Brexit Briefing 3 – Dr Clifford Hill: is God blessing Britain?

C Hill 163835Revd Dr Hill’s conclusion to this article in ProphecyTodayUK provides welcome encouragement to this blog’s daily reprinting of 2012 London Olympics 70 days’ ‘Keep Praying & Bless’:

What has happened to all the forecasts of doom and gloom that were heard in the run-up to the Referendum, predicting what would happen if Britain voted to leave the EU? George Osborne, who was then Chancellor of the Exchequer, even said that he would be forced to bring in an autumn budget with swingeing tax increases.

The Governor of the Bank of England hinted at a collapse of the British economy. The President of the IMF predicted dire consequences and even President Obama said that Britain would be last in the queue for trade deals with the USA. A whole army of world leaders conspired to scare the British people into voting to remain within the European Union.

Well, the British people demonstrated their independence! As an island people we have been used to standing alone. We have faced a hostile world many times in our history and we have not only survived but thrived. So what is happening today?

Certainly the pound has fallen in value which has affected British holidaymakers going overseas (although it has staged a partial revival in the past 24 hours), but apart from that there’s been little noticeable change. We have certainly not seen unemployment rising, house prices falling and the economy collapsing.

General Feel of Buoyancy

In fact, unemployment has fallen – at least the number of those claiming unemployment benefits has fallen. Share prices have risen and the market seems buoyant. Retail sales were up by 1.4% in July; house prices continued to rise; lots of tourists came taking advantage of the weaker pound. Even the weather was good through much of August and our Olympic athletes came home with pockets full of gold. So there’s been a general feel of buoyancy in the nation and hope for the future. The doom-mongers have been defeated – or so it would seem!

Most of the nation is slowly going back to work. The children will soon be going back to school. The MPs will be returning to Westminster. The ‘silly season’ for journalists will soon be over and the real issues in the nation will have to be faced. Of course, before we really get down to business we will have to live through the annual political circus of the ‘conference season’ and the media moguls can flex their muscles with the entertainment provided by the Corbyn/Smith contest in the Labour Party and the delights of division among their supporters.

No doubt unemployment will fall farther in the next few months as we recruit thousands of new employees into the Civil Service to deal with the complexities of disentangling our legal system from the European Union. We also need to recruit a small army of skilled trade negotiators and lawyers to deal with the trade arrangements and constitutional agreements in everything from leaving the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Market to dealing with immigration and the multitude of foreigners living in Britain and Britons living in Europe.

Time of Unprecedented Change

But what is the real situation in the nation? Apart from all the constitutional and commercial complications, what can be said about Britain’s health? No, I’m not talking about the NHS, or the junior doctors’ strike and waiting times for operations. I’m concerned about the cultural and spiritual health of the nation in a time of significant upheaval.
What we are facing as a nation is unprecedented. We don’t know where we’re going or what the future holds and we have never been in such a position before.

During the 20th Century our fathers and grandfathers reluctantly fought two world wars to preserve our independence, democracy and concept of civilisation. As a nation they did not want to go to war but they saw no alternative. They did not know the future or the outcome but even in the darkest days they had confidence that what they were doing was right and that in the end righteousness would prevail – it was a matter of faith. They believed in the God of the Bible, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and they took a stand upon the conviction that the hardships they were enduring would be justified by the outcome, because God blesses those who take a stand for moral and spiritual righteousness.

Today, the majority of the nation does not share that faith. Only 43.8% of the nation regard themselves as Christian and 48.5% say they are non-believers – they have no faith in any kind of supernatural being – they are alone in the universe.1

The big question Christians have to face is whether or not the strength of our faith is sufficient to carry the nation. We know that Abraham pleaded with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah and he was told that if he could find 10 righteous individuals God would spare the city. Jeremiah was told “Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find that one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city” (Jer 5:1). So clearly God does not wait for everyone in a city or nation to be righteous before he pours out his blessings.

Blessings for Faith

Is God blessing Britain today through the many thousands of Christians who prayed for a vote to leave the EU? They believed that God wanted Britain to separate from the un-godly and unrighteous institutions of the European Union and to find a new relationship with our European neighbours through which God would demonstrate the blessings of righteousness and faith.

The Prophet Malachi faced a similar situation in Israel when he was told that if the people put their trust in the Lord and behaved in righteousness, God would not only bless them, but use them to evangelise their neighbours. He said,“‘Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land, says the Lord Almighty'” (Mal 3:10-12).

If all those who prayed (and voted) for Brexit would now seek to live in right relationships with God and their neighbours, sharing their faith and concentrating their prayers upon seeking God’s blessing upon the nation, the promise given to Malachi could become true for Britain. The British people, who have long been a thorn in the flesh of the EU, would then become a blessing to Europe!

Continued in Will God’s Blessing Continue? >>

References

1 British Social Attitudes survey, published May 2016. See also coverage by The Guardian. The proportion declaring no religion peaked in 2009 at 51% and has since been falling, reports Inspire Magazine.

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[Published with permission of Frances Rabbitts, managing editor of ProphecyTodayUK]

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