For about a year now the Government of Malawi is operating on a Zero deficit budget. This is a situation where western donor nations have decided to withdraw their yearly budgetary support and instead they are indirectly providing their support through civil societies and other agencies.
There has been a shift in budgetary support due to the financial mismanagement in government which manifested itself through the so called “Cash-Gate” where huge sum of money got siphoned and stolen from the government coffer.
The effects of donor aid shift have a long lasting negative impact which currently explains of a nation in economic pain. Now what is God doing in this economic crisis? What has gone wrong that we experience this tough economic turmoil in Malawi? In this brief write up, I would like to show that although God is loving, he is also a God who punishes his people out of love if they disobey him. I will also show why Malawi is in this deep economic turmoil today.
Hardships are vehicles to success and victories
That in Malawi people are suffering is not a joke but a real thing. Driving across the country you see hundreds of people in searching and looking for staple food to feed their families. Despite all what is said by politicians, the reality on the ground is that the food situation is not good. Now hardships like these are of different forms and they are the vehicles that in both the bible and ordinary life have been used by God to push people to high levels of promotion.
In life people go through financial, political, profession and spiritual problems to just mention a few. These problems are the vehicle that God use to promote people, communities and nations. God’s children stayed for 40 solid years in the wilderness and some died on the way while others made it through. It was in the wilderness through hardship that a nation of Israel was born and sustained to become the Israel we have today.
So with the current economic challenge in Malawi, the underlining thing is that out of this problem there is something that God is cooking and preparing Malawi to become economically independent.
However the journey to economic independence cannot come free but a nation has to go through some painful economic pruning. We are all aware that what we have is political independence which doesn’t make sense at all without true economic freedom. So as a nation goes through this economic pruning, we must know that this has to happen if we are to be a truly dignified nation.
No hardship stays forever
It is a fact that any problem we go through as individuals or nation has expiry date. No problem or hardship stays forever. It does not matter how long it may be, but there is always a time when a problem has to come to an end. For example, although the nation of Israel stayed for more than 400 years in oppression in Egypt, the day came when their captivity came to an end.
On the same, though they wondered in the wilderness for 40 years, the day came when their wilderness wondering came to an end and went to occupy the land. The principle is that you do not wonder in the wilderness forever. Also though they stayed for 70 years in Babylonian oppression, one day they were set free and the sun of freedom rose upon them.
In additional, although our grandparents stayed for 73 years under the British oppressive colonialism, in 1964 freedom came upon the land. After 30 years of dictatorship, 1993 marked the end of the one party oppressive regime in Malawi.
Now the man-made problems in this democratic dispensation will also come to an end soon. Was it not during the Bakili Muluzi UDF rule in 2002 that hunger and famine hit the nation? Although that famine hit the nation but it only was for a while. We therefore can be assured that hardship and problems are not here to stay.
Disobedience to God leads to more hardships
The one nature and character of God is that he punishes sin and any form of disobedience. God punish the nation of Israel in many different ways each time they disobeyed him. For instance he sent them into exile or handed them over to weaker enemies to punish and humiliate them.
Now God has not changed because he is still able to take similar actions each time we as a people and nation disobeys him. We must know that as a principle, consequences follows any action we take in life be it good or bad.
In Malawi there have been moments when as a nation we have sinned against God and results of such are seen through the many calamities we see around us. What do we expect those who were suppose to protect the nation from wickedness pretend as if its all well? What do we expect God to do when abomination and wickedness becomes part of the daily things for people in a country?
What do we expect heaven to do if our leaders can not protect the nation to become another Sodom or Gomorrah? The bible says that if those of us keep on being silent on such matter then God will raise stones to deal with such matters. If those that God has entrusted with power can not stand up and do the right thing against sin then we must know that its just a matter of time before the nation is sent into exile.
Economic crisis is the nation’s economic exile
The obvious truth about today’s Malawi’s economic crisis is that all these have come about because of wickedness. God has sent this nation into economic exile where due to wickedness and sin we must suffer and later come back to God in repentance.
If God sent Israel into exile and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah then what do we think we are in Malawi that the same God can just leave us unpunished when we nurse and accommodate wickedness and abomination on the land? This economic turmoil is the very hand of God punishing the nation. In situation where more wickedness and abomination gets done, God hands over the nation to more hardship.
So those in political leadership must not be blind to the signs of the times and the finger of God that is writing on the nation’s political and economic wall. Our politicians must rise to defend the plight of the poor by doing more to provide for them because God get concern and affected with their suffering. When it comes to the suffering poor, God comes down himself to liberate them. Corruption and self gratification continue to push the nation deep into economic exile and unless our leaders deals with this mess it may take some time before God says yes again to the nation.
- Dr Qeko Jele is Systematic Theologian, social scientist and an alumni of the University of Fort Hare and he writes this in his personal capacity as a specialist in Democracy, Religion, State and Development[email protected]