I was reading the book of Hosea this morning, and was intrigued by a picture I saw. God was promising the children of Ephraim that He is going to punish them for their sins, until they admit their guilt and look to Him (God) for help again. He said,
“I will abandon them and return to my home until they admit their guilt and look to me for help again, for as soon as trouble comes, they will search for me and say: Come, let us return to the Lord; it is he who has torn us- he will heal us. He has wounded-he will bind up” – Hosea 5vs.15 – 6vs.1.
This set me off thinking. I started asking the Lord if he had not considered punishing our nation (Nigeria), so that we may repent and look for him, like the Ephraimites. It is in answer to this questions that I write the things in my heart.
Israel had an understanding about life in their days. That understanding was that, when God is with them, victory will always be their portion. Hence, they had this funny habit of tracing everything happening in their lives/nation back to their relationship with the Lord Almighty. Hence, they can be able to tell when God is not happy. Once they see economic melt-down, hardship in the land, persecutions from higher forces, etc., the first consideration in their minds is not to seek a revolution, or to change the ruling king (though sometimes they went down that road), but they always went down on their needs to seek the face of the Lord God Almighty. They felt that the prosperity of their nation is not tied to how wise and sensible their leaders were, or how strong their military is, but on how happy God is with them. Hence, they learnt as a nation to get the overview disposition of God towards their nation.
This is my reason for writing this article. What is the overall disposition of God towards Nigeria and her citizens? I will tell you nicely- the Lord is not happy with Nigeria. He is not happy especially with Christians of Nigeria, and I believe He is unhappier with Southern Nigeria than Northern Nigeria. Why do I say so?
Look at the way we go to church? Every Sunday, almost every southerner is in church (especially the south-eastern Nigeria); they even organize prayers regularly in their business and work places, yet they have no single regard for God in their lives. How do I know? They dishonor the Almighty God by giving and taking bribes. They inflate contract prices, and collect money from politicians to vote for them. They cheat others in their business dealings, and do not find it difficult to tell lies while doing their businesses. They cheat and abet cheating in their examinations (Exam malpractice), and do not find it difficult to tell lies (and circumvent electric power meters). Yet they claim they are Christians. They go to church regularly, and are very regular with giving their tithes and offerings. They can even single-handedly build a church for God with the money they made from bribery, extortion, drugs and human trafficking!
I hear the Lord say, “AWAY WITH YOUR SACRIFICES! I DO NOT NEED THEM!”
“I don’t want your sacrifices; I want your love; I don’t want your Offerings-I want you to know me”. – Hosea 6 vs. 6.
This is the cry in God’s heart. He is not looking for people who will give Him millions of Dollars, He is looking, rather, for people who will obey Him, people who will love Him; and I doubt if they are even up to 5% in Nigeria. The Lord says about our Nation,
“Her citizens are gangs of robbers, lying in ambush for their victims; packs of priests murder along the road… and practice every king of sin.” – Hosea 6 vs. 9.
He continues by saying about us,
“I wanted to forgive ‘Nigeria’, but her sins are far too great- no one can live in ‘Nigeria’ without being a liar, thief, and bandit! Her people never seem to recognize that I am watching them. Their sinful deeds give them away on every side; I see them all. The king is glad about their wickedness; the princes laugh about their lies”. – Hosea 7 vs. 1-3 (LB- Bolded mine)
If we say we are Christians, let us be Christians not only in words but in deeds. This is why I say God is unhappier with Southern Nigeria. Islam is predominant in Northern Nigeria (though God is massively transforming lives there, and changing that statistics), but the good thing about a Muslim is that he knows what he believes, and lives it out in everyday practical life. But in southern Nigeria, we have a lot of people who claim they are Christians (a large, sizeable majority), yet every day as we walk our streets, we cannot see the Christians anywhere. There are hardly any Christians in our government circles, hardly any Christian principal or teacher, Christian parents are hard to find; what about Christian business men/contractors? They are almost non-existent. Christian politicians? I doubt if there are any (though I know God is massively moving over the land in that area). Yes, we may be going to church, but do we live out that Christian life in our daily living?
“Oh that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him, and He will respond to us as surely as the coming of dawn or the rain of early spring” – Hosea 6 vs. 1.
The challenges we face in this country may be God calling us back to repentance. It is either we bow down before Him and repent, and see our nation get better, or we sit still in our wickedness, selfishness, pride and stupidity, and see God ‘wring our necks out’ to the last in this Nation.
How do we bring redemption to a nation? Is it possible to see Nigeria turned around for good? I will respond more to that in my next post, but let me leave you with these quotes:
“the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained”- George Washington (Inaugural Presidential Address)
“Godliness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any peopLe”- King Solomon -Prov. 14 vs. 34
May God help us to live and do right in our Nation. Amen.