Summary: Isaiah 57:1 NIV The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.
Mourning for Haiti
On January 12, 2010, at 4:53 pm Eastern Standard Time Haiti was struck by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake, the country's most severe earthquake in over 200 years. The epicenter of the quake was just off the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, a city of 2 million.
Our world has been transfixed on the destruction and loss that Haiti has suffered and continues to suffer up to our present time.
This natural disaster has so shaken the world that our humanity and compassion toward one another has been reawakened.
Our modern technology has allowed us to receive the news of the disaster and respond to it with unheard of speed.
In just a few hours time the nations of the world began to deploy massive rescue and humanitarian missions.
The enormity of the destruction is such that as many as 200,000 lives may have been lost.
Our technology and science was unable to forecast this tragedy and there remain fears that more earthquakes are possible.
There have been more than 35 aftershocks recorded since the initial earthquake.
This morning I want us all to dwell on the aftershock and to pay our respects to those who have died.
Part of this great tragedy includes the fact that so many people have had to be buried in mass graves with no religious services being provided. No prayers, no hymns, no family members to grieve. Entire families have been lost whose names may be forgotten or much worse never discovered.
It is for this reason today that I ask all of you to join me in a time of remembrance for these many thousands.
Our bible reminds us that our God is a God of compassion not wanting any to perish.
2 Peter 3:9 NIV
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
But mankind is sinful and Gods word reminds us that:
Isaiah 53:6 NIV
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
There is no one today who grieves more for the dead of Haiti than Jesus Christ.
Haiti considers itself to be a Christian nation. It is predominately Roman Catholic about 85%. It is unique as a nation in that it is the only nation to be born out of a slave revolt.
In 1492 Christopher Columbus claimed Haiti for Spain and Catholicism was introduced to the indigenous people. The French and Spanish nations fought over Haiti during the 16th and 17th century and forced many of the inhabitants into slavery shipping them off to sugar cane and tobacco plantations. The Europeans took the gold but brought disease as well as slavery.
It was not until January 1804 that Haiti won its independence after initiating a resistance that had begun in 1791. The slaves of Haiti won their freedom with their own hands.
Since that time to this Haiti has suffered with bad government and with unwelcome intrusions by the United States, the British, the Germans and the French. It has continued to struggle and establish itself as a self sufficient democratic state to this day. It has been ruled by dictators, military rulers, and since 1987 has developed into a Parliamentary Republic with free elections.
It is the poorest and weakest nation state in the Western Hemisphere. Foreign aid makes up approximately 30â€“40% of the national government's budget. The largest donor is the United States followed by Canada. Most Haitians live on less than $2.00 a day and it is ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world. (Source Wikipedia)
It may be that the world has responded to Haiti out of pity since it is so impoverished. It may be that the world senses its responsibility to these poor Haitians as a result of years of guilt and neglect. It may be that technology has connected us so closely that the world can not ignore the televised pictures or avoid its responsibilities to the living and the dead. Whatever the motive for aiding Haiti it is now at the center of the worlds concern. It may be that God has used this tragedy to draw our attention to the tragic way that we have treated the poor and destitute.
Isaiah 57:1 NIV
The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.
The rich nations of the world have gleaned much of the worlds harvest at the expense of the poor.
Leviticus 19:10 NIV
Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.