FROM THE PREACHER'S LENSES
|Saturday, August 26, 2023|
oday, we shall be looking at a story found in a book in the Old Testament of the Bible.
The book was named after the writer, a prophet by the name Jonah and the story is about one ancient prosperous city called Nineveh.
Unfortunately, the atrocities of the people of Nineveh was as big as the city itself just like the atrocities committed today by the people of Nigeria is as big as Nigeria herself.
So God sent Prophet Jonah to Nineveh to go and pronounce a judgement of destruction to them.
We are equally facing the judgement of God already in Nigeria and we must do something urgently to avert total calamity.
So the title of my sermon today is "Example of Nineveh"
Meanwhile, beckon to all your family members to come and listen to what we urgently need to do as Nigerians in order that the calamity be averted. Pick your phone right now and call your friends to tune to us immediately and let us reverence God as Prof. Dn. Kayode Samuel lead us in prayer.
Nineveh was an old historical big city. History has it that Nineveh was the most populous city of the then world. It was the capital of the ancient country called Assyria now known as Iran.
Evidences abound today that confirm that a city called Nineveh once existed. The site of the then Nineveh is not too far from Mosul, a city in today's Iraq.
Nineveh is reported in the Bible as been built by a mighty hunter called Nimrod (Gen.10.11). Nimrod was a grandson of Noah. His father was Cush from whom all the black people of the world descended.
Biblical and historical accounts agree in their reports that Nineveh was an exceedingly great commercial city. The Bible in the book of Jonah wrote that it took three days to walk the breadth of Nineveh.
However and unfortunately, as big as the city of Nineveh was, so also is the enormity of the wickedness of the people. They had no fear nor regard for the laws of God. The rulers oppressed their subjects. The subjects themselves are unkind to one another and cheated one another. Human life was not sacred to anyone.
So, God decided He could no longer tolerate their wicked practices and He resolved to wipe them off.
The behaviour of the people of the then Nineveh describes perfectly the behavior of Nigerians of today. The behavior of Nigerians of today is a replay of the behavior of the then people of Nineveh.
The selfishness, greed, wickedness, lack of consideration for the other fellow and evil practices of Nigerians of today is unimaginable far beyond those of Nineveh of old.
If God decided He was going to destroy the then people of Nineveh, does anyone think He would spare Nigeria?
This is why in the last many years, we have been reaping the reward of our wickedness with the leaders we have, who have pauperized and decimated us when we ignored the wisdom and the laws of God but decide to follow our own sinful instincts and ideas.
Forget about all the sweet things you hear from your sugar mouth coated Pastors. On many occasions, your ungodly practices bring to pass those sweet prophesies and you know it.
Except we repent, our poverty will continue to worsen, our roads will continue to maim and kill us, jobs will remain elusive to our children who graduate from the universities, our environment will remain filthy, we shall be driving and walking long distances in search of water to drink, we shall drink dirty water and live in darkness like in the primitive age.
Outside world will have no respect for us and most Nigerians who escape to foreign countries will have mostly menial jobs to do.
We shall only be reading in the newspapers, what trillions of money we make from sale of petroleum products but we shall not be able to taste of the good of the land because our leaders and the civil servants in charge will continue to steal it. Their sweet talks and promises will remain lies as ever because they will not cease to acquiring the peoples' wealth for themselves.
So, the result will be eternal condemnation for most people because poverty will lead them to dip their hands into sin and they will miss heaven.
This is because we romance with sin; no one does his work truthfully except a few. We are frauds and cheats in our individual businesses except a few. We do nothing for any one freely, even jobs for which we receive our monthly wages.
We romance with known rogues in the society; people who we ought to ostracize. We put them to run our affairs as Political leaders.
Neighbourhood people will not allow contractors to build roads in their community until the contractor gives them handsome money. Yet these are roads that when completed will bring comfort to them.
A Prophet by the name of Jonah was however sent by God to go and announce to Nineveh that destruction awaits them and barely in 40days their end would come.
For political reasons, Jonah was happy with the decision of God to destroy Nineveh because Jonah's country and Nineveh were enemies. So Jonah refused to go and pronounce God's warnings to Nineveh so that they will not repent and escape God's judgement.
