Tuesday, 9 August 2011

London Riots - What can we learn?

A topic that has always interested me is the Omniscience of God. I used to wonder that, if God knew what would happen in the future, and if what would happen was really bad, why didn't He stop it? I feel that many would have these questions, and especially with all these London Riots and the damage they have caused to many lives, it is important we address it.

Psalm 139:16 says, Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. This verse clearly depicts the omniscient nature of God; He knows what has happened and He knows what the future holds. He knew that these London Riots would take place even before anyone had planned it. Then why did He let it happen?

God treats us as individuals, He has given us 'free-will' - He is our Father, we are His children, not robots, and we are responsible for every action we choose to take. We can choose what to do and how we want to act - we can choose to act in a mature way or in a very rowdy and violent manner. God wants to be a part of our lives everyday, He wants to be part of our decisions and each and every one of our actions, however, He is a gentleman - He does not force Himself or intrude. Revelation 3:20 says, Here I am! I stand at the door at knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. This is where constant prayer comes in, we need to let God be the center of our lives and evaluate every action before we do it, to see if its pleasing in God's eyes. Our world and our human race is 'fallen', therefore, sinful nature is in our blood, to overcome this strong force, we need God.

The Bible says that 'the fear of the Lord, is the beginning of wisdom'. What 'wisdom' is this referring to? Righteous Discernment. If our society and all these youngsters feared God, they would submit to His will being done, they would think before they act, they would care not only for public property but for all the lives they've been damaging. God allows certain things to happen for societies and people to learn a lesson, to bring about a greater purpose for His glory. We can't question Him, we've got to trust Him.

As history has time and again shown, violence is not the answer to anything. God hates violence; He is a God of love. He is also a God of justice. Like the Psalmist says, 'I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.'. 'Free-will' means that there are consequences for every action we take, God is not just going to watch His children suffer, those who trust in Him and cry out to Him will be heard.

David Cameron said, "When we see children as young as 13 looting and laughing, when we see the disgusting sight of an injured young man with people pretending to help him while they are robbing him, it is clear that there are things that are badly wrong in our society" - Yes, I agree, there are things that are wrong but what can we learn and now do about them?

- Develop the 'Fear of God' in our society
- Encourage patriotism in schools, homes and society itself
- Discipline children from an early age in homes and schools; remember 'Spare the rod and spoil the child'
- Give police more support, freedom and power, so that they are respected
- Re-think some laws that really exist to spoil the society and will lead to further detriment
- Get involved with near-by communities to help clean up - London Riot Clean Up
- Share the message of hope and love by sharing God's love and support to those afflicted
- Share the message of God's saving grace to those involved

There are plenty more ways we can get involved with, whatever we do, let us not be aloof! As Christians we have a duty towards our communities, and as our church secretary, Chola Mukanga, preached this Sunday from Obadiah on violence - 'God wants us to look at our responsibility not the size of the problem'

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