God Speaks Through Disasters

This blog post comes from an email received from Frontline Fellowship on 13th June 2017.

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DROUGHTS, STORMS and FIRES – IS GOD SPEAKING TO US?

“You will be punished by the Lord of Hosts with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with storm and tempest and the flame of devouring fire.” Isaiah 29:6

God’s Word on Natural Disasters
In the book of Amos 4:7-8 the Lord declares: “I also withheld rain from you when My harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another… yet you have not returned to Me, declares the Lord.”

Blaming God While Denying His Existence
The drought in the Cape followed by severe storms in Cape Town and the devastating fires in Knysna has sparked numerous articles and programmes alternately blaming God for the disasters, or claiming that these disasters prove that God does not exist. Similarly with the AIDS plague. “A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord.” Proverbs 19:3. Several religious leaders have asserted that the drought, storms and fires could not have been a judgment from God!

Are People Basically Good?
It would seem that these theologians and religious authorities share a basic assumption: that man is basically good. Because we are all, at heart, such good people, we could never be judged by a loving and merciful God who would seem to be just too soft and gentle to judge anybody anyway. After all, none of us would ever be selfish, greedy, deceitful, vengeful, dishonest, lustful or murderous. We are all basically good!

The Depravity of Man
Far from people being basically good, the Scriptures teach the innate depravity of man: “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; the poison of vipers is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-18

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the Second Death.” Revelation 21:8

Learning from Calamities
In the light of these passages and the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience outlined in Deuteronomy 28, it would appear that the message of these natural disasters is being rejected by most journalists and theologians. It is a double grief when lives are lost and lessons are not learned. Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from our Holy God for us to repent. That was how the Lord Jesus responded to those who brought news to Him of the Galileans who had been massacred by Pontius Pilate in the Temple.

Jesus on Disasters
Jesus answered: “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:2,3

Then the Lord referred to the disastrous fall of the tower in Siloam when eighteen died. “But unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:5

Compassionate Love in Action
There is a time to weep (Ecclesiastes 3:4) and we should grieve with those who grieve and render all practical help within our power. But we should also repent: “’Now, therefore,’ says the Lord, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.’ So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness and He relents from doing harm.” Joel 2:12-13

This is the lesson we should learn from every deadly disaster: Repent!

Recognising Reality
Grieve that God is cursed for every catastrophe, but seldom praised for His wonderful Creation.

Lament that God makes the news headlines only when man mocks His power or questions His goodness, but tens-of-thousands of God’s acts of mercy, grace, protection, provision and patience receive no headlines.

Grieve that the Name of the only righteous Man who ever walked the earth is used as a swear word on T.V. screens and in cinemas across the world.

Grieve that God is blasphemed by the very same people who question why God does not restrain the consequences of their own rebellious actions.

What Could God Be Saying to Knysna?
Could God be speaking to Knysna which has hosted highly publicised “Pink Loerie Gay Pride” marches and parades and multiple high profile “gay weddings”.

Could God be Speaking to Cape Town
Could God be speaking to Cape Town where abortion kills thousands of babies every year, where gambling impoverishes the poor even more, where crime and violence stalk our streets daily, where the mayor organized inter-faith rain ceremonies and where our schools teach evolutionism, situation ethics and perversion?

The Judgments of God
In the wake of the catastrophic fires in Knysna and droughts and storms in Cape Town, we need to study afresh the Holiness and Justice of God and God’s Word to a nation.

“The Lion has roared – who will not fear? The Sovereign Lord has spoken – who can but prophesy?” Amos 3:8

“’I sent plagues among you… I killed your young men with the sword… yet you have not returned to Me’, declares the Lord.” Amos 4:10

“You are Just in these Judgments, You who are and who were the Holy One, because You have so judged; for they have shed the blood of Your saints and prophets… yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are Your Judgments… they cursed the Name of God, but they refused to repent and glorify Him… they refused to repent of what they had done… and there were noises and thunderings and lightening and there was a great earthquake, such a might and great earthquake… and they cursed God.” Revelation 16:1-21

When Catastrophes Occur
Can God be speaking to a lost and careless world through these deadly disasters? Can these catastrophic calamities be a merciful call from a just God for us to repent?

