Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What a Week!

Whew! So much has happened in South Africa in the past 10 days: The financial markets are like a rollercoaster; South Africa has a new President; and we have lost many of our national political leaders.

I believe it is important that we must not just accept the world as it happens around us: we need to question, and probe, and wonder what God’s opinion might be. So let me offer some of my own thoughts. I believe that much of what we have seen is fuelled by un-Godly motives:

1. South Africa has lost political leaders. No one ever thought that they were perfect, because they all had both strengths and weaknesses. What disturbs me is the way in which they left us. There is a spirit of vengeance in our country’s dominant political party. The determination to remove President Mbeki in a way that humiliated him can only be viewed as revenge by those who support Jacob Zuma. And no doubt many cabinet ministers felt the cold chill of this retribution too. This is not the way of God! Godly people do not put the knife into the back of a political comrade. Godly people can differ in opinion, but would always seek to respect the dignity of another person. “Vengeance in mine... says the Lord” (Romans 12:19) reminds us not to play God in another person’s life by exacting revenge.

2. We have seen lots of money change hands on the markets – banks have closed, building societies and banks have been bought out by the US Government, and many people have lost their work. This because of a combination of factors: people have taken loans that they cannot afford; the bonuses of many business leaders depend on companies profiting off people spending more than they have; and still to come is the crash of the credit card industry. We in South Africa are not immune to this. We want stuff that we cannot afford, and so buy on credit, and from house bonds, and from micro-lenders. We want immediate satisfaction and will not wait to get it. There is a name for this in the Bible: it is called “Greed”. Greed is not God’s way for our lives. We are to “put to death... greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5) Let us learn to live with less, and trust God for our needs.

Pray for our land – and our world - to learn and practice God’s values.

No comments: