The recent surge in COVID-19 infections resulted in the government reinstating measures to
curb the transmission of the virus. The situation has become extremely unpredictable. This has
resulted in much frustration among the populace, as plans have to be frequently redrawn. Panic
arose as businesses contemplate on how to cope with the fluid changes. There is anguish and
much murmuring as people begin to wonder how long it would be before the pandemic is over,
or when are we ready to declare things as “endemic”.

The church was also affected by this fluidity, as measures were updated on the fly. Physical
religious classes had to stop, and the Sunday School teachers must adapt their lesson plans. A
physical Vacation Bible School was planned for September, but this had to be changed because
of the current situation. We thank the Lord for the brethren who rallied to embrace these changes
despite the short lead time.

How does one cope with such fluid changes? In a recent chat with a pastor, he shared that we
should learn one principle from the Bible – to take things day by day. This principle is found in
Matthew 6:34 – “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought
for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

A lesson we should draw from the recent fluid changes is that man is not the master of his life,
neither is he sovereign over the affairs of this world. This may be hard to swallow for
Singaporeans as we take pride in our planning and clock-work efficiency. Even the church has
come to embrace predictability as we draw up our annual church programmes. A departure from
this predictability leaves us frustrated and confused. However, the truth is, man does not even
know what will happen tomorrow, much less to control the affairs of the next day. Thus, James
exhorts, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a
vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If
the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” (James 4:14-15) We who cannot even control
the day of our birth and death, why do we deceive ourselves that we can hold tomorrow? Let us
concentrate on today and to fulfil the tasks which God has given us.

One comfort we have as believers is that while we do not know what will happen tomorrow, but
we know the Father who holds tomorrow. The eternal decrees of God will stand, and His plan
will never be frustrated. Thus, the day by day principle teaches us that each day must be lived in
faithful dependence on our Saviour. This is the principle which the Lord taught the children of
Israel in the wilderness as they gathered the manna day by day. Whatever extra they kept
overnight became useless the next day. Nevertheless, they still continued to receive the daily
manna for their feeding. The principle remains the same for us today. Whatever changes that
come are ordained by the Lord, but since the Lord holds tomorrow, we rest fully in Him and
walk in the light of His Word. The Lord will provide the grace necessary to live each day till we
reach our destination in heaven above.

My heart goes out especially to the young children and youth who have to cope with the constant
changes as they go to school. They do not know when they may have to be on HBL (i.e. Home-
based Learning). As they go to school, they also do not know whether they may contract the
COVID-19 virus. Nevertheless, the situation presents a unique opportunity to put their trust not
in education, or their wisdom, but solely in Christ to lead and protect them from day to day. We
pray that the young generation will learn this lesson well. It is in such adversity that the Lord will
mould the next generation to be strong witnesses for Christ.

Similarly, we who are older must also learn this lesson well. “Man doth not live by bread
only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” (fr.
Deut. 8:3). May we learn to trust in the Lord from day to day.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew


By Rev Timothy Tow
(with minor edits by Pastor)

According to latest statistics, the Chinese race numbers 1.1 billion (in 1987), or nearly a quarter
of the whole world. It is inevitable that the Almighty Father’s love for the world that sent His
only begotten Son must comprehend a goodly number of the sons of China. It is not
unreasonable therefore to expect God’s Word to contain some reference to China. India, being
nearer to the Bible Lands, is mentioned twice in the Book of Esther. As for China, that Far
Eastern Kingdom beyond India’s horizon, she is nevertheless seen by the eagle-eye of the
prophet Isaiah.

Talking of the wide outreach of the Lord’s Servant, whereby the salvation He provides is not
limited to a small group, both Chapter 42 and the beginning verses of Chapter 49 of Isaiah look
beyond the boundaries of the Israelite nation. God’s appointed Saviour is “for a light to the
Gentiles” (Isa. 42:6), “that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth” (Isa. 49:6).
Isaiah 49:12 pictures a saved people as coming “from the north and from the west,” but who are
“these from the land of Sinim”?

Both the NIV Study Bible and the Ryrie Study Bible are tainted by modernistic so-called
scholarship to take “Sinim” for Syene (modern Aswan in Egpyt). Dr. Allan A MacRae, my
teacher, in his book “The Gospel of Isaiah,” is quite convinced with other Bible-believing
scholars to take “Sinim” to refer to China. The translators of the Chinese Bible equate Sinim
with the Kingdom of Ch’in. When I was a resident in Israel in 1969, I was known to all in
Bethlehem as the “Sini” (pron. Seenee). Did I then become an Egyptian hailing from Syene?
Moreover, “What is a Sinologist?”, asks Dr. MacRae.

Isaiah sees the fruits of Christ’s saving grace borne by distant China. He sees the Chinese
among God’s children, even as it is echoed by the heavenly chorus, “… and has redeemed us to
God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). Praise the
Lord, we who are of Chinese stock are surely counted amongst the multi-racial congregations of
the redeemed. That does not mean every Chinese in this Service (the Sunset Gospel Hour) is
saved, and you who are of Indian or European stock are lost! It may be vice-versa. Salvation in
the final analysis is an individual matter. Are you, Chinese or non-Chinese, saved?

(To be continued)