For the past ten years, many Nigerians have been watching with utter disbelief and consternation the increasing traumatisation of individuals, families, villages, towns and communities by way of kidnappings, robberies, rape, killings, forceful conversion into other faiths etc., by purveyors of extremist ideologies and merchants of fortune. These benighted minds, are no doubt motivated purely by selfish interests and operate under the misapprehension that they could decide the future of our dear country Nigeria.
What is happening beggars belief: children are being recruited and used as soldiers and suicide bombers: schools, hospitals and places of worship and residential houses are being attacked and stripped bare of food, household utensils, medical supplies, etc. The air is thick with foreboding that more horrendous events are imminent. These vandals who allegedly have cells in various parts of the country, have seized territories and prevented the residents from going about their daily activities. Many are dismayed at Nigeria’s sordid slide into near anarchy and to the precipice of another civil war as no fewer than two million people have been categorized as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
It is highly unfortunate that despite spirited efforts as professed by institutions of state, the mindless brigandage continues to wreak havoc on the hapless and defenceless peace-loving citizens of our dear country. Reports say that no fewer than 112 of the school girls abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok, in Borno State, are still in captivity, nearly six years after the incident. Tuesday, February 18, 2020 marked the second year anniversary of the abduction of 110 school children from Dapchi in Yobe State. One of the abductees, Leah Sharibu, is still held captive, reportedly because she refused to renounce her faith. Hopes of their release may seem forlorn and unrealistic but we are praying to God on their behalf, for with Him nothing is impossible. See Jeremiah 32:27, 17; Psalm 35:10. The same reason of non-renunciation of faith has been given for the brutal and callous beheading of Reverend Lawan Andimi, a prominent clergyman from Adamawa State.
Is it not indexical of the times we now live in that the governments of the six South Western States had to set up their own security apparatus to complement that of the army and the police? Other State Governments in Nigeria are reportedly straining at the leash to set up their own security systems. While the Bible gives room for self-defence (Exodus 22:2; Matthew 12:29), we should continue to exercise the fear of God and look to Him for protection, for He has declared: “…there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” – Isaiah 45:21, 22.
Thou Shall Not Kill
A fact we must continue to reiterate without reserve is that those who derive pleasure from shedding human blood are making themselves ready tools in the hands of Satan the Devil, the arch enemy of God and man. “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44) The devil’s preoccupation is “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10) The law of God is “Thou shalt not kill”. (Exodus 20:13) And Solomon the prophet declares: “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19) Because no one has the right to kill another person, when Cain killed Abel, God Almighty judged and punished him. – Genesis 4:8-15; 1 John 3:12.
People who kill and destroy lives and property think they will not suffer any adversity for such acts of impunity. They are grossly mistaken, for God Almighty had declared, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” – Genesis 9:5, 6.
Making Merchandize Of Human Lives
Some have alleged that those who have visited this country with mayhem are on a campaign of genocide and that there are elements who are doing their utmost to perpetuate the crisis because of their vested interests – political, economic or otherwise. It is also alleged that more and more people, especially the youths, are buying into the ideology of violence and are choosing kidnapping as legitimate lines of business. Such ones should know that blood money cannot make anyone successful in life, that such monies do not last and that they do not give one peace of mind or happiness. Scripture says: “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.” (Proverbs 13:11) “The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich (acquired through ungodly means) will not suffer him to sleep.” (Ecclesiastes 5:12, parenthesis ours) St. Paul makes us to understand that those who are in a crazy quest for overnight wealth “fall into temptation and a snare”, and that they pierce themselves “through with many sorrows”. (1 Timothy 6:9,10) Indeed, “Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.” -Proverbs 20:17.
No one should therefore allow himself to be lured into the path of degradation and ruin. God used Solomon the prophet to declare; “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.” (Proverbs 1:10-16, 18,19) Of course, as surely as night follows day, consequences will follow. And so God Almighty declares: “But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” – Proverbs 1:25-27, 32. See also Hosea 4:1-3.
We urge the youths not to end their lives prematurely by being lured into criminality. They should refrain from a life of sin now so as not to die untimely but to live to fulfil the purpose for which God has created them. The Bible says: “As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.” – Jeremiah 17:11.
God Almighty, The Great Judge
God Almighty is the Judge of all the earth. (Genesis 18:25; Hebrews 12:23) Indeed, justice and judgment are the habitation of His throne. (Psalm 89:14) Having been enthroned as King of God’s Kingdom, Jesus Christ is carrying out the first phase of the judgment work in this age, The Last Day, through the preaching of the gospel to the end that people of “every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” would “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” – Revelation 14:6, 7; Matthew 24:7, 8; John 12:48; 2 Timothy 4: 1; Psalm 96: 13. John 5: 22, 27.
That God Almighty is seeing all that is happening on earth is beyond dispute. He will make everyone to account for his deeds according to the Scriptures. “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:13) “For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.” (Job 34:21, 22) Though God may not take action immediately, this does not mean that He cannot or will not act. He is giving evil doers time to hear warning and repent before certain shame, tribulation and destruction befall them. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent. Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” – 2 Peter 3:9; Acts 17: 30,31.
Surely the Lord God will avenge the blood of all those who have been needlessly killed in this insurgency. “He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.” (Psalm 72:4) David, a king and prophet in Israel was constrained to declare: “O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself. Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud. LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves? They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage. They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless. Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.” The prophet of God continued: “Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know? The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.” – Psalm 94:1-11.
Admonition And Prayer
While we condole with families of those who have lost their loved ones in this senseless bloodletting that is ravaging the country, we appeal to the security agencies to be apolitical and to carry out their duties without fear or favour. (Compare Luke 3:13,14) All should realise that we shall give account of ourselves to God Almighty (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:12) We appeal to the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to optimally harness the goodwill, counsel and support of well-meaning individuals and organisations from across the political spectrum, within and outside the country, to deal with the hydra-headed problems facing the country. Seeking the help of those who could dialogue with these evil doers with a view to making them to realise their errors and dissuade them from their murderous path is an option that needs to be intensified. See Proverbs 25:9.
We pray God Almighty Who has the power “to deliver the poor from him that is too strong for him, from him that spoileth him” to intervene in the present crises so that His children in this part of the world would carry on His work in relative peace by His grace through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
GOD’S KINGDOM SOCIETY (GKS)
(The Church of the Living God)
Headquarters: Salem City,
- O. Box 424
Warri, Delta State,
Telephone: +234-8100- 98- 7661; + 234-80-232-95-127