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Scripture Memory: God’s Judgment
VERSE : Proverbs 14:34 
"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

4 August 2013
8 am & 1045 am Worship Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Cultivating Self-Control, 2 Pet 1:6, 1 Tim 4:7b-8, Luk 9:23,24)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Mathews Abraham (Jehovah Shammah: The LORD is There; Eze 48:35)

11 August 2013
8 am & 1045 am Worship Service:
Dn Lee Hock Chin (Cultivating Endurance, 2 Pet 1:6; Heb 11:27; 12:1,2)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Jehovah Tsidekenu: The LORD is Righteous; Jer 23:6)

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RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTS A NATION

While we celebrate our nation’s 48th birthday this week, may our hearts be filled with gratitude as we remember how God has blessed us. Despite the lack of natural resources and the wide diversity of its people, this nation has done well. Observers continue to marvel that Singapore exerts an economic and political influence in the world that is out of proportion to its size. God has blessed this island with all that was needed to make Singapore what it is today.

Hence, it is only right that we should give all glory and thanks to Him. Let us seek His blessings upon our land, and pray that He will guide our leaders as they make policies that will have an important impact on our nation’s future. How comforting it is to know that God has been ruling and overruling all the affairs of our nation. He has been at the helm, directing every event in our nation’s history – from its founding in 1819 to the time when it became a sovereign independent state in 1965.

God is the Supreme Ruler of all Nations

Every king and ruler in the world receives his right to rule from God alone, and must be subject to Him. Romans 13:1 tells us plainly that there is no power but of God and the "powers that be are ordained of God."This means that every government, regime and kingdom can only be in power because God grants it the right to exercise authority in this world for a limited time. "The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will." (Daniel 4:25).

No world empire, no matter how great or powerful, can last for long. The book of Daniel speaks of four great empires of antiquity: The Babylonian Empire lasted for only 67 years. The Medo-Persian Empire that replaced it lasted for 207 years. Then came the Greek empire through Alexander the Great and this lasted for 268 years. This in turn gave way to the Roman Empire which lasted for about 560 years.

None can stay in power longer than God permits. When He sees fit to change a nation’s leadership, He will replace it with another through various means. In recent weeks we saw how He changed the government of Egypt. 23 years ago we saw how He brought an end to the Soviet Union. The outcome of every war, revolution, and military coup is determined by Him, as is the result of every general or presidential election.

This then explains the rise and fall of every nation that this world has seen from the beginning of time until now. They all received their allotted time of glory in this world from God. Why did God not allow any of these world powers to remain forever? The answer for this can be found in the latter part of Proverbs 14:34 –"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people."

God is the Supreme Judge of all Nations

God takes notice of the sins of every nation in history. They are a reproach to the nation. And sin has been the cause of every nation’s downfall. As each nation grows and develops materially it gradually degenerates spiritually. There is complacency, pride, bribery and corruption. Prosperity brings affluence, materialism, sloth and decadence.

God beholds all these things and decides when each nation’s sins have made it ripe for judgment. Such judgment befell the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. These twin cities were thriving because of their excellent location in the very fertile and well-watered Jordan valley. But their prosperity made their citizens hedonistic and very decadent, to the point that sexual immorality and homosexual sins became their accepted way of life. God sent a huge cataclysmic destruction upon them. They have disappeared without a trace!

It is significant that when Abraham pleaded with God to rescue his righteous nephew from Sodom just before this awful judgment came, he said to Him, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25). Like Abraham, we must acknowledge that God is the supreme Judge of all the earth. When a nation’s sins have exceeded the limit that the supreme Judge has set, He has every right to bring an end to it.

In like manner, God brought an end to several other nations in Israel’s history. The Amalekites were destroyed because of their 500-year history of sinful aggression against Israel (1 Samuel 15:2,3; 2 Samuel 1:1). The Edomites were likewise judged because they had helped the enemies of Israel to destroy Jerusalem, although they were related to the Israelites. Edom’s death sentence can be found in the book of Obadiah.

The book of Nahum issues the death sentence on the city of Nineveh. This city had been spared from judgment when its inhabitants repented at the time of Jonah. But they returned to their old sins, and after 100 years they were ripe for God’s judgment. Nineveh was one of the largest cities of ancient times, large enough to accommodate 600,000 people. It was located on the eastern bank of the river Tigris and had been occupied from about 4,500 BC. But when the sins of the Ninevites brought God’s judgment, its destruction was so thorough that it literally disappeared. Its location remained a mystery for centuries until its site was discovered in 1842.

