Friday, January 27, 2012

The Prophet's Prayer

New International Version (NIV)
Isaiah 51
Everlasting Salvation for Zion

1 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
and who seek the LORD:
Look to the rock from which you were cut
and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
2 look to Abraham, your father,
and to Sarah, who gave you birth.
When I called him he was only one man,
and I blessed him and made him many.
3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion
and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
he will make her deserts like Eden,
her wastelands like the garden of the LORD.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

4 “Listen to me, my people;
hear me, my nation:
Instruction will go out from me;
my justice will become a light to the nations.
5 My righteousness draws near speedily,
my salvation is on the way,
and my arm will bring justice to the nations.
The islands will look to me
and wait in hope for my arm.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
look at the earth beneath;
the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment
and its inhabitants die like flies.
But my salvation will last forever,
my righteousness will never fail.

7 “Hear me, you who know what is right,
you people who have taken my instruction to heart:
Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals
or be terrified by their insults.
8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment;
the worm will devour them like wool.
But my righteousness will last forever,
my salvation through all generations.”

9 Awake, awake, arm of the LORD,
clothe yourself with strength!
Awake, as in days gone by,
as in generations of old.
Was it not you who cut Rahab to pieces,
who pierced that monster through?
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,
the waters of the great deep,
who made a road in the depths of the sea
so that the redeemed might cross over?
11 Those the LORD has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

12 “I, even I, am he who comforts you.
Who are you that you fear mere mortals,
human beings who are but grass,
13 that you forget the LORD your Maker,
who stretches out the heavens
and who lays the foundations of the earth,
that you live in constant terror every day
because of the wrath of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction?
For where is the wrath of the oppressor?
14 The cowering prisoners will soon be set free;
they will not die in their dungeon,
nor will they lack bread.
15 For I am the LORD your God,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
the LORD Almighty is his name.
16 I have put my words in your mouth
and covered you with the shadow of my hand—
I who set the heavens in place,
who laid the foundations of the earth,
and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”
The Cup of the LORD’s Wrath
17 Awake, awake!
Rise up, Jerusalem,
you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD
the cup of his wrath,
you who have drained to its dregs
the goblet that makes people stagger.
18 Among all the children she bore
there was none to guide her;
among all the children she reared
there was none to take her by the hand.
19 These double calamities have come upon you—
who can comfort you?—
ruin and destruction, famine and sword—
who can[a] console you?
20 Your children have fainted;
they lie at every street corner,
like antelope caught in a net.
They are filled with the wrath of the LORD,
with the rebuke of your God.

21 Therefore hear this, you afflicted one,
made drunk, but not with wine.
22 This is what your Sovereign LORD says,
your God, who defends his people:
“See, I have taken out of your hand
the cup that made you stagger;
from that cup, the goblet of my wrath,
you will never drink again.
23 I will put it into the hands of your tormentors,
who said to you,
‘Fall prostrate that we may walk on you.’
And you made your back like the ground,
like a street to be walked on.”

Thursday, January 19, 2012

When The Shepherds Flee The Flock

"Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid."
- Basil King

There is one Asante maxim that goes like, "When the royal refuses to fight, the slave flees (the battlefield)." The simple wisdom in this saying is that, as leaders, leading the charge is not an option. Once some level of boldness has imbued one with the desire to lead his/her people, I wonder what else keeps such one in the dark when despair rages on on like wildfire.

I have always looked upon leaders with profound admiration regardless of their age, country of origin whatsoever. They inspire as much as they irate. I am however grateful for God leading me to the greatest man that ever lived - Jesus. If there's one thing I know off-hand from Jesus, it is his unflinching commitment to the people he led. And history is rife with myriad names of ordinary men and women who put their lives on the frontline for the course of their people.

Jacobu is of age. Some twenty years ago since our catchment areas was accorded a constituency status, and some eight years of district assembly rule, much is left to be desired with the way and manner our so-called leaders run the peoples' affairs. It is almost like none knows what s/he is about - past and present included!

From the high stool to the first gentleman, the clergy to the political demagogue, the director to the Sunday-school teacher, the economic manager to the petty trader, rudiments of putting others first have been largely ignored or misapplied. What confront us today is the invaluable need to re-connect the brother next door to the heart of the sister going that way. Until that synergy is restored or created, sustained and kept running, no dream of a common-unity (community) can be made manifest.

To the contrary, our current political dispensation thrives much more on division than oneness. Democracy perpetuates disintegration so long as majority rule is upheld.
So what we now have in our hands are a bunch of disagreeing leaders who have pledged disjointed allegiance to bring the fold together. In honouring their pledge, interestingly, the divide is continually widened and the people lose focus on what unity is all about. Jacobu cares very little of its own internal affairs let alone the affairs of her neighbouring towns and villages.

I do not recall the last time our MP mounted the unity podium to talk Odotobri Constituency, I don't remember the last conference our DCE called on the way forward for Amansie Central district, can anyone remind me when s/he witnessed our chief pouring libation to our ancestors and our gods for the betterment of our beloved city on the hill?, when was the last congregation of the churches' so-called prayer warriors exalting the destiny of our land into the hands of the Most High?

Our youth is bereft with uncertainty, hopelessness and even anger seeing no clear future tabled today to correct our past and present. And some of us are even forbidden to speak our mind especially in an attempt to make plain the canker that are being played out there in the dark rooms of, most especially, our political leaders. Our old folks enjoy their dreamings; and our babies' cries reach the hearing of Mother Earth. But I shall not keep quiet. Not until I see our promised paradise restituted!

Behold and see the birds coming home with nothing but the ancient message - ARISE AND BE SHINE!