In 2 Chronicles 7:12-14 the Lord declares: “When I shut up the Heavens so that there is no rain, if My people were called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Throughout the Bible natural disasters are seen as a judgment of God and a clear warning to us to humble ourselves and to pray and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways.

Repentance
It is time for us to take a fresh look at God’s Law and to structure our Repentance according to the Ten Commandments. Biblical repentance is not merely “feeling sorry” for our “failings and weaknesses”. What God calls wicked we should not try to redefine as some kind of “mistake”. Biblical Repentance involves: conviction, contrition and conversion requiring a change of mind, a change of heart and a change of life and demanding change of lifestyle and a change of behaviour.

“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked man forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him return to the Lord and He will have mercy on him and to our God for He will freely pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7

The fact is that people are not basically good. We are naturally selfish, innately depraved and very wicked. Every deadly disaster, whether man-made or natural disaster, is a merciful call from the Holy God for us to Repent. “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die?” Ezekiel 18:31

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19

“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit” Psalm 34:18

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:17

Dr. Peter Hammond
Frontline Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480
mission@frontline.org.za
www.frontline.org.za

See also: Severe Storm Strikes Cape TownSoli Deo Gloria

Human Rights Day 2018

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

~ Are all treated equally? ~

~ With Compliments ~

Repent and Believe Logo

Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: http://www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

Introduction

Human Rights Day is celebrated as a public holiday in South Africa each year on March 21. As part of this introduction an extensive quote that appears at the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa’s website[1] is quoted here to record what the government regards as human rights, quote:

What are human rights?

Human rights are rights that everyone should have simply because they are human. In 1948, the United Nations defined 30 articles of human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It established universal human rights on the basis of humanity, freedom, justice, and peace.

South Africa has included indivisible human rights in our own Bill of Rights, Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. The articles of our Constitution can only be changed by a two-thirds majority in Parliament, which means it is difficult for anyone, including the government, to take away the basic rights of a citizen.

The Bill of Rights preserved in our Constitution is the cornerstone of our constitutional and representative democracy. The Constitution as our supreme law means that no laws may be passed that goes against it. The Bill of Rights also comprehensively addresses South Africa’s history of oppression, colonialism, slavery, racism and sexism and other forms of human violations. The Bill of Rights embeds the rights of all people in our country in an enduring affirmation of the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.

Human Rights Day, 21 March

Human Rights Day in South Africa is historically linked with 21 March 1960, and the events of Sharpeville. On that day 69 people died and 180 were wounded when police fired on a peaceful crowd that had gathered in protest against the Pass laws. This day marked an affirmation by ordinary people, rising in unison to proclaim their rights. It became an iconic date in our country’s history that today we commemorate as Human Rights Day as a reminder of our rights and the cost paid for our treasured human rights. [. . .]

Modern era

When South Africa held its first democratic election, with Nelson Mandela elected as its first democratic President, 21 March, Human Rights Day was officially proclaimed a public holiday.

On Human Rights Day, South Africans are asked to reflect on their rights, to protect their rights and the rights of all people from violation, irrespective of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, whether they are foreign national or not – human rights apply to everyone, equally.

We must remain vigilant and report abuse and cruelty, such as human trafficking, child labour, forced labour and violence against women, children, and the aged and other vulnerable groupings of people.

What are your rights?

In terms of the Bill of Rights everyone has a right to life, equality and human dignity.

•All persons have a right to citizenship and security. Persons and groups are entitled to freedom of assembly, association, belief and opinion, and expression. They have the right to demonstrate, picket and petition; everyone has the right to be free from forced labour, servitude and slavery.

