Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Would you return Home? The State of Malaysia

I think when things are going well it is easy to feel patriotic and beam with national pride. Just imagine that if Singapore faces political and economic turmoil like what Malaysia is currently undergoing, would you return to Singapore and help your nation rise above the lawlessness, hopelessness and chaos? It is exactly how I felt when I returned to Malaysia October last year. I had no ministry position at that time and my future was still very much uncertain despite waiting for 6 or 7 months. I had burnt all my bridges with Singapore saved my 300 books loaned to a Singaporean Seminary and a bank account to pay for my taxes for Assessment 2015. It was a monumental journey, just past 50th year, my Golden Jubilee. In fact I went back and forth Singapore and Sabah three times in June, July and Sept 2014 before making the final journey "home" in October. The Jacob story spoke to me most. It was like Jacob uprooting himself and family to return to his homeland after a time sojourning in a foreign land. Like Jacob, his relative mistreated him and his wages changed 10 times despite God being with Jacob and even his employer-uncle, Laban acknowledged that. When I reflect on the Malaysian state of affairs, I came across several passages in the Bible which I felt relevant for Malaysian Christians.
First, the Matthean passage in chapter 3 where Jesus is seen to fulfill Isaianic prophecy "the land has seen a great light." In the land of the shadow of death, in the midst of Gentiles (multi-racial), Galilee of the Gentiles a light has shone. Malaysia may be facing dark days and it gets gloomier by the day but as a church, we will rise and shine in our multi-racial country. Let you light shine that they may see your good works and glorify Your Father in heaven. Second, it is in the Daniel 9-11 chapters. Daniel mourned for 21 days for Israel and interceded for Israel's repentance and return to Yahweh. We also need to intercede for Malaysia as never before for Malaysia to return to law-abiding and clean paths so that all citizens will have a place under the sun. In the midst of a great conflict in heaven where two great powers (ram & goat) fought for supremacy (Dan 10-11), the people of God, the righteous poor mashkilim are caught in the middle but Daniel says that those who know their God will do exploits. It is in times such as these Christian do exploits in spite of persecution and hardships. All these sufferings are meant to purify and test our faith and resolve. Thirdly, in the Isaiah 59-60 chapters where Isaiah 59 castigated the leaders of the land for being corrupt and godless and in the midst of such gloom, the promise of light shines through in Isaiah 60 "Arise and shine for Your light has come." Further, the blessings of the nations will flow to Israel and I believe the blessings of the nations will flow to Sabah. It was a word of the Lord when the earthquake happened in Ranau that the Lord spoke from Haggai, "I will shake all the nations.. and the wealth of the nations will come to you and I will fill this temple with glory..." (Hag 2:6-7).

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