Celebrating 55 years of God’s Grace Upon Our Nation!
Rev Tan Eng Boo
I am always reminded in Lamentations 3:22 that “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed.” So far during my lifetime, I have sung three national anthems. In the early 1950s, it was “God Save the Queen.” In the 1960s, it was “Malaysia NigaraKu”. Now, it is “Majulah Singapura.” Thank God, I never got to sing the Japanese National anthem “Kimigayo” when Singapore was under Japanese occupation during the Second World War. I remember my mother telling us that she sang five national anthems (including, “God Save the King”).
My brethren, do not take the blessings and peace in our nation for granted as we celebrate our nation’s 55th National Day on August 9. As you can see, it only takes the Coronavirus to bring great difficulties and trouble to our nation, not to mention if there is a conflict between nations or a racial or religious riot.
Perhaps the younger generation may not be able to resonate with what I am writing about because life has been good and comfortable in Singapore. But we can praise God for all that we have today, and I attribute it to God’s grace. If it had not been so, we would not be what we are today, a First World Nation! Thank God for the founding fathers of our nation who did a marvellous work. God gave us the best leaders to make our nation what it is today.
Reminding the younger generation
Do you recall that when Israel was in the Wilderness for 40 years, Moses had to remind a new generation of Israelites that it was of the Lord’s mercies that they were being led each step of the way. God was good to provide for them many blessings and yet they grumbled and showed their anger against Moses and the Lord (see Deuteronomy 29).
We must learn the lesson that when God showers His blessings upon our nation and we enjoy it, we must always be thankful to Him. We must not forget that the Lord is the one who has blessed us richly. Moses warned the Israelites:
“lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery . . . Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth’” (Deuteronomy 8:12-14, 17 (ESV), italicised for emphasis)
God forbids us to be proud people because of our wealth or intellect. Take heed of the Prophet Jeremiah’s words:
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24 (ESV))
Tough times ahead
During the occasion of our National Day next Sunday, we turn to the Lord with a grateful heart in praise to Him for what He has done for our nation. We thank God for our God-given government, too. We must pray for them. The world is not going to be trouble-free. Jesus reminded us that in the world we will have tribulation (John 16:33). We will see more trouble coming our way. Today it is the Coronavirus pandemic. What’s going to be next? Another pandemic? How serious will the recession be? Our economy has already been affected. Will we lose our job? We do not have an “iron rice bowl” (a job for life) today. This is a reminder that we must not take what we have for granted. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Be prepared to help one another
Paul tells us to “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 (ESV)). This is every act of compassion and self-sacrifice on behalf of our brethren so as to display the love of Christ and fulfilling the moral demands of His Law. In Galatians 6:10 (ESV) we are told to “… do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” “Love thine neighbour as thyself (Matthew 22:39) is what Jesus said. Be ready to standby and help our fellow believers and non-believers. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it” (Proverbs 3:27 (ESV)).
God bless Singapore. Majulah Singapura.