Covid-19 Devotionals

Is the Armageddon Here?

One person commented on the third story below asking: “Is the Armageddon here in South Africa?” The first story is:

On Monday morning, a couple were attacked at the home in Little Falls, Roodepoort. According to police spokesperson Capt Balan Muthan, the incident happened between 6am and 8am. Muthan said the elderly couple opened the gate for people who pretended to be doing gardening work. The suspect attacked the couple with a blunt object. Muthan said the 83-year-old man was declared dead on the scene and his wife was left seriously injured. One arrest has been made, while a second suspect is still on the run.

The second story is:

Two people were killed and one seriously injured when robbers raided a house on an estate near Olifantsfontein, east of Pretoria, on Tuesday. According to a source, a man, his wife and daughter were shot during the attack. Emergency and security services were called to the scene just after 06:00. The man was allegedly shot in the head and the woman in her chest. According to the source, the woman was still alive when emergency services arrived on the scene. She apparently died a few minutes later. The man was already dead. The couple’s daughter, believed to be in her 20s, was shot in her thighs. She was taken to a nearby hospital by helicopter. The robbers climbed over the boundary wall of the estate to gain access to the house and allegedly stole a few electronic devices.

Two dead and one seriously injured for a television set, two Apple Macbooks and a laptop! Apparently this was at a “Fly Fishing Estate” where an unused gate that was chained was broken open.

The third story comes via The Record Newspaper’s Facebook account. They say that there was a shooting outside a Pretoria District Hospital (Forensic Department). Kilner Park Security’s spokeswoman said one person was shot dead and another taken to hospital. This excludes two police officers who were transported to hospital. About ten people were arrested. Police Intelligence were performing an operation, searching for a suspect who is involved in taxi violence. There is a warrant out for his arrest. This suspect was in a vehicle accompanied by another three vehicles. He escaped, but nine others were arrested with one being killed. Two of the nine are in hospital with gun wounds plus three officers were injured and are in hospital. An additional person was arrested at the site–he was carrying a licensed firearm but the ammunition was unlicensed. Four fire arms were taken for forensic examination.

Life seems to be so cheap … “to steal whatever I want, I kill or seriously injure people” … “if I can’t get my way, achieve revenge or settle scores with the process of justice, I shoot to kill” … that seems to be the way it’s done! One person said, “I was in the middle of this shootout.” Another said (as noted above), “Is the Armageddon here in South Africa?” As serious as all these incidents are, they are nothing compared to what the Bible’a “Armageddon” references. Armageddon refers to the Old Testament Plain of Megiddo. It was here that kings and their armies battled each other and it was there that weeping was evident in huge scale because of all the casualties of war. However, such brutality as in the three stories above is not excusable. As Christians, we cannot condone violence and murder under any conditions. It is clear that there are not only “Taxi Mafias”, but also organized gangs who are fearless and merciless in their attacks on homes killing innocent people. And let’s get this right, such thuggery is not from one side of the South African multitude of ethnicities. Such people come from every area of society … poor, middle class and wealthy; educated and uneducated; the unknown and the known. Do we live in crime infested societies? Yes! Are the law enforcement agencies losing the battle against crime? Before I say ‘yes’, let me say ‘it seems so’!

Do we need to live in fear? The answer to this question must be … If I am a Christian trusting Jesus for salvation and I die (however that might be), I’ll be in heaven. But then … I do have family and loved ones. So, when I step out of my property I never know what will come my way. How often have innocent people (and children) been hit by stray bullets? So, there is always an element of fear. Then, do I need to try every method of protecting my property, possessions and person? Naturally, the answer is a definite yes … though there is a ‘but’ … yes, but not at the expense of me using a weapon to defend … protect myself … because if I killed someone it will weigh on my conscience for life! Would bringing back the death penalty help as a deterrent to violent crime? This is a topic much discussed and many have pleaded with the government to “bring back the death penalty”. But does the Old Testament ‘eye for an eye’ apply as we live under grace? I am far too spiritually immature to debate this point! So, what is the real problem? Many will continue to blame the past (some blame must be here). Others will blame bad governance in the present (some blame must be here). Still others will blame state capture (some blame must be here). But … is that the real problem? No! The real problem is in the heart! You might not want to believe this. You might want to place blame on one or all three of the matters above … but can you argue with Jeremiah 17:9?

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Are you able to understand your own heart? Think of believers who harbor hatred, covetousness, malice, jealousy, revenge, unforgiveness, etc. … why do we have these sins multiplying in our hearts? What is the real solution? 1) Be certain of your own salvation. 2) Make certain your loved ones follow Jesus in spirit and truth. 3) Live the gospel. 4) Get the true Gospel out to anyone and everyone. 5) Pray that God will not only protect you, your loved ones and your society and enable to law agencies to act and work better … but also that He will sent a spiritual revival, bringing the South African church back to its main task of saving souls across the country … even the most hardened gangsters and mafias!

Dear God, thank You for this land that You have placed us in according to Your time and placing. We pray passionately for You to stretch out You hand of grace, mercy and protection to heal our hearts. Amen.

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