Oblivious Yet Obvious

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12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (emphasis mine)

Philippians 2:12-13

Naema stepped out of the lecture hall with confidence. As she approached 6 classmates, she noticed they were discussing the exam. “Guys, how did the paper go?

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Diem eyed Naema while friendliness lifted the corners of her mouth into a smile. 

“We know you’ve raised the bar already. So why are you asking? Diem quizzed. Naema smiled back and pointed at David. 

“There’s your bar raiser. Look at him smiling! David saw her gesture, turned and made a face. They delved straight into question 3b“All fish are mammals. Discuss”

As they discussed that question, it became increasingly clear that the lecturer meant more than just that question. In class, it was confirmed that anyone who dealt with it at face value lost half the mark even if they did that excellently. That means they could not afford to be oblivious to the obvious intent of the question.

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Whenever the Pharisees related with Jesus, they lost sight of the forest for the trees. So while He focused on eternal issues, they were fixated on browbeating Him for the moment. Whenever they pried into Him, trying hard to twist Him into knots and get Him to make punishable mistakes, He would instead look earnestly for disciples from among them. He was on to eternal things but they were on to mundane intricacies. They were obviously oblivious to what should be obvious.

He was giving them unlimited opportunities, but they saw nothