God · Life · Nigeria

Let’s talk about an “Independence”!

10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

13 Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.”

Deuteronomy 6:10-15 (NIV)

 

Permit me to bore you for a minute; after all, what’s this life without a bit of sobriety borne of boredom? Nigeria and Nigerians have been angry and exasperated about too many a situation in Nigeria lately and we need to escape from the negative energy, at least just for a moment. I believe it’s an apt time for this “In-Other-News” kind of message for Nigeria and Nigerians.

Moses was a herdsman, a businessman. Born in the creeks but raised in the palace for a purpose that he had no idea about; he grew into a responsible, military and government trained, pro-justice ivy-league all-rounder. His calling was clear, except to him; he was called to save the Israelites from Egypt. Moses may have sensed his divine calling when he stood, but fell a man for justice; he had saved an Israelite.

He was called to save a nation, but at forty, after saving just one man, Moses was forced to flee…  from his calling, from the subject of his calling – the Israelites, from the palatial privileges that came with his calling… for his life; a life that he would need exactly forty years later – after spending as much time in the forest as in the palace – to save a nation. He would later spend just as much time leading the people he was called to save. He died at 120.

One can write a whole book about one of the most fascinating characters ever and I don’t need to invite you to think about how our lives are similar to this man’s life: called for a purpose, yet in a hurry, forgetting Habakkuk 2:3; but that’s not why we’re here.

The bible text above is exactly why we are here.

“When” is a very conditional term, quite enormously different from “If”, another conditional term; the former being a clause that can be triggered at the actualization of a promise / assurance while the latter is largely hinged on probability.

So let’s talk about the When in this text:

I will excuse a lot of background information about God – His ability to follow through His promises, the Israelites and what they went through in Egypt, the forty day journey that took forty years, the merry-go-round of sins and forgiveness of a nation… all on the basis that you already know – you don’t even need to remotely be a Christian to know these things.

In contemporary English, that time spent in Egypt was a “When”; but then there was a contrasting “When” promised the Israelites in the concluding years of their four-hundred-year “fix-a-word-here” in Egypt: a “When” that had the potential to eventually, perpetually replace and erase every memory of Egypt – one that could only be imagined while still in Egypt.

I’m tempted to analyse the experience of the Israelites in Egypt but I will not yield. Do some reading on that.  However, I need you to critically examine the characteristics of the situations that the Israelites may have found themselves in Egypt, on a journey from Egypt, on a journey through the wilderness, and ultimately all of the features of the “When” that God promised the Israelites through Moses (in the text above) – One by One, Line by Line, draw a picture of each noun, each adjective, each conjunction and each qualifier.

Does Nigeria come to mind?

If it doesn’t come to mind; make it come to mind for the purpose of this talk.

Truth be told – as a nation, we have every similarity with the Israelites, especially about the time in History when this text was delivered. As a nation, and as people that make a nation, we have come from a place of pre-colonial slavery, suppression and oppression, bondage and suffering; we have been at a struggle for freedom and we have also been, and still are going through freedom, to a place of rest – call it vision 20:20:20:20xx. You know how they say freedom, never absolute, is a journey not a destination.

On our journey, like the Israelites, we’ve watched our worst fears try to catch up with us – civil wars, yet we’ve watched them disappear right before our eyes – like the Israelites, we can never forget the memories they brought. Still on this journey, and yet like the Israelites, we’re in years of economic, educational, infrastructural and maybe spiritual (not religious) famine. We all look to the heavens for “manna” to survive – national cake. We’re also in years where like the Israelites, their clothes never faded nor did their sandals get worn – nor was a strand of hair removed off from their head – we are floating through our wilderness of insecurity, non-security, con-compliance driven deaths in crashes – air and land inclusive and all-kinds-of-woes-imaginable,  as a country undivided and unbeknownst to acts of God.

We, like the Israelites are in the years of blaming our leaders and yet like the Israelites, we’re in the years of despising reports of our ability to take over the world – instead we see insurmountable mountains and indomitable giants, just like the Israelites.

But it was in these years that the word of the Lord came through Moses to the Israelites about a “When” that is to come. Again, like the Israelites, we have that same word today, about a when that is to come.

But words from God are instructional and you know the rest in 2 Timothy 3:16; and here’s it:

When we finally scale through this period, and we begin to enjoy all that we never worked for – and it’s not work in looting, or even in ingenious entrepreneurial means to build a dynasty for our generations that we’re talking about, but the God-inspired leadership that will work for Nigeria and Nigerians to bring all kinds of successes that we neither ever worked for, nor earned – a leadership that will be instituted by God through the votes of people who would imagine that they are voting for their own causes and agenda – an emergent world power that is to come… when all of this are come …

12 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

13 Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.” 

 

Happy Independence, Nigeria, and Nigerians!

‘Dewale Otolorin

 

'Dewale Otolorin
‘Dewale Otolorin

 

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