Such is the awful judgment that will befall all nations that refuse to heed God’s warning. As the Psalmist said in Psalm 107:33,34 – "He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein."

When you hear of such awful judgments of great nations in the past, does it make you wonder if it will happen to our own nation one day? If God were to judge our nation today will He find us ripe for judgment? Let it be our fervent prayer that this will not happen. We must take heed to His message in Proverbs 14:34 –"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people."

The verb "exalt" here means that the people’s condition in that nation is elevated. The prosperity and power of a nation therefore depend on its righteousness. By God’s grace, Singapore had been blessed with strong moral foundations. Good moral values have been emphasized in our education system. We have been enjoying a low crime rate all these years because of severe penalties imposed on lawbreakers (Romans 13:3-4). Until recently, our nation has enjoyed an unparalleled era of progress and prosperity. Doesn’t this show that the strength of our nation lies not only in good government alone, but in having strong moral foundations? Doesn’t it show that "righteousness exalteth a nation"?

Israel prospered greatly under the reign of King David because he was a righteous God-fearing king. Under his leadership, Israel enjoyed its greatest blessings: 2 Samuel 5:12 – "And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for His people Israel’s sake."

A more recent example is the British Empire. It reached its crowning glory and greatness during Queen Victoria’s reign. It was even said that, "The sun never sets on the British empire." Victoria was a god-fearing queen with a good administration. There were spiritual revivals in England during her long 64-year reign, which produced godly preachers and missionaries like Charles Spurgeon, George Muller, William Burns, David Livingstone, and Hudson Taylor. The godly legacy that has been left by the British Empire still abides with us till this day.

But that Empire no longer exists. This is probably due to the erosion of its moral foundations. British Christianity has declined tremendously within the past century, and the result of that is that churches are closing down. Three weeks ago the British parliament passed a law to legalise same-sex marriages. Although we can thank God that there are still a significant minority of faithful believers, the country has lost much of its once-great spiritual and moral strength.

It would be a very sad day if our own nation were to suffer a similar loss of spiritual and moral strength as Great Britain did. We need to watch the things that are happening in our own nation with some concern. This would include changes in attitudes to same-sex relationships, censorship standards, public entertainment and legalized gambling. Are not the high profile sex scandals of the past few years indicators of moral decline?

An unwise change in national policy with regard to moral issues may open the floodgates for a host of unwelcome trends. If a nation’s moral foundations are destroyed, can its future be a promising one? The Word of God in Proverbs 14:34 warns us that it cannot be. As God has already judged Sodom, Gomorrah, the Amorites, the Amalekites, and Edomites and the Ninevites, will Singapore one day become as one of them? Will God turn His face away from our nation and bring about a reversal of all the prosperity and progress we have enjoyed for so many years? We pray that this will not happen. Please pray fervently for our leaders and policymakers, that they will uphold the righteousness and sound moral foundations of the nation, and not allow anything to compromise them.

The question that may be asked then is, "What is the standard of righteousness for our nation?" Even though we live in a secular society, we who are Christians must ultimately take the Word of God as our standard of moral values. All arguments that may be adduced from human philosophy, psychology and sociology cannot be used to define what our moral foundations should be. Only the Word of God can accurately define for us what righteousness is, and what constitutes sound morality.

Finally, the righteousness that we should be declaring boldly to our nation is that of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:9). Our nation needs this righteousness. Let it be our prayer on this National Day, that we will have a new resolve to bring the righteousness of Christ to our beloved homeland, so that it will be a righteous nation, as sinners receive Him into their hearts and turn from their unrighteous ways. —Pastor

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1) Migrant Workers Outreach: There shall be a short break for 2 Sundays (4, 11 Aug). It resumes on 18 Aug. with English Class, helpers needed. For any enquiries, please call Bro Beng Hong (hp: 96230800) or Rev Khoo (hp: 98572574).

2) Infant Baptism on Anniversary Sunday, 20 Oct 13. Parents who intend to have their infants baptisedmust register by 1 Sep 13. Please call the Church Office (6594 9399) or email Yin Chan atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

3) Traffic wardens needed, between 10.15 to 10.45am and 12 to 12.20 pm each Sunday. If interested to serve, please contact Dn David Tan at 9667-9733 or email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet in Batam.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25