Who’s to blame?

Who’s to blame?

Reflections on the ravages of bushfires in our nation’s capital on January 18, 2003

Who’s to blame?

Reflections on the ravages of bushfires in Australia’s capital, Canberra, on January 18, 2003

One day it’s the indescribable … Saturday afternoon, January 18, 2003.Parts of our nation’s capital in flames.News commentators speaking of “holocaust”, “apocalypse”, “hell” – their way to describe the indescribable.

The next day it’s the inevitable … the blame-game in full swing.How could this monstrous inferno have been avoided?Who was to blame?

At times like this our natural reaction is to vent our anger on someone, some group.As if that will soothe our distressed minds!As if this will prevent such tragedies from ever occurring again!

But could it just be that we – not someone else, we as a nation – have all been players in this and the other recent natural disasters?Could it be that the God of goodness and love is the One who holds sway over all the forces and elements of the creation?And could it also be possible that He – intentionally – let those hot winds fan the flames into hellish fire storms to blow down on Canberra with such unstoppable intensity?

Unthinkable?Think again!God is not silent even if we may be deaf.He is speaking to us as a nation through the fires, the floods and the drought.

The Almighty is communicating this message: “So you want to have your ‘good life’ – to enjoy all My good gifts?But I notice that many hardly give even a second thought to My ways.It’s now time for you to take thought of what you are doing and where you’re heading.”

The Master of all nature’s forces, not “mother nature”, is speaking, but who’s listening?That’s the decisive question!

What could He be saying to us as a nation?Could it be that He’s calling us to account: “How long will you keep breaking My holy laws, trivialising the sanctity of human life, killing innocent babies in the womb, dishonouring the institution of marriage, living your dishonest, corrupt lives?How long will you keep imagining that I disinterestedly look away as you tolerate and practise your rebellious ways?I AM God, the Master of the world I created for My glory.Your land is My land.Mine is the prerogative to determine how you live in My world.If you desire My blessings, then seek to know Me and My ways.”

So then who are we going to blame for the destroyed homes, the ravaged futures, the broken lives caused by these recent bush fires?The prime minister or some other government official?The fire-fighters?Come on, get real!Playing the blame game leads us nowhere.

Instead of blaming someone else, isn’t it time for us as a nation to consider what God Himself may be saying to us through this awful catastrophe?Could it be that such catastrophes are His warning bells not to play with fire — the fire of God’s judgment — by playing around with His laws and commands?

But mercifully there’s more to God’s message than this strong word. With equal intensity and passion, He also wants us to hear this message: “Acknowledge Me as the living and true GOD.If you pay attention to My ways, I will show you My great lovingkindness and mercy.”

If we humble ourselves before Him, admitting honestly that we have turned our backs on Him and His commands, He will have mercy on us and order our affairs and the affairs of our nation for our good and for His honour and glory.

Prove Him and see for yourself.

Graham Roberts

January 30, 2003

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