"And Hezekiah was attentive to them, and showed them all the house of his treasures ... . Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, 'What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?' So Hezekiah said, 'They came from a far country, from Babylon.' And he said, 'What have they seen in your house?' So Hezekiah answered, 'They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.' Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, 'Hear the word of the Lord: 'Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,' says the Lord."
Steve Lyston, Contributor
There is nothing wrong with divestment, but it is critical for us to seek God and know with whom we must enter into any agreements, covenants or investments. When going into agreements with any other nation, a country must look into that country's system of government, beliefs, religion, and policies, including their human rights records.
How do we prevent our country from being infiltrated? Divestment for investment purposes is not about creating jobs, or addressing environmental concerns. A nation has to do serious research and look at the various consequences for the nation should the covenant or agreement be made.
The problem that Jamaica faces now is the advice that has been heeded by leaders of the nation - past and present. The economy is now suffering because they have divested all our core assets and the nation has become worse, and more devastating to our people. The electricity/energy industry, the national airline, the airline routes, and many other things, and they have all put the people in a difficult place. Which of the divestment activities have benefitted the nation? Not one!
Furthermore, it sends the signal to the world that Jamaica can't manage and is making Jamaica a laughing stock. But it is not a management problem that is affecting Jamaica; the problem is political! There is politics in everything - even in areas where politics ought not to be. Everybody has to 'eat a food'; and the nation's spiritual inheritance has been sold for the proverbial plate of stew! Even the religious men have to remain silent because many of them have eaten a plate of food too! The perception of religious men that is held by the politicians is that they are money changers so they (the politicians) don't need to listen to them.
Logistics hub at Goat Islands
The main fact that there is contention about the development of a logistics hub at Goat Islands is an indication that there must be something deeper happening. In the same way that Jamaica can borrow money to build roads and other infrastructure, why not borrow the money to build its own logistics hub, so that there can be a future for the next generation? Get all the trained persons in the diaspora to contribute their talent and other resources. We can do it ourselves! When other nations invest at this level, Jamaicans get the scraps of labour positions, but they don't want to have Jamaicans in positions of authority. Furthermore, the money they make from the deals don't stay in the country. So the country is being raped of its valuables.
Are there gold, oil and other valuables of which the nation is not being made aware - items which can take us out of debt?
Do foreigners know more about what is in the nation than its own people do?
Are we being penny wise and pound foolish?
At the end of the day, whoever puts up the cash calls the shots. Will we see our laws begin to change to appease investors? For example, birth-control laws and the reduction of the birthrate by any means necessary, and the takeover of all Crown lands. What new monuments and street names will we be seeing in the near future? Who will be setting up offices in the nation next? Will there be security concerns with regard to our North American neighbours?
A nation that refuses to seek God for direction is much like someone driving a vehicle without any sense of where they are headed, who doesn't know where to turn, where the dead ends and detours are, and which paths have potholes. Many say, 'We don't need God, we have a GPS', and they depend on that man-made system. But remember that the GPS can also lead you to a precipice!
Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.