There are some enduring truths in the Bible that are of universal application. Here is one of them, found in Daniel 4:17 (NKJV) 17 'This decision is by the decree of the
watchers, And the sentence by the word of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.'
“The Most High God rules in the affairs of men…” That is a categorical statement that is independent of what is happening in your world or my world. God is working out His purposes on the earth either for mercy and favour or for judgment. This truth is reinforced by another found in Lamentations 3:37-40 (NLT) 37 Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission? 38 Does not the Most High send both calamity and good? 39 Then why should we, mere humans, complain when we are punished for our sins? 40 Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the LORD.
Abraham’s intercession revealed the criteria for reprieve when there is impending chaos or judgment. This is the exchange, found in Genesis 18:23-26 (NLT) 23 Abraham approached Him and said, “Will You sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? 24 Suppose You find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will You still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? 25 Surely You wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, You would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely You wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?” 26 And the LORD replied, “If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake.”
The interesting thing about this exchange is that Abraham whittled down the number to ten – Genesis 18:32-33 (NLT) 32 Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there?” And the LORD replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”33 When the LORD had finished his conversation with Abraham, he went on his way, and Abraham returned to his tent.
What comes out of this exchange is that the answer, which the Church must provide to avoid or mitigate divine judgment, is not just to say many more prayers but also to produce for God an increasing number of righteous men and women in the land. Nothing else will do. That is the task before every Christian in Nigeria today. It is to be a righteous man or woman in the Nigeria of today. Pointing accusing fingers on those whose sins have been made public is not a solution. Retreating into our world to effect changes in our mind-sets and our actions is the foremost task. Going forward to bring about changes in our world through righteousness, honesty, integrity and acts of love, goodness and kindness is what will appeal to heaven and cause a reversal in our fortunes. That is the real TASK AT HAND.
Your Fellow Pilgrim