I was watching the news on TV a few weeks ago when a story caught my attention. It featured a formal dinner celebration for pioneers who had worked several decades at a public sector department. The guest-of-honour at that dinner said that many would view Singapore’s current economic success as a miracle. He, however, felt that there was nothing supernatural about Singapore’s success, and that it was all down to the sheer hard work of its people.
This may be the worldview of many people, but as Christians our worldview must be different. After all, many people throughout the world are as diligent as we Singaporeans, if not more so. What makes us so special that we should enjoy peace and prosperity, where others do not? I believe it all boils down to God’s special favour on our little red dot that has led to the development of our country. But why would God do this?
1. God will use Singapore for His purposes
Without a doubt, God has a plan for Singapore. The Old Testament tells us that God used Egypt (Genesis 50:20) to save the ancient world and Jacob’s family from famine, the Assyrian Empire to chastise Israel (Isaiah 10:5) and the Persian Empire as His tool to deliver Israel (Isaiah 45:13). God also used the relative peace of the Roman Empire (Pax Romana) to spread His gospel. In the fullness of time, we may yet see what wonderful things He would use our nation for.
2. God will use His people here for His purposes
Only some 18% of Singaporeans are Christians, but God has His purposes for us here in Singapore. 1 Peter 2:9 reminds us – “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” Consider also Matthew 5:16 – “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” and Jeremiah 29:7 – “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
In short, we are to testify here about God’s grace and goodness, to be salt and light in society, to do good works and seek the welfare of our society.
In this the 50th year of Singapore’s independence, may we give God all the glory due His name; may we also seek and do His will.
By Dr David Loh (YCKC Bulletin 31 January & 1 February 2015)