AUSTRALIA THE BEAUTIFUL... AUSTRALIA THE CONDEMNED!
David K Noller
A surprising turn of events will stagger the "Lucky Country." But Australia's ills will be healed and its awesome potential realized.
AUSTRALIA is rapidly heading toward its greatest crisis in its near 200-year history Unprecedented problems loom ahead for this vast island continent with its small 15 million population. The crisis Australia faces is not just a temporary hurdle. It is time our readers understood, from one who is an Australian, the causes of our national problems — here in Australia and in the English-speaking nations worldwide — and the prophesied outcome revealed in our Bibles!
The Critical Present
Australians are pinning their hopes on their prime minister, Bob Hawke, and his Australian Labour Party (ALP) who were swept into office in the national elections March 5. This election may prove one of the most crucial in Australia's history. After seven years of conservative government — a coalition of the Liberal and National parties led by the former prime minister, Malcolm Frazer — the Australian voters have opted for the Labour alternative. Mr. Hawke, a former head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), became the Labour Party's third prime minister since World War II. He achieved his goal in less than three years in public office. Blanche d'Alpuget in her biography of Robert J. Hawke, states that his deeply religious mother, Ellie, while pregnant, took out the Bible each day, keeping a vow she had made in childhood. She told friends and relations that she was astonished how often it fell open, as if by design, at the early chapters of Isaiah, and how her eye was drawn to the verses foretelling the birth of
Bushfires ravaged huge areas of the drought-plagued south and southeast. The fires swept through forests, grazing land and towns in the states of Victoria and South Australia leaving a trail of death and destruction.
a great son — the sign of Immanuel the Prince of Peace: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder...." The prophet Isaiah was actually referring to Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Bob Hawke's parents felt, too, that their son "in some indefinable way was different from others and that he was a destined instrument of the Lord." Now the electorate has given Mr. Hawke a clear mandate for his plan for reconciliation, recovery and reconstruction. During his campaign he used the slogan, "Bob Hawke: Bringing Australia Together Again," capitalizing on his experience in mediating labor disputes while head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. But optimistic predictions about Australia's future must be based on two ifs, and they are large ones. They assume that the government will have the courage to make the crucial decisions to halt the nation's downward slide. They also assume that the Australian people will look to themselves and learn the lessons of history.
But Will They?
Prime Minister Hawke's solutions to Australia's economic problems include wage-and-price controls coupled with heavy government spending. But already he has been forced to review election promises in light of the latest projected budget deficit for 1982-83 of A $4,300 million. More important, the projected deficit for 1983-84 could go as high as a massive A$9,600 million. Australia has also been hit with natural disasters. Large areas of the continent have been stricken with drought — some parts, at the time of writing, have not received worthwhile rain for more than four years. The country's farm economy is taking a beating. The production of wheat, one of Australia's major export items, will probably fall to half its normal level. Even though rain has brought relief recently to some areas, the drought still has a firm grip on large sections of the nation. Unless the drought breaks soon nationwide, an economic disaster of mammoth proportions looms. Bushfires ravaged huge areas of the drought-plagued south and southeast. The fires swept through forests, grazing land and towns in the states of Victoria and South Australia leaving a trail of death and destruction. Two weeks later floods swept through areas of South Australia, including some areas devastated by the fires. Australia's prosperity and standard of living are slowly being eroded. This is occurring even when Australia still has astonishingly rich mineral deposits and resources.
How Did She Become SO Prosperous?
Few people, including Australians themselves, understand why 15 million people enjoy so much comfort and wealth. Let alone comprehend why their standard of living is slipping and the nation is becoming riddled with problems. In less than 200 years of European settlement Australia has risen from wilderness to wealth. She has become one of the well-off, prosperous nations of the world — the envy of some of her neighbors in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. When the first Europeans arrived from Great Britain in 1788, little did they realize that they had set foot on a vast treasure trove — a unique land with mountainous stores of minerals, rich soil and rolling coastal grasslands. Australia's vastness is often not realized. The area of Australia is almost as great as that of the United States (excluding Alaska). In size it is 32 times greater than the United Kingdom. Australians are not the wealthiest people in the world. Per capita income is around US$9,580. But few other people live as well or enjoy the same easy life-style. Australians dwell in good housing (around 70 percent of the people own their own homes). The regions that have been surveyed are rich enough in resources. Bauxite. Gold. Silver. Nickel. Copper. Lead. Zinc. Coal in enormous quantities. The statistics are indeed impressive, even when compared with the rest of the world. Australia is about 70 percent self-sufficient in crude oil, and the natural gas reserves in the Indian Ocean off the northwest coast are far beyond domestic needs. Australia has about 17 percent of the Western world's low-cost uranium reserves. It also has the world's biggest deposits of tantalum, a metal used for high technology applications such as jet engines and nuclear reactors. Australia is also the world's biggest producer of rutile — an important source of titanium. Much of the mineral wealth is largely untapped. In many cases it is not yet fully fathomed. Few countries seem so well endowed as Australia to face the economic uncertainties of the future. Australia, when it became one nation in 1901 (six sovereign states federated), was a huge, almost empty continent, populated by only 3.8 million people. The population was 95 percent British and 99 percent white. The Aborigines by that time accounted for only about 1 percent of the population. In the early 1960s it was estimated that the ancestry of Australians was roughly 50 percent English, 20 percent Irish, 10 percent Scottish, 2 percent Welsh and 18 percent non-British. Immigration to Australia, mainly from countries such as Poland, the two Germanies, Holland, Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece and Turkey, is changing the composition of the population. Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, has become, after Athens and New York, the third largest Greek city in the world.