•All persons have a right to privacy and to exercise political rights; all have a right to access to information and just administration action. They have rights when arrested, detained and accused, and must have access to courts.

•All have a right to freedom of movement and residence and of trade, occupation and profession. In the workplace everyone has a right to engage in trade unions and labour movements. Anyone has the right to purchase property anywhere, and to a basic education. They have a right to language and culture and communities; and not least, freedom of religion and belief. The Bill of Rights also specifies the rights of persons belonging to cultural, religious or linguistic communities and the rights of children. In addition, there are specific laws to safeguard women and protect children.

•Protected rights include a healthy environment; housing, health care, food, water and social security.

Parliament’s Role in Human Rights Day

Parliament is guided by the values and principles of the Constitution. The tasks of Parliament are to represent and empower the people, and to facilitate meaningful and active involvement of civil society in its processes. The Constitutional functions of Parliament are to pass laws and oversee executive action. Parliament must ensure that democratic processes become well-known and that they reach all citizens of the country and that the civil liberties of every citizen is maintained.

According to the foregoing manifesto, are all treated equally when it comes to human rights? We will look at what transpires everyday in violation of rights of the citizens of South Africa and see that man-made laws or rights are in constant violation of the Creator GOD’s sovereign Law, statutes and decrees.

Abortions

Abortion We are told that every person has the right to life, yet abortions (which are the murder of unborn children) are practiced in hospitals and back street allies at the expense of taxpayers’ money and in ‘illegal’ abortuaries, respectively, where they who have no voice are butchered by evil and wicked executioners including the child’s murderous mother who is exercising ‘pro-choice’! Where are the rights for the unborn child who would want ‘pro-life’? Why punish the child for the sins of the parents? Children are a gift from the Creator, “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127:3-5).

Murders

Whilst 69 people lost their lives at Sharpeville through the wicked hearts of NP Apartheid forces, it is no different to the thousands who lost their lives through the ANC’s MK terrorist attacks upon soft civilian targets in the years that followed. How many of these dead were unrepentant sinners that were ushered into hell for all eternity by evil and wicked barbarous executioners? The total deaths due to political violence during the Apartheid years from 1948-1994, according to the Human Rights Committee (HRC) statistics, totalled 21,000 political deaths – of whom 14,000 people died during the six-year transition process from 1990 to 1994. Further analyses of the period June 1990 to July 1993 indicates a total of 8,580 (92%) of the 9,325 violent deaths were caused by Africans killing Africans, or as the news media often calls it, “Black on Black” violence. However, the security forces caused 518 deaths (5.6%) throughout this period.[2] The SA Police statistics for 1994-2000 record violent hate crimes especially against white Boers at 174,220. The murder statistics from 2005-2016 total 211,161.[3] [Unable to obtain statistics for the period 2001-2004 ~ Ed]

Murder Graph Graph of South Africa’s murder rate (murders per 100,000 people) over a 100 year period from 1915 to 2015. The murder rate increased rapidly in the 1980s reaching its peak in 1993 then decreasing until bottoming out in 2011.[4]

Where are the rights of the citizens of South Africa who were butchered and had their lives taken when they had the right to life? GOD’s Holy Word tells us, no murderer shall see the kingdom of GOD, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8).

The ANC government has failed GOD and the citizens of South Africa, for we are told, “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” (Daniel 2:21). We also read, “But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (Psalm 75:7). The government of the day has a responsibility before GOD to safeguard its citizens for we read, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.” (Romans 13:1-5).

Religion, Beliefs and Homosexuality

In the manifesto of human rights, the citizens are safeguarded “to protect their rights and the rights of all people from violation, irrespective of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, whether they are foreign national or not – human rights apply to everyone, equally.” However, everyone is not equal before the law when it comes to Christianity and homosexuals. The wicked practice of homosexuality takes preference over the conscience and beliefs of Christians when GOD’s Word commands and states that, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13).

