Posts Tagged ‘murder’

Criminal Activity on the Increase during the Pandemic… But “Praise God His Child shall see Him where the Living Waters Flow”

September 2, 2020

In the last while on this small island of Ireland, we have seen murders, civil unrest, serious assaults and a big increase in robberies. One would imagine that individuals would have become more God-fearing during a pandemic but they really don’t seem to care about the fact that their short existence on this earth could be cut even shorter at any moment by either their own departure into eternity or the Lord’s return.

There is a certain town in Ireland, the name of which when quoted makes me feel almost depressed. In a sense it reminds me of Nineveh, the city which Jonah was reluctant to go to. However, if the Lord told me to go to this town, well of course I would obey His calling – but He would have to give me the courage and strength! This is an area where they hijack the delivery trucks of certain major supermarkets who deliver to many vulnerable people during the pandemic. Not only do they hijack them – but they set them on fire. This is also an area where it is possible to get shot for absolutely no logical reason.

In my own quiet rural area, someone who lives within walking distance of us got out of his comparatively new vehicle to open the gates to his home, when the criminal who had been watching him jumped into that vehicle and drove it away at top speed. I feel uneasy when I think that someone may be watching our movements, to see when they can break in! To be honest, though, our “movements” are so irregular these days and we don’t have a “routine,” as such and if criminals broke in they would most likely just trip over something (as I confess to not being the tidiest person on earth)… which brings me to thoughts on “justice.”

In this crazy society we live in, a robber may be able to take you to court if he injures himself while trying to rob your property. Riotous, drunken behaviour and civil unrest have also emerged in some areas. During a pandemic there are drug addicts who are unable to access their usual “fix” and drug suppliers have taken advantage of the unfortunates who are hooked on certain substances, charging them extortionate amounts of money. The devil, indeed, is a hard task master.

Certain politicians have said that continuing to keep pubs closed leads to “mental health issues” in those who generally spend time in such establishments. It has long been a known fact that Ireland is full of “functioning alcoholics” who would have led a better life if they had never had access to pubs – which have created mental health issues. Obtaining your alcohol from off licences is the obvious alternative but drinking at home can create even more problems…

All of this (and the threat of the onset of a virus in us or our loved ones’ lives) presents a bleak picture – but praise God He can set the prisoner free – free from his evil frame of mind, free from his addictions and glorious freedom to serve the One who died for them and ever lives for them.

At this time I have received through the post the wonderful testimony of someone who trusted the Lord to save him – and subsequently he miraculously never touched again the demon alcohol which had kept him enslaved for years. Praise God, He is able to deliver you from whatever it is that you feel that you cannot live without.

Whether you are a law-abiding citizen who has never behaved in a depraved manner or whether you have big problems either with addiction or criminal activity – the Lord is able to deliver you. Sometimes the church-going law-abiding citizen needs to see too, that they must be delivered from the notion that they can “work” their way to heaven.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2v8&9)

With rising cases in this present pandemic and a world steeped in sin, the horizon looks black and uncertain but the Lord Jesus Christ longs to set the prisoner free; those who have been saved by His grace can rejoice in the knowledge that a glorious Day awaits them… “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2Peter 3v13)

As the days of this old world sweep swiftly onwards let those who know Him be also mindful of the words of 2Peter 3v14… “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” I wrote the little verse “Where the living waters flow” a long time ago…

Where the Living Waters Flow

Whatever ills befall us

As we dwell here below,

Praise God His child shall see Him,

Where the living waters flow!

© E. Burke

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Revelation 22v1)

There Is Nothing Covered That Shall Not Be Revealed (Luke 12v2) Thoughts on the Murdered, “the Disappeared” and DNA

February 14, 2018


It was the following well known story in Genesis that recently led me to think about the above issues… Jacob sends his favourite son, Joseph, to find his brothers who are tending to the flocks. How resentful they are when they see that “coat of many colours” approaching them in the distance! Reuben, the eldest brother, thankfully stops them from murdering him but unfortunately seems unaware when they sell him instead (Gen. 37v29&30) We read how he was sold to some passing Ishmeelites and how they “killed a kid of the goats,” and dipped Joseph’s coat in its blood, so as to give their father the impression that Joseph had been devoured by some “evil beast.”

