Please allow me space in your paper to say thanks to God for sparing our lives for yet another year.
Although last year scientists predicted major hurricanes in the Caribbean, we are still alive to witness that God is a great God and will protect His children. Oh yes, Satan had his hands in the mighty deep, the land and the air to scare us several times, but we can rely on that same Jesus who was in the boat with his disciples when the storm raged and in a calm voice he spoke to the waters and said, ‘Peace, be still.’
Oh, fellow Caymanians, and strangers in our land, have faith and allow God to work wonders in our lives.
We have entered the New Year, and we can all look back on the mistakes we have made; we each have our own personal regrets, but we must not get stuck feeling fearful and discouraged.
My spirit is saddened since I read a few weeks ago of the deplorable removal of various instruments from the George Town SDA Church. Are we saying to the public, and to the entire world, that God’s property is not to be reverenced?
First, I would like to draw the intruder(s) attention to the fact that a church and its contents are dedicated to God and are Holy grounds and that they have violated God’s ordinances, which is a grave and serious offence. This incident is not against the Church alone, but against God Himself. Those items were dedicated to God to do His works.
To the person(s) who committed this crime, I would like to point them to Daniel Chapter 5, which contains the sad story of Belshazzar who took the sacred vessels of the temple in Jerusalem and used them to entertain his princes, his wives and his concubines. He became very drunk with wine from God’s sacred vessels, but then there appeared a hand, writing on his wall. Belshazzar became very sober: his countenance changed, he became so frightened that his joints and legs loosened, and his knees smote one against the other. He called in his astrologers and soothsayers, but they could not explain the writing: ‘Mene, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.’
People become unstable and semi-conscious after consuming an excess of liquor, some even fall asleep, but Belshazzar was instantly sobered by the Holy Spirit.
No matter how big and powerful we think we are, the Master of the Universe can and will awaken us to His attention. There is a day of reckoning for all our disrespect to God, our Creator.
Finally, it was suggested to the king that a man was in his kingdom in whom was the spirit of the holy gods. That man was the prophet Daniel, who gave this interpretation of the writing:
Mene: God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it.
Tekel: Thou art weighed in the balances and found wanting and thy kingdom has been divided and given unto others.
In other words, ‘your days are numbered’, and, in that very same night, Belshazzar was slain. That was the consequence of touching God’s ordained vessels. The power of God is consuming and sharper than a two-edged sword.
I would also like to mention II Samuel 6, Verse 6 and 7, there you will find the story of how King David made a new cart for the Ark of the Covenant and, on its way back to Israel, Uzzah took hold of the cart to steady it because the oxen had shook it and he thought it was about to fall. The Lord was angry with Uzzah and smote him there for his error. He died on the spot by the Ark.
When God says not to touch, not to steal, not to disobey, He means what He says and He is no respecter of persons. We pay for the consequences of defying the laws of God.
I have requested my church to add the name(s) of the perpetrator(s) to our prayer scroll, and I pray that they seek God’s forgiveness for their actions and that the Holy Spirit will visit them, in doing so, I pray that they will return the church’s property in due season.
Let us each strive to make our communities a safe and better place for each other, write this text in our hearts and minds to take with us wherever we go: ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land’ (11 Chronicles 7 Verse 14).
God is listening, please make the effort to contact Him, it will be rewarding to our spiritual journey.
Fellow Caymanians, our land needs healing. Let us not forget our heritage, our values and the way our forefathers led this country. They have left behind a legacy for us: one of hard work, honesty, and dedicated footprints in the sands of our three islands. I speak of the days in our history when it was an offence to even whistle when crossing a church. You want to be banished from the good old Sunday or Sabbath dinner? Make your parents look around and see you chewing gum at church, and even worse if a neighbour told them they saw you misbehaving. Many times I wonder what the punishment would be if a cell phone rang at a church service. Those people had respect, they ran this country with respect and clean promises, not money or greed.
We have strayed so far from the marks of our forefathers, but we must have hope – it is never too late to do better. Let us, by God’s help, in each of our small corners, step back a few paces in our history and teach our children a little love, respect, how to work hard and be honest. This is the first solution in healing our land: return to the blueprints of our foundation.
Yours for a safer community, for our generations to come,
Joan V. Barnes