A prominent Aussie newspaper recently reported that Oz was “in the grip of an unprecedented bushfire crisis affecting three states with four killed in recent weeks” with 468 (now over 1,000) houses destroyed. The misery and heartache continues.
We regularly see on television a red-orange background of huge flames endlessly raging out of control. High temperatures, strong winds, sometimes inaccessible terrain and lightning strikes make control difficult and dangerous. Loss of human life, property destruction, livestock loss and untold wildlife devastation is the result.
Izzy at it again?
Under the journalist’s headline: “Bushfires, drought God’s punishment”, the article stated that champion international footballer and devout Christian, Israel Folau: who had his $4m Rugby Australia contract torn up over homophobic social media posts [not established in court, his $14m claim being settled by a substantial payout and written apology] preached that the timing of the bushfires was not a coincidence…
(Nationally should we be content that a man is stripped of his career solely because he exercised his right of free speech which others simply objected to? Would this have happened with a topic other than Christianity and the Bible?)
…They legalised same-sex marriage…which goes against the laws of God…Abortion - it’s OK now to murder and kill infants, unborn children - and they deem that to be OK.
How does God ‘speak’ to us?
Clear Biblical evidence states that He speaks to us when we are “moved” by the Holy Spirit, through Bible reading and prayer, through other people, nature, circumstance or health, over each of which He exercises benevolent control. He may even speak to us via someone’s text message or email.
We may have to live with the consequence(s) of our actions, but because of all ungodliness/godlessness throughout history (and in our place) Jesus has for all time and for the whole of humanity personally borne the full fury of God’s wrath. Whilst the benefit of His self-sacrifice is freely available for all it will only bless those who appropriate it to themselves by turning to Jesus during this life.
It’s true that: your wickedness will punish you…Consider then ‘and realise' how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of Me, declares the LORD…Have you not brought this on yourselves ‘by’ forsaking the LORD your God? (Jeremiah chapter 2 verses 19&17 in that order). Prosperous Australia turned its back on God long ago and walked away from Him. Is it now paying the price for that?
The action itself produces the consequence not God imposing punishment. Notwithstanding being our tender heavenly Father, sometimes He lets us ‘stew in our own juice’. Someone says: 'you made your bed now lie in it’ or ‘you did it now you deal with it’.
It is Biblically true (and within our own experience) that we reap what we sow (good or bad) and when we sow to please our sinful nature “from” that nature we reap destruction: consequence(s) from which we should learn. (Galatians chapter 6 verses 7/8).
People mock and sneer at Izzy that he’s a 'Bible bashing fruitcake’ who simply gets what he deserves and they ‘safely’ ignore him. And whilst journalism demands immediacy so as not to miss the moment nor the headline, instant thoughtless lampooning by knee-jerk reaction is not adult, honourable or wise.
We know that wars cause massive loss of innocent life and senseless mass-destruction of property because of corrupt decisions (sometimes proudly) made by politicians. Arguably Australia is guilty of wrongfully causing mischief by statute so are we now reaping “from” what we’ve sown?
Can a corrupt throne [government] be allied with You - one that brings on misery by its decrees? (Psalm 94 verse 20). The King James Version reads: Shall the throne of iniquity…frameth mischief by a law? - a law that has fundamentally and irreversibly replaced God’s plan for marriage since creation. And concerning abortion, the sanctity and preciousness of human life is profoundly a matter for holiness, righteousness, wonder and respect, being non-negotiable at His table.
Regarding the thinking of the worldly man (including politicians) that: ‘No-one sees me’, God says: Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself: ‘I am, and there is none besides me’ (Isaiah chapter 47 verse 10), for although: The fool says in his heart:‘There is no God’ (Psalm 14 verse 1), God knows otherwise!
God says such men: speak from the viewpoint of the world and the world listens to them. (1 John chapter 4 verse 5). So parliamentarians pass laws to please themselves and perhaps the majority.
What is God to do?
When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain… 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 forgive their sin and heal their land. (1 Chronicles chapter 7 verses 13/14).
Lamentably, Godless Australia does not seek Him, acknowledge Him, read His book or pray to Him, although honest well-intentioned Izzy has mistakenly blurred the distinction between the consequences of wrongful action and divine judgement.
So what’s He like?
God is not some severe judgemental heavenly policemen waiting to pounce on our every mis-step. Notwithstanding any unworthy thought, word or behaviour, those who turn to 'Jesus eternal’ freely receive eternal ‘Jesus protection’ that He alone gives against the wrath of God. Shockingly, those who don’t so turn die eternally unprotected - what the Bible calls the second death.
The spiritually-focused eye of the mature Christian sees what is unfolding whilst the majority of Oz blissfully ‘doze at the wheel’ wondering what’s happening.
(NOTE: these views are solely those of the writer, not to be attributed to anyone else nor any entity. I am indebted to Ps Rob Stuttle for some wise counsel.)
Gavin Lawrie is a retired Barrister and Solicitor from Tweed Heads NSW Australia and author of the book: 'THE EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION: Uncovering The Faulty Science Of Dawkins' Attack On Creationism'. He is married to Jan with two adult children and they are grandparents.
Gavin Lawrie's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/gavin-lawrie.html