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Devotion for 17 April - God Defend New Zealand

Kia Ora Cambridge Baptist and friends

It was heartening to see, after so many people in the news prior to COVID-19 having been calling for a change to our national anthem, that TV One did a news feature last week of a Porirua neighbourhood where people are coming out of their homes every night to sing the national anthem and wave New Zealand flags to show we are united in our fight against COVID-19.  Given the current situation its hard to image a more appropriate anthem than one that asks God to defend and protect our country from strife. If only as a nation we were truly God’s people.

For those who have been tuning into my blog regularly you will be aware that I have been going through God’s declaration in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that “if his people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”.  While we need to be careful not take God’s promises in the Old Testament and apply them wholesale to our lives today, particularly in light of the fact the people of God are no longer merely the Jewish, ethnic people of God, but people who believe In Jesus as the risen Messiah, namely the Church, and the church is not geographically situated only in Israel but the whole world,  I think the idea of nations and people groups taking these principles of humbling themselves in prayer, seeking God’s face and turning from their wicked ways, and asking for God’s protection would nevertheless move God to do amazing things - perhaps even stop the virus in its tracks.

However, I suspect that for our nation the thought of going back to obeying God’s degrees and commands, rejecting our love affair with materialism, and giving our praise and affection to God instead of sport and sensuality would be far worse that the  means to a cure.  I suspect if given the choice we would, and will, take our chances with the virus.

While as Christians its important for us to pray for God to protect the land and people we love, we must never lose sight of the fact that mankind’s unwillingness to acknowledge God and humble themselves, to turn from their wicked ways, and to seek God’s face is a far worse affliction and plague than any physical disease and virus.  Sometimes God doesn't curb the sickness of a broken creation because he wants to use it  to make people to turn to him.  As God’s people we need to be ready to embrace those who cry out to God at such times and show them the way to true healing and peace.

Prayer

Precious Lord, thank you for this wonderful country you have given us.  Lord our hearts are breaking for it at the moment and we all pray that you would protect it from strife, but Lord if anything would come from this evil we pray that it would be people turning on mass to you.

Amen

Jonathan 



 

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