Thursday, July 27, 2023
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Lagos, Nigeria

t is always dangerous for any society to look the other way when we observe a citizen doing evil. A Yoruba adage translates that when a relation is eating an infected insect and his relations look elsewhere, without calling him to order, none of them will sleep in the night when the repercussion of the ingested infected insect starts to bite.

Today, I want us to examine the consequences on an entire nation where someone committed a wrong. So the topic of my sermon is "How the sin of one man Causes the Destruction of an Entire Nation"

Let us pray.

How the sin of one man Causes the Destruction of an Entire Nation

The Children of Israel had sojourned as slaves in Egypt for about 430 years. At about 1400BC, it was time for them to depart to their land of promise. But they had many nations along their route to conquer. In the book of Joshua 6, we read how God helped them to conquer a well fortified city, called Jericho. The next city, Ai was thought to be a walk over.

Their Army General, Joshua had sent some soldiers to spy the city and they returned with a cheering news of a feeble city that needed only a small number of troops. Unfortunately they were badly defeated with many casualties. (Joshua 7)

Joshua and the elders of Israel were very sad and troubled. They tore their clothes, they sobbed bitterly. They threw dust on their heads and laid face down till evening, inquiring from God, why such a calamity had happened to them (Joshua 7:6).

At last God spoke;

11 "Israel has sinned and broken my covenant. They have stolen some of the things that I commanded must be set apart for me. And they have not only stolen them but have lied about it and hidden the things among their own belongings. 12 That is why the Israelites are running from their enemies in defeat. For now Israel itself has been set apart for destruction. I will not remain with you any longer unless you destroy the things among you that were set apart for destruction"

What happened was that at the defeat of Jericho, God had given instructions to the Israelites to destroy everything, except 19 those made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron. God declared them sacred and must be brought into His treasury. They were not supposed to take them for themselves (Joshua 6:17-19)

Certainly, it could not be all Israelites who sinned, so a thorough investigation was made by the power of the Holy Ghost to find out the culprit.

A man named Achan had stolen some of these dedicated things, so the LORD was very angry with the Israelites. Achan was the son of Carmi, a descendant of Zimri[b] son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah. Wonderful!! Only one person sinned and the entire nation was thrown into serious problem.

25 Then Joshua said to Achan, "Why have you brought trouble on us? The LORD will now bring trouble on you." And all the Israelites stoned Achan and his family and burned their bodies. 26 They piled a great heap of stones over Achan, which remains to this day. That is why the place has been called the Valley of Trouble[g] ever since. So the LORD was no longer angry.

This is a true story and not a moonlight tale; how disobedience of just only one person brought trouble on a whole nation.

Do we need a prophet to tell us why there is so much suffering in Nigeria? Do we need any prophet to tell us why we cannot measure up in the comity of nations? Do we need any prophet to tell us why we stopped developing?

Only one person sinned in the story just told, which brought serious calamity on a whole nation. What then can we expect in Nigeria where only a few people walk in the fear of God and the majority does not?

Politicians are hypocrites, who constantly claim that they are working in the interest of the citizens when actually they are working for their pockets, even throwing the nation into debt. Civil servants in the opportune position, see their offices as opportunities to make wealth. Citizens in the private enterprises are not different.

No one considers the plight of his fellow citizens but themselves. Sadly, we that are at the receiving end, rather than scorn them, we hail them, we say it is their time, we honor them with chieftaincy titles everywhere. Due to lack of knowledge, we do not realize that God does not design our wellbeing that way. The design of God for us is that of "Collective Prosperity"

These cheaters many times think they owe God something and from what they steal, they build house of worships for different communities, sponsor many people to holy lands and we sing their praises to the high heavens, in spite that we find it extremely difficult to eat, find it difficult to fund the education of our children. We sing their praises though our children spend 6 or more years to complete their university education and even after those years return home without employment. They shower certain religious leaders and important dignitaries with expensive gifts while small and big businesses are collapsing.

Has the Bible not warned that Righteousness exalts a nation while sin is a reproach (Prov 14:34).

When there was Godliness in the nation, we were progressing. Hunger was very minimal. The nation was progressing industrially. We were assembling automobiles; Peugeot, Volkswagen etc in the 70s, which provided jobs for teeming masses. We had our own Airline "Nigeria airways" The road that leads from Mushin to Mafoluku in Lagos State in the 70s was a sprawling long row of industries, providing jobs for many citizens. Textile industries were there. We were not refining our God's given oil overseas but done in our own land. There were hundreds of such employment homes.

Where are those employment homes today? The reincarnations of Achan had collapsed them and when they were doing, the rest of us looked elsewhere. We thought that it is not our business, it was not our money, but public's. But who are the public?

When Israel was in trouble, Joshua, the leader of the nation, who equally was the spiritual leader and the elders of Israel were very sad and troubled. They tore their clothes, they sobbed bitterly. They threw dust on their heads and laid face down till evening, inquiring from God, why such a calamity had happened to them (Joshua 7:6) and after the sinner was identified, the full weight of the law descended on him and his family.

Though our government knows the different people who led us into the present terrible situation, but in our own case, our government is helpless to deal with them.

With Nigeria becoming a failed nation, where are the spiritual leaders? Where are the elders? They are romancing with the people who are collapsing the economy of the nation. The likes of the Biblical Joshua have disappeared. Rather than calling a Solemn Assembly of people of all faith to reason out for possible solutions and educate ourselves on the benefits of collective prosperity, some Priests have even said that such is not their calling. What is their calling then, when many of their congregations are dipping their hands in sin in order to survive the economic depression? May God have mercy!!

And the messages of the few spiritual leaders who take courage to address the situation will not be aired by certain media houses, like the Paramount Radio Abeokuta who is a celebrated, enthusiastic and overzealous government apologetic. Paramount Radio Abeokuta always had complaints about almost all our sermons. Till date, Paramount Radio Abeokuta holds on to a balance of N72,000.00 of air time, which our Mission paid her, without airing them. It is after those types of staff retire from service that they can appreciate a true preacher.

In the past when Godliness reigned and there was accountability, University Graduates got jobs before they even completed their final examinations and within few months, they had loan to purchase brand new automobile of their choice. Graduates of all levels of education got jobs promptly. Nursing and Medical Laboratory Students not only did they not pay school fees but were on monthly salaries. The benefits to the citizens were enormous because the progress of the nation was uppermost in the mind of those who held the affairs of the nation.

Anyone who remembers how robustly the University Students of yesteryears were educated; like princes, will give super credits to those administrators, who did not convert the budgets to personal use. The same with the administrators of Government Colleges and Secondary Schools. Today, the reincarnations of Achan had changed the equation.

Today, with only a few citizens dedicated to the nation but to self, cost of gasoline becomes a curse, leading to inflation of everything. With this situation, many people will die prematurely and many people will dip their hands into sin in order to float above the economic depression and they will end up in hell at the end of their sojourn on earth. Their blood is on the head of those who collapsed the economy, no doubt.

Let us pray