God, be­cause of our sus­tained evil and wicked­ness. The in­creased mur­der and wors­en­ing so­cial ills from our at­ti­tudes and be­hav­iour are caus­ing th­ese things to come on us. A few thou­sand years ago, a spe­cial na­tion just like ours found them­selves in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion and a preacher of that time ex­plained to them that: Your own con­duct and ac­tions have brought this on you. This is your pun­ish­ment. How bit­ter it is! How it pierces to the heart! (Jeremiah 4:18).

Our nat­u­ral judge­ment keeps be­ing de­layed or turned away, be­cause of the con­stant cries for mercy of the peo­ple of God through the power of ef­fec­tive prayer. Prayer is part of God’s di­vine sys­tem that brings di­vine in­ter­ven­tion to change the nat­u­ral evil cour­ses of man’s dis­obe­di­ence. This is why prayers work.

RE­STORED TO THE SHORES

How­ever, there comes a time when God will no longer heed the cries for mercy but will in­stead al­low the ef­fect of the laws of judge­ment to take its nat­u­ral course. Matthew, if left to its nat­u­ral course, would have dev­as­tated us be­cause, de­spite the many warn­ings over the years, we are get­ting worse rather than bet­ter, hence the in­creased in­ten­sity of the hur­ri­cane warn­ings. Chris­tians again cried out to God for mercy as the econ­omy can­not take the bat­ter­ing at this time and the suf­fer­ing would have been too great on the poor and most vul­ner­a­ble.

For those who be­lieve in the power of prayer, we all can say that is good and God is good! How­ever, it can also be bad! For if un­be­liev­ers do not take heed to the warn­ing and God’s be­liev­ers get slack or ir­res­o­lute in their right­eous life or prayer life, the next level of the law of judge­ment will trip in and strike with­out warn­ing and with greater dev­as­ta­tion. The scep­tics and un­be­liev­ing can speak their doubt, but thank God, they are in the mi­nor­ity.

So I there­fore call on the ma­jor­ity of our ci­ti­zens who are God-fear­ing to heed this fi­nal warn­ing, con­sider our ways and deal with our neg­a­tive be­hav­iour to­wards each other (cor­rup­tion, greed, mur­der, abuse in its var­i­ous forms, self-cen­tred life­style and im­moral acts).

I call on the Gov­ern­ment to deal with the in­jus­tice, op­pres­sion of the poor, the in­equal­i­ties and the gen­eral in­dis­ci­pline and dis­or­der in the so­ci­ety. Make jus­tice and fair­ness a pri­or­ity fo­cus. Reg­u­late and fa­cil­i­tate so that the few can­not con­tinue to gob­ble up ev­ery­thing to the ne­glect and detri­ment of the many. God will al­ways judge in­jus­tice.

I call on the Church to take its re­spon­si­bil­ity and get out of the four walls, get in the com­mu­ni­ties, serve, warn and teach the peo­ple so that the awe, good­ness and love of God can be re­stored to the shores of our na­tion. We have only a nar­row win­dow in which to act. Matthew was a warn­ing and a sign to our na­tion.

This is our coun­try so let’s not take the warn­ing lightly. We are in a new sea­son, poised for bless­ing, growth and pros­per­ity, if we do what is right and do it NOW.

Let us all, for the love of God and coun­try, ACT NOW!

As a na­tion, we must re­alise that we are over­due for nat­u­ral judge­ment from an act of God, be­cause of our sus­tained evil and wicked­ness.

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