Healing for a Burnt and Broken Land

February 22, 2020
Near Cudlee Creek, Adelaide Hills
J Curry - Near Cudlee Creek, Adelaide Hills Jan 2020

Australia has had an unprecedented season of prolonged and intense bushfires, described by many as Armageddon, causing devastation of human life, homes and livelihoods, forests and agriculture, wildlife, stock, crops and infrastructure.

I have just returned from the Adelaide Hills where one life and 86 houses were lost. Seeing houses and livelihoods reduced to ash and rubble by the random wiles of winds and spot fires, while another a few metres away is untouched, is sobering. The tireless and sacrificial work of volunteers, firefighters and emergency workers which saved thousands more lives and homes from the same fate must also be applauded. While it has been heartbreaking to see huge parts of our country devoured by walls of flame it is encouraging to see the generous response of the nation to this crisis.

While the leftists scream for climate change action, the right blame the lack of forest clearing allowing a spark to ignite a massive inferno. No doubt there is some truth on both sides but as Christians we are to seek answers from God’s Word, search out the spiritual reasons behind the obvious, learn His ways, then teach them to the nation (Matt 24:19).

Our first response must be compassion on those who have suffered such devastating loss and bring comfort and practical help in their sorrow. Jesus healed all who came to Him never accusing them of being responsible for their predicament. When the disciples asked if the blind man had sinned or his parents in John 9:1-3 to cause his blindness, Jesus replied ‘Neither’, but God had a greater plan. Likewise, when 18 people died when the tower of Siloam fell, he did not blame the victims but did call his disciples to repentance to secure their eternal destiny (Luke 13:1-5).

God’s heart desires to bring people to Himself for eternity and embrace us as individuals and as nations in His loving arms. Both Jews and Christians are called to be a light in the darkness. Are there lessons and principles we can learn from the Scriptures that can heal our land?

There is no doubt that God is good and He wants us to live under His blessing and not under the curse. For this reason He gave us His teachings. If we keep His commandments, we will have abundant life (Deut 27-28). Walking in God’s ways as individuals and as a nation gives us an umbrella of protection under His wings (Ps 91), but if we choose to turn our back on God and walk away from obeying His commandments, we are no longer under His shelter, but open to the fiery darts of the enemy.

There are several things that defile, pollute and bring a curse on the land, resulting in drought and destruction.


“Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them. Or the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you.” Deut 11:16-17

Everything we put ahead of God is idolatry and breaks the first commandment Jesus gave us to love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength (Lk 10:27). Where we spend our time, money and effort display where our hearts are. In addition, our land and even our churches have embraced ‘multiculturalism’ including foreign gods and accepted the lie that all gods are equal. Jesus said He was the [only] way and only He died for our sins and rose from the dead to intercede for us. There is salvation in no other name (Acts 4:12). The false teaching of relativism is an affront to the One who has paid such a high price for us. We must repent and lift the name of Jesus high above our nation.

Immorality – Sexual Sin

“But you are a harlot with many lovers; Yet you turn to Me,” declares the LORD… “you have polluted a land with your harlotry and with your wickedness.  “Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no spring rain. Yet you had a harlot’s forehead; You refused to be ashamed.” Jer 3:1-3

The level of pornography in our nation is appalling. Porn sites are some of the most visited websites in Australia, even ahead of news and supermarket sites. Because of the lust of the eyes and the flesh (I Jn 2:16), fornication and adultery are considered almost normal. Relationships, marriages and families are breaking apart everywhere, resulting in broken hearts and lives. Selfishness has led to sex at all costs and homosexuality being also accepted and legalised as equal to marriage, despite it being an abomination in God’s eyes (Lev 18:22). We need a revolution of purity in our nation.

Shedding Innocent Blood

“They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with the blood.” Ps 106:37-38

As a nation, many states have now passed laws allowing abortion up to full term and a couple have legalised euthanasia. By legalising the killing of the innocent in the womb we have opened a portal of death to come into our nation. Our land today is polluted with the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent babies who have been sacrificed on the altar in order to cover up the product of sexual sin or inconvenience. God hears the blood that cries out.

Broken Covenants

“The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.” Isaiah 24:5-6

When we transgress God’s covenants there are consequences. The church also has a responsibility to teach His laws and His ways to the nation and not be content with ‘every man doing what is right in his own eyes’ as happened in the book of Judges. The Lord warns us in Deuteronomy 28:22-24 that the curse will consume us if we do not obey His laws. We have to choose this day who we will serve (Josh 24:15).


“Seek in her [Jerusalem’s] open squares…If there is one who does justice, who seeks truth, then I will pardon her. But they refused to take correction…They have refused to repent… They have lied about the LORD and said, ‘…Misfortune will not come on us…“Because you have spoken this word, Behold, I am making My words in your mouth fire and this people wood, and it will consume them… ‘But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart… ‘They do not say in their heart, “Let us now fear the LORD our God, who gives rain in its season…” Jer 5:1,3, 12, 14, 23-24

God will not be mocked. Our choices have consequences for good or for evil. When an individual or a nation turns its back on God, He will graciously depart. We have pushed Him out of our schools, our law courts and our parliament. We cannot then blame Him when the consequences begin to play out in our nation. It is not God’s judgement, we only have ourselves to blame. The individuals affected are the victims not the cause of national offence. God is not an evil judge waiting to inflict punishment on the innocent, but on a national level, if we turn away from God, Satan has free reign to bring devastation.

Honouring God’s People and Land

“And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them.”
Zech 14:17

Another cause of a land not receiving rain is their stance towards Israel. If we do not honour God’s people, we risk having drought on our land. The church as a whole is so saturated with replacement theology, believing that God has finished with Israel and replaced her with the church, and has largely pushed Israel out of its thinking. This also needs repentance and a shift in mindset and action. For a country to be blessed, it needs to not curse (or ‘lightly esteem’) God’s people Israel.

“I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you I will curse.” Gen 12:3

God’s Promise

The good news is that God is gracious and when we repent and cry out to Him, He will answer. The responsibility is on the shoulders of His people to repent and pray on behalf of those who do not know Him, so He can heal our land.

“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and will heal their land.” I Chron 7:13-14

God is calling His people to Himself and we need to hear His voice in the storms, fires and floods. Living in obedience in the shadow of the Lord’s wings provides us with protection (Ps 91) but we need to heed His warning that rejecting Him brings a curse over our land, as Satan will come to steal, kill and destroy. Drought and devastation are evidence of the devil’s handiwork. When tragedies occur, people are more open to think of their eternal destiny. Being a Christian does not guarantee that we may not be caught up in such an event so we need to make sure our future is secure in Jesus now and take the opportunities God opens up to share the good news of John 3:16 with others. God wants to pour out His love, compassion, forgiveness and blessing as we turn to Him and seek His face, repent and pray. While Scripture is clear that rejection of God’s ways has bad consequences, and that we will all face our Maker one day to account for our lives, it is equally clear that victims of tragedy should not be blamed for their circumstances. We can all take great comfort in God’s promise Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.



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