But God forced Jonah and in spite of this, all he shouted to the people of Nineveh were contained in just eight words "Forty days from now, Nineveh will be destroyed" He did not plead with them to repent.
However, to the shame of Jonah, The Ninevites believed God. The king and chiefs of Nineveh quickly called a 'Solemn Assembly' A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
6 When Jonah's warning reached the king of Nineveh, the king rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.
7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh
"By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."
We observe in this incidence that it is not only the rulers who repented of their evil ways and make commitment to obey God's laws but the whole populace. Domestic animals were also made to fast.
In our own case, we are quick at pointing accusing fingers to our rulers. We put the blame of everything that go wrong on them when really it is our actions that dictate how they govern us.
I have always said it, it is a blunder to think that it is only the leadership that must be upright.
In a democratic society, unlike the military rule, both the rulers and the ruled must be upright because if the leader is godly but the citizens are ungodly, the godly leader will achieve nothing because the ungodly populace will pull his government down. In fact within a short time the camp of the ungodly will impeach him.
We have seen it happen in a State government in the second republic where a governor was godly but the ungodly house of assembly impeached him quickly and installed one of their own.
We have also witnessed a former Head of State who when he was in uniform, tolerated no nonsense and was able to achieve some level of success but after he returned as a civilian leader, he saw hell in the hands of the ungodly, teaming masses and in order not to be impeached had to dance on many occasions to the tune of the ungodly legislative arm of the government.
10 When God saw what the people of Nineveh did and how they turned from their evil ways, He relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
This is exactly what I have spent years in prayer with God to happen in Nigeria. This is what my friends in Islam and others in Christianity desire for Nigeria.
We do not want to hear the martial music for ever in Nigeria again before we all become partakers of the wealth, which God has blessed us with.
My friends in Islam and Christ do not want Ghana's bloodletting experience before we do what is right.
We do not want to wake up one morning to hear that our radio stations have been occupied by a group of soldiers before we start to do what is right in order to live a minimum life of comfort.
So we should plan for an Inter-Religious Solemn Assembly where we will all take a firm commitment with the enabling power of God to renounce and repent of all our selfishness, cheating behavior, lack of concern for the other fellow, renounce and repent of all our greed, ask God to give us power to love our fellow human beings, to do our duty in all sincerity without taking gratification in the performance of our duties, to be helpful to all people who have transactions on our official tables, not to be difficult to them but be helpful to them.
We need a collective commitment in order to achieve a Nigeria where we all live in comfort. Why? Why a collective commitment?
The reason for a collective commitment is because the morale of the godly, meanwhile has reached an all time low. Unrighteousness confronts him/her wherever he/she turns to, leading to discouragement. The temptation to join in the ungodly behaviour is high
But a collective commitment will boost the morale of everyone and serve a big encouragement because if I know that others are striving in their different positions and locations to do what is righteous, I will be encouraged that I am not alone in the effort to be godly and from time to time, we can compare notes and pray together.
At such assemblies, we shall ask God to cleanse our land from all things that are militating against us to living a good qualitative life, things that are hindering our progress as a nation, knowing that poverty is making many to backslide. It has made many youths to become tools of hooliganism in the hands of politicians.
Not only this, poverty has sent many citizens to untimely death, sent many citizens to exile with many dying on their way in the heat of the desert. Others have lost their lives in the seas. We have thus become a nuisance among the comity of nations. We are treated with contempt, scorn or disdain, without dignity.
God willing, we will organize the Inter-Religious Solemn Assembly again and
we will behave like the king, chiefs, and leaders of Nineveh who spontaneously called for a Solemn Assembly in order to avert an impending calamity. We must do all it takes for our poverty and misery to end.
The Bible is the word of God. It states it clearly "Righteousness exalts the nation but sin is a reproach to any people" (Prov.14:34)
The Bible also says "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land" (Isaiah 1: 19)
If we want our poverty to end, if we want our shame as a nation to end, if we want Nigeria to look like the other nations, which we want to live, then we must be committed to doing things that will make Nigeria great, we must prefer Nigeria above our individual selfish interest, we must become godly in all our activities, then we shall eat the good of the land i.e. we shall all become partakers of the common wealth.
The coming generation will not forgive this generation if we do not clean the mess on the stable, which we have created by our ungodliness, selfish interest, lack of consideration for others and greed.
Let us pray.