A Brief Meditation for the Month

May 2020

During these recent months God has been addressing the nations throughout the world, reminding them of his power, but also calling this generation to repentance. While some here and there have taken seriously the voice of divine providence calling to us, the majority appear to be either oblivious to God speaking, or confident that our present problems will soon be solved, and we will return to normality. This being the case, we have reason to be concerned about what may happen in the future. Here in Australia, a sport worshipping nation, millions have been deprived of the chief source of their pleasure and entertainment, as one sporting event after another has been cancelled because of the coronavirus. Many have been the laments of those who have “no entertainment over the weekend.” Desperate efforts are in progress to restore some fixtures, to provide fans with television viewing of competitions and matches that they are presently prevented from attending. It seems that our modern society cannot survive without entertainment. Sport has become the great Australian idol. While we feel deeply for families and individuals presently shut up in flats or premises with little or no access to physical exercise, we cannot but mourn over the fact that so very few find time to acknowledge God or give consideration to what he is doing.

Centuries ago, in Old Testament times, a prophet of God, Hosea by name, received a solemn message from God concerning the people to whom he prophesied. God said, “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” Hosea 4:17. Ephraim was the name of a nation of people who had experienced God’s favour throughout their history and were privileged to have prophets sent to them with the word of God. On many occasions these prophets called the people to repentance for forsaking their God Jehovah and worshipping idol gods. Regardless of the offers of mercy if they would repent, these people refused to give up their idols. They were so attached and devoted to their idol gods that nothing could persuade them to part with them. This stubborn attitude so provoked God that he told the prophet to leave the people to themselves to trust in their idols. They were not to receive further warnings of judgements or rebukes for their folly. When they would find themselves in trouble, they could turn to their idols to help them and save them from any calamities they might encounter. The time of course would come when these people would be in great need and since they had turned away from God who could deliver them, they had no alternative but to look to the idols to whom they were so devotedly attached, who would prove to be useless as deliverers.

While the Bible, the gospel, and the worship of God, have been largely abandoned throughout this great nation, substituted by every form of sport and entertainment, God who has so richly blessed it is grieved by the widespread ingratitude. However many may hold other opinions, we firmly believe that the coronavirus has been divinely sent to sober the people of this nation, as indeed others, to turn their thoughts to God the Creator upon whom we all depend for life and sustenance. God in infinite mercy is calling Australia to repentance. If we refuse, we fear worse will come from his hand in justice. God has sent his Son to atone for sin and promises to forgive all who repent and put their faith in Christ to save them. God is just, but he is merciful to those who turn to him for forgiveness. Will we forsake our idols for Christ?

G. G. Hutton.