A few months ago, a prominent public figure claimed that a pact had been made between the devil and Haitian slaves to help them defeat their French colonial masters in the early 19th century. And that Haiti has suffered from various natural disasters over the years as a direct result of this pact with satan. Here are some reflections on this matter.
It is clear in Scripture that the presence of the righteous can make a TREMENDOUS difference in the way God deals with a community.
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. ~Proverbs 14:34
Indeed, Jesus tells us that His disciples are the “salt of the earth”, which can be interpreted as fulfilling a preservative function to stave off the rot caused by man’s sinfulness.
However, Jesus wants us to ALSO understand that both the unrighteous living in Sodom, AND the unrighteous living anywhere else face the same fate: Hell. Therefore, when destruction comes upon any group, the salient question is not whether or not it was due to their righteousness. Rather the question to be asked is “Will I see God when I (inevitably) die, just as those who died in the tragedy?” Or, more crucially, for Believers, “What am I doing to rescue those around me who face eternal damnation, whether or not they die tragically?”
Specifically, tragedy of life/death has no bearing on where one spends eternity: a tragic life/death is not a sign of sin; a peaceful life/death is not a sign of righteousness. Has anyone died more tragically than Jesus? Has anyone been more righteous than Jesus?
Q. Did the Haitians make a pact?
A. Don’t know and don’t care.
Whether Haitian slaves made a pact with the devil or not it is not pertinent since any pact made two hundred years ago, does not prevent present day Haitians from receiving Jesus as Lord and Saviour. And if the present day Haitians accept Jesus then they will be with God in Heaven. This same principle applies to ALL peoples everywhere, pact or no pact.
Q. Can a few make a pact that perpetually condemns a nation?
A. No, because “Every tub must sit on its own bottom”.
All of the people of Sodom (except Lot) were in a present (relative to the day of their judgment) state of rebellion against God. So, none that died suffered for the sins of their ancestors: they were condemned for their OWN iniquity.
But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them. ~Genesis 19:4-5
Though we can, and often do, suffer (poverty, war, alienation) for the sins of our ancestors, we are JUDGED for our own sins. We are not slaves to our History. We can make our own choices and we can choose righteousness that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. For example, a man might suffer physically because of his mother’s drug use while he was a baby in her womb, but he will be judged by God for his own sin, not his mother’s… unless he is saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ!
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. ~Revelation 20:13
Finally, we should all be careful of making the mistake of conflating material success with spiritual salvation. While righteousness can certainly have an impact on material wealth, it is certainly untrue that material wealth/success is sufficient evidence of righteousness (Matthew 19:16-30).
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. ~Matthew 19:23-24
There are many wealthy successful people/nations that have rejected God, AND there are many poor suffering people/nations that embrace The Saviour, AND vice-versa.
Let us who are Christ’s disciples concern ourselves with being the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”, so that, by God’s grace, we can counteract the effect of sin in our society and reveal the way to Christ Jesus. And may we do so for peoples everywhere and leave the Final Judgment to God.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. ~Joshua 24:15