Posted by: stpowen | March 22, 2013

What is Wrong with the British Economy?

Hosea 2:8. ‘For [Israel] did not know that it was I who gave her grain, new wine and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold- which they prepared for Baal. Therefore I will return and take away My grain in its time and My new wine in its season……..’

Amos 4:7. ‘”I….withheld rain from you, when there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city…….I blasted you with mildew and blight, when your gardens increased, your vineyards, your fig trees and your olive trees, the locust devoured them; yet you have not returned to me,” says the LORD.’

Haggai 1:5-6. ‘Now therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” Thus says the LORD of hosts; “Consider your ways!”’

It was budget day in Britain on Wednesday, and poor old George Osbourne, the Chancellor, had to stand up in Parliament and admit that all his confident predictions were wrong; the British economy is still stagnating, still failing to grow and still sliding deeper and deeper into debt. It is not the nature of politicians to admit easily to failure, but the facts are rather plain to see- the country’s in a real mess.

It is no purpose of this blog to judge economic policy, and in any case, Martin is by no means qualified to pontificate on the subject. What he does notice is that ever since David Cameron announced his plan to introduce same-sex ‘marriage,’ the Government has scarcely had one good day and nor has the country. The 2012 budget was described as an ‘omni-shambles,’ with the Chancellor announcing taxes on various products and then having to withdraw them in the face of public fury. The nationalized banks are still haemorrhaging money, inflation remains stubbornly above target, and the weather has switched with a strange rapidity from drought to flood with the result that the harvests have been decimated.

I can almost hear the raucous laughter from the secularist ‘intelligentsia’ as I suggest this, but is it not at least possible that it is God Himself who is blighting our land to lead us back to repentance? Consider the verses at the top of this post, and remember that Paul tells us that, ‘Whatever things were written before (ie. In the Old Testament) were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope’ (Rom. 15:4). God uses events, troubles and even disasters to turn sinners back to Him, as I myself can testify. The comfort that we can gain is that despite Britain’s appalling wickedness, it may be that God has not yet written us off and given us over to our sin as He did the Roman Empire (Rom. 1:18ff).
But will these economic and social woes turn people back to God? I do not know. We read that, ‘[Men] blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds’ (Rev. 16:11). It is the job of preachers to warn people that chastisement ignored inevitably leads to final judgement (eg. Prov. 1:23ff; Amos 4:11-12) and call them to repentance. It is the job of all God’s people to being praying constantly that God will have mercy on the land and turn many back to God. ‘The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD……For the LORD will not cast off forever, though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men’ (Lam 3:25-26, 31-33).

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Responses

  1. The church should really stop and take stock. The UK are like sheep without a shepherd. Those in religious authority only want to please all men alll of the time and Pastors and churches are so involved in naval gazing that there is no care for the people of our great land. We are not approaching the one who holds them in slavery and telling him that the Lord demands that he lets God’s people go. We evidently no longer care for the souls of the nations but are delighted to tear apart the character of the saints. It is time for the church to see the signs that you correctly point out and motivate with the glorious gospel of salvation. Somebody said that the world at its worst needs the churcch at her best. The best we can be is obedioient to the commands of the Lord and tell our people of the sin that so besets them.
    Thanks for a wonderful blog.
    Peter

  2. I think you have hit the nail on the head.
    Perhaps the prayer of Gods people should be judge us according to our sins, but please do not leave us to ourselves.
    Chastising is more merciful than leaving us in our sins.

  3. It is quite true that there is a stirring in the hearts of people for something more, something is that is no explained by natural means. People are so in need of Jesus, I pray that this blog will lead you to pray for the United kingdom as we seek Him and everything that is to follow.

  4. It is right to chastise error, but when do Christians encourge one another today? It seems to be the domain of the more charismatic groups. Those concerned with the purity of doctrine often are not as caring as their theology demands. I am reformed but concerned that I am too hard hearted.

  5. Peter, I agree Christians need to encourage one another. My point was that the nation, and many christians expects God to deliver them so they can continue more and more in their sins. They treat God as the spare wheel, rather than as the steering wheel.
    What the nation needs is for the Spirit to bring repentance to the nation, and especially to the church. That is not navel-gazing, but seeking to live honestly in this fallen world, and so showing forth the light of Jesus.

  6. Martin, I could not agree more. The church must honestly worship God in Spirit andf truth. Sadly much of what the church is about today is focussed on Christian satisfaction rather than obedience, that of course is sin and needs to be addressed but who will step up to the plate. Wew need to pray for sound but compassionate church leaders who will guide the wandering flock back to the green pastures of loving God with every ounce of our being and hence to crucify the sinful nature that demands fun over faithfulness. Hope your Sunday is blessed.
    Peter


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