The story has a happy ending, thankfully, when Joseph is eventually promoted to a position of great authority in Egypt and is able to help his family when surrounding lands are ravaged by famine… and how wonderful that Jacob (or Israel as he is later named) has the joy of being reunited with his missing son and is with him for the last seventeen years of his life. (Genesis 47v28)

In Genesis 48v11, after Jacob meets Joseph’s sons we are reminded that God is able to do abundantly more than we ask or think! “And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.”

Still, he must have been heartbroken all those years ago when that coat was returned covered in blood. As a parent, I can completely understand how he must have felt and yet, in this case, all would be revealed and it really did turn out well in the end!

After reading this account in Genesis my train of thought immediately switched to terrible events in my own country and how the advent of DNA has been a major factor in the solving of crimes. In those days there may well have been some non- scientific method of telling the difference between human and animal blood but at the time Jacob sadly believed that the blood was Joseph’s.

There are many “firsts” in Genesis; from very creation itself, with the first man, the first woman, the first sin – and the first murder. Sadly our world has been the scene of perhaps billions of murders since Cain murdered Abel. Today, in my own small country murder is very common, including those tit-for-tat shootings between drug-dealing gangland factions. And there are still numerous missing people, presumed dead at this stage. I know of many young people who have disappeared all over Ireland, apparently without trace; books have been written profiling them all and the circumstances surrounding their disappearances. How heart-breaking for their loved ones and parents!

In the case of Joseph’s disappearance, all was revealed after famine struck and the brothers travelled for “corn in Egypt.” The Lord had protected Joseph from evil and worked all things together for good for everyone concerned. In the days in which we live, however, there are few happy endings where the disappeared are concerned. To discover the victim of a murder is horrendous enough but when someone has no idea where their loved one is after many years, is heart wrenching in itself. They cannot mourn properly and there is always that small glimmer of hope, which some have to the very end of their lives.

But “there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed!” In this life, crimes may be hidden from the forces of law and order – but the Lord knows exactly who is responsible for the disappearance of that young woman in Tullamore or the little boy who disappeared while walking back to his Dublin school in 1986, or that little girl who disappeared while on holidays in Portugal, or Ireland’s youngest and (longest) missing person, little Mary Boyle, who disappeared on March 18th 1977 and whose case is currently being investigated once more. And He also knows about who is responsible for “the disappeared” in the realm of Ireland’s political conflict.

I am so thankful that someday justice will be done when Jesus returns. “I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” (Ecclesiastes 3v17) A murderer may correctly believe that no one else on earth knows – but the Lord sees and knows everything in this world.  Meanwhile, in this the Day of Grace, whether your crime is great or small, there is forgiveness with God, if not with men.

In the case of Joseph and his family there was forgiveness with God and men. Eventually his brothers saw how the Lord had blessed Joseph and forgiveness was the order of the day between everyone concerned. “And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.” (Genesis 50v17) The Lord had given Joseph a love in his heart for his brothers, despite their treatment of him and so he forgave them and they also were reconciled to him and could see God’s hand in it all. He said to them: “Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.” (Genesis 50v21)

The Lord knows our hearts like no one else can ever do and His desire is for mankind to confess and admit their sinful state before Him and then to repent of it and let Him cleanse them from all unrighteousness.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1v9)

In Ireland there is no death penalty, the last person being executed here in 1954 – but many regions of the world still uphold the death penalty which is seen as a deterrent. Certainly, the manner of our death is something that anyone would naturally fear and the innocent have been wrongly hanged in the past. But Jesus said: “… fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10v28)

Praise God, there is a remedy for sin in this dark world “because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.” (1John 2v8)

The Lord Jesus said: “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” (John 12v46)

But time is running out, in this the Day of Grace and decision. I pray that, in these spiritually black and sinful days, men would see that “true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” (John 1v9) That Light that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and so many others who loved Him – saw, by faith.