The Bible Answers
But why did Great Britain come to inherit this continent with all its wealth? Was it by accident or by design? The story can be traced back into Bible history and prophecy. Joseph was one of the 12 sons of the Hebrew patriarch Jacob, or Israel. Joseph received the birthright (I Chron. 5:1-2). The birthright had to do with future national greatness and was first promised to Abraham. It was then passed down to Abraham's son Isaac, then to Isaac's son Jacob. Just before Jacob's death in Egypt, Joseph took his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and visited his ailing father. Jacob asked for the boys to come near so he could bless them. Because his father's eyesight was poor (Gen. 48:10), Joseph directed Ephraim, the youngest son, toward Jacob's left hand and Manasseh, the eldest, toward Jacob's right hand (verse 13). This was so the firstborn would receive the greater blessing. But Jacob crossed his arms and laid his right hand on the younger Ephraim, "guiding his hands wittingly" (verse 14). Now read what happened: "And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head .... "And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a MULTITUDE OF NATIONS" (verses 17-19). Ephraim would become a company of nations and share the staggering birthright blessings with his brother Manasseh. Isn't it remarkable that the nations that today possess the greatest national wealth and physical blessings are the English-speaking nations — the British Commonwealth and the United States? Australia is a nation of the British Commonwealth. Along with Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, Australia has inherited an enormously rich slice of the earth's real estate. God gave that wealth to Joseph and to his descendants. Yet the British and the American people have it today! Can there be any more conclusive proof that the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh, the two sons of Joseph, are the original English-speaking peoples of Britain and America today? The Australian people have inherited their wealth because of promises God made to the Hebrew patriarchs of old. But Bible prophecy shows that the Australian people, unless they change their ways and repent of their national sins, stand to lose it all. In Deuteronomy, chapter 28, God long ago revealed how Australia could recover from its problems and be guaranteed prosperity in the future! "And if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments... the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God" (Deut. 28:1-2, RSV). God promised additional blessings: "The Lord will open to you his good treasury the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands..." (Deut. 28:12, RSV). This would mean the end to Australia's long, drawn-out drought. What a blessing that would be. But all these blessings were guaranteed only "if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day, being careful to do them, and if you do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you... to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them " (verses 13 and 14). Then God gives a startling list of curses for disobedience: "But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes...then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you" (verse 15). "Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field" (verse 16). The cities in Australia are plagued with crime, violence, immorality and pollution. Agricultural areas are plagued with declining soil fertility, crop diseases and drought. A lot of these problems we bring on ourselves through breaking physical and spiritual laws God has set in motion. But God will also step in to directly punish or awake a nation to its sins and warn it to repent. If a nation will not change its ways, "The Lord will smite you with... fiery heat, and with drought, and with blasting [effects of destructive hot winds], and with mildew [excessive moisture and rot].... And the heavens over your head shall be brass, and the earth under you shall be iron" (Deut. 28:22-23). Other prophecies apply directly to events Australia is experiencing now. "And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord" (Amos 4:7-8, AV). These patchwork weather patterns are slowly but surely sapping the nation's strength. Prolonged drought is the result of physical and spiritual sin which is the transgression of God's law (I John 3:4)! The nation has not repented nationally and returned to a genuine contact with God. Unless there is a turnaround the curses listed in Deuteronomy 28 and in other prophecies will, says God through the Prophet Moses, "pursue thee until thou perish" (Deut. 28:22). The prophet Ezekiel also reveals that because the modern descendants of the sons of Jacob refuse to repent, one third of the English speaking world will die in disease epidemics resulting from famine. The cities will be destroyed in war by an enemy yet to appear on the world scene, and with the destruction of our cities another one third of our people will perish. In chapter 6, verse 6, "In all your dwelling places [different English-speaking countries, including Australia] the cities shall be laid waste .... "The third left alive will be taken captive (Ezek. 5:12). Commenting about the state of the nation, Australian teacher, writer and critic Bill Broderick is quoted in Time, September 22, 1980, as saying of modern Australia, "God is dead. Only in sport, gambling and sex is there hope of salvation. Nothing can shake the country of this cynicism except some catastrophe on a national scale." In Hosea 5:14 God says, "For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion... I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and NONE SHALL RESCUE HIM." "I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early" (verse 15). Australians — and the whole world — will eventually know "that I am the Lord" (Ezek. 6:7). This will be when Jesus Christ returns and saves alive a remnant (Amos 5:3) to establish a new world of peace and prosperity with all nations learning to live with one another in harmony. The warning has been going out to Australia for more than 20 years through the pages of The Plain Truth and the World Tomorrow radio and television broadcasts. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and he alone will save the Australian people and their kindred worldwide from total annihilation (Hos. 13:9). He will return to earth as King of kings and establish God's government over all nations. Only then will Australia truly recover. Out of the ruins Australia's full potential will at last be realized!