Gay Pride

GOD says that He hands homosexuals over, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Romans 1:26,27).

Yet if a Christian stands by their belief, convictions and conscience to warn a sodomite of GOD’s judgment and eternal justice in the lake of fire, or refuses to offer a service to a GOD-hating lawbreaker, then the Christian is persecuted for standing for Truth in righteousness to please his/her GOD. A stern warning, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! (Isaiah 5:20-23).

Conclusion

As can be seen from this tract, not everyone is treated equally with human rights. Some have more rights than others and we have not even looked at the vices that permeate our community spaces where we are bombarded with immodest dress that borders on public nudity, vulgarity and profanity, pornography, prostitution, xenophobia, drugs and alcohol abuse, occultism and witchcraft, and ancestral and idol worship that are all in violation of GOD’s Ten Commandments. We are reminded, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27) that GOD must judge according to His Holy and Righteous standard, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16). For, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1 John 3:8-10). To be truly set free from one’s sins, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6). “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. … If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:32,36). Today, REPENT and call upon the name of Jesus Christ to save you and give you peace with GOD. That is your only hope!

Soli Deo Gloria ________________

Footnotes:

1 https://www.parliament.gov.za/project-event-details/2

2 http://www.volkstaat.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=746:how-many-blacks-died-under-apartheid-rsa&catid=89:apartheid-eng&Itemid=147

3 http://www.crimestatssa.com/national.php

4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_South_Africa

Published by Repent and Believe South Africa

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The Friend of Africa

Dr David Livingstone in 1864 Born 19 March 1813 Blantyre, Scotland

Died 1 May 1873 (aged 60) Chief Chitambo’s Village, Kingdom of Kazembe (today Zambia)

Cause of death Malaria and internal bleeding due to dysentery

Resting place Westminster Abbey 51°29′58″N 0°07′39″W

Known for Spreading the Gospel and Exploration of Africa

Spouse(s) Mary (née Moffat; m. 1845 – 27 April 1862; her death); 6 children

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The FAMILY, FAITH and UPBRINGING of DAVID LIVINGSTONE

To view this article as a PowerPoint, with pictures, click here.

19 March 1813 marked the birth of Scottish Missionary David Livingstone.

The Fighting Missionary
The hero of the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington, described Dr. David Livingstone as "The fighting parson."

The Friend of Africa
Jacob Wainwright, who had been rescued from slavery by Dr. Livingstone, described him as: "The friend of the African."

Practical Christianity
American journalist and explorer, Henry Morton Stanley, described Dr. Livingstone as: "A truly pious man, a man deeply imbued with real religious instincts. His religion… is of the true, practical kind, never losing a chance to manifest itself in a quiet, practical way, never demonstrative or loud. It is always at work, if not in deed, by shining example."

An Example of Excellence
Stanley described his attitude when he first arrived in Africa: "as prejudiced against religion as the worst infidel…" However, the example of David Livingstone, who had truly left all to follow Christ, converted Stanley. It is not so much what you say, but what you do that counts. Action is eloquence. David Livingstone said what he meant. He meant what he said and he did all he promised. He was true to his word.

Inspiring
David Livingstone was hailed in his lifetime as the greatest missionary explorer of all time. As one contemporary journalist described it: "the Christian’s Faith in God is strengthened by the author’s very survival of every imaginable danger. The abolitionist is inspired by the prospect of stopping the slave trade. Medical men are intrigued by Livingstone’s approach to disease and the value of his treatment for fever…" The incredible courage and sacrifices of David Livingstone inspired multiplied hundreds of men and women to dedicate their lives to Missions in Africa. What can we learn about the family and upbringing of David Livingstone, to understand his Faith, courage and vision?

David Livingstone preaching to Africans Born in Blantyre
David Livingstone was born 19 March 1813, in the industrial town of Blantyre, 8 miles from Glasgow. Today the largest city in Malawi is called Blantyre, in honour of the birthplace of David Livingstone.

The Father
His Father, Neil Livingstone, was a dedicated Christian who had met his future wife, Agnes, when he was apprenticed to a local tailor. He won the hand of the tailor’s daughter and became a tea salesman so that he could travel and preach the Gospel, distributing Evangelistic tracts to his customers door-to-door. Neil also taught at Sunday school and was a zealous member of a local Missionary Society, persistently promoting prayer meetings and Missionary causes. David Livingstone later wrote concerning his Father: "He deserved my lasting gratitude and homage for presenting me from infancy with a continuously consistent pious example."

Strict Standards
Neil Livingstone was also a strict disciplinarian who sought to bring up David in the fear of the Lord. At age 9, David was challenged to learn the longest chapter in the Bible: Psalm 119 (all 176 verses) off by heart in order to receive a copy of the New Testament. Because Neil had seen the ravaging effects of alcoholism, he was a teetotaller and persuaded his son to follow his example in abstaining from alcohol, for life.

The Mother
David’s mother, Agnes, was a gentle, small and delicate woman whose compassionate kindness and loving nature served as a counter-balance to her husband’s strict and austere rule. It was said that her son, David, inherited her remarkably bright eyes. Agnes instilled in her family, a scrupulous concern for cleanliness and immaculate appearance. Later, Henry Morton Stanley commented on the immaculate standards of David Livingstone to his men as they began their epic 999 day expedition across the Congo: "Dr. Livingstone shaved every day of the 4 months, I was with him in the field and you will shave every day!"

The Napoleonic Wars
David was born during the last years of the ruinous Napoleonic wars which devastated Europe. The economic impact of the 25 years of French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars had left many unemployed in Britain and an economically depressed environment.

The Family
The Livingstone’s’ lived a very frugal lifestyle on a miniscule budget. The Livingstone family lived in a single room, ten feet by fourteen feet. Two baby boys had died in their infancy, David had one older surviving brother, John. Another brother, Charles, and two sisters, Janet and Agnes were born after David.

The Home
There was neither hot nor cold running water in the Tenement building and David had to walk many times a day down the tightly curved, brick staircase to fetch water from the pump in the yard, and heave it back up the stairs and along the corridor of the 3rd floor to their room. The Livingstone’s shared their Tenement with 24 other families. At night mattresses were pulled out from under the parents bed which was set into a recess in the wall. Privacy was non-existent and the family cooked, ate, sewed, studied and slept in that single room.

A Passion for Reading
David Livingstone borrowed extensively from the local library, particularly books on travel and science. William Wilberforce’s Practical Christianity had a major impact on his life and clearly influenced his life-long crusade against the slave trade. Sitting by the banks of the River Clyde, engrossed in a book, young David was startled to hear the desperate cries of a young girl and her baby brother drifting in a boat towards the weir of the old Mill. David immediately plunged into the icy waters and rescued them from disaster.

The Cotton Mill
At age 10, David began his full-time employment, 14 hours a day, 6 days a week, for the next 10 years at the Monteith and Company Cotton Spinning Factory. He was to be a piercer, to repair broken threads in spinning frames. David’s day began at 5:30am every morning as the bell was rung. Work would begin at 6am and continue until 8pm. The workers in the cotton mill had to work in tremendous heat and humidity. Steamed temperatures of 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit were considered ideal for the production of thread.

Physical Training
Every day David would have to walk an average of 34km, much of this in a crawling or stooping position, amongst and under the machinery, or balancing over it. One can imagine what tremendous physical training this was for his later transcontinental expeditions throughout Africa. Piercers received constant beatings from their supervisors to keep them moving through such long shifts, despite fatigue and exhaustion.

Hunger for Knowledge
Yet, David used his first week’s wages to purchase Ruddiman’s Rudiments of Latin. David managed to read in the factory by balancing his book on a portion of the spinning jenny so that he could catch sentence after sentence as he rushed by at his work. In this way he maintained fairly constant study undisturbed by the roar of the machinery. Less than 10% of the children who worked in the Cotton Mills ever learned to read or write. David not only learned to read and write, he taught himself Latin, Greek and Hebrew. After work, he would attend a night school, 8pm to 10pm. Then he returned home to study, often until midnight. His mother frequently had to take his books away before he would go to sleep.

Dr. Livingston Conversion
At age 12, David Livingstone came under intense conviction of sin and experienced a radical conversion to Christ. He wrote: "In the glow of love that Christianity inspired, I resolved to devote my life to the alleviation of human misery." He wrote: "That the Salvation of men ought to be the chief desire and aim of every Christian." He made a resolution that he would give to the cause of Missions all that he might earn beyond what was required for his subsistence.

Perseverance
At age 13, he attended an extra Latin class. When all the other students gave up, he alone remained in the class and the school teacher cancelled the lessons, not seeing the overzealous son of a tea merchant as worthy of his attention. David continued to learn Latin on his own.

The Grandfather
David’s grandfather, Neil Livingstone Senior, also had an impact on the upbringing of David. He had been a tenant farmer on the island of Ulva, off the West coast of Scotland. He was evicted by the English to open up the area for a vast sheep farm. He passed on what he had heard from his grandfather: "I have searched most carefully through all the traditions of our family, and I never could discover that there was a dishonest man among your forefathers. If therefore any of you, or any of your children, should take to dishonest ways, it will not be because it runs in our blood… I leave this precept with you; be honest!"

Thomas Burke
Another man who influenced David Livingstone was Thomas Burke, an old soldier who had fought in the Napoleonic Wars who would ring his bell to shatter the peace and quiet of Blantyre every Sunday morning to rouse the people to attend his early morning Prayer meeting. Burke was abrupt, direct and challenging. The Livingstone family faithfully supported him.

David Hogg
Another man who impressed David Livingstone was David Hogg, who from his deathbed challenged the young boy: "Now lad! Make religion the everyday business of your life and not a thing of fits and starts; for if you do not, temptation and other things will get the better of you!"

The Free Church
1832 was a special watershed year for the Livingstone family. Neil Livingstone, dissatisfied with the spiritual life of the Church of Scotland, changed his church membership to the Free Church. This required the Livingstones to walk to Hamilton, a nearby village for their Sunday worship services. Although they received many invitations to dine with families of the congregation, they chose to carry their own food and not impose upon the limited resources of the other families of the congregation, which they knew were also struggling financially. After Sunday lunch, the Livingstone family were treated to their one luxury, a barley sweet each. The Livingstones never accepted any hand-outs. They worked for everything they had.

Setting the Captives Free
The Free Church in Hamilton were strong supporters of Missions. In 1833, William Wilberforce’s lifelong crusade against slavery was successful. Slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire, by an act of Parliament. This inspired ever greater vision for Missions. Those who had been freed from physical slavery, now needed to be freed from spiritual slavery. Missionaries were needed to go to the ends of the earth!

Revival Fires
Books and tracts from the Revival movement sweeping America reached Scotland and created much excitement and deepening of spiritual life and vision. David Livingstone received a pamphlet written by Karl Gutzlaff, of the Netherlands Missionary Society. In it Gutzlaff appealed for medical missionaries to go to China. David was inspired at how a medical missionary could be much more effective in converting the lost. He had learned enough Latin to be able to understand most medical terms. He was remarkably well read and easily would pass the University entrance requirements. His chief obstacle would be lack of finances.

Dr. Peter Hammond
Frontline Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480
Email:
mission@frontline.org.za
Website: www.frontline.org.za

See also:
The Challenge of Livingstone Today
Making Disciples of All Nations

Soli Deo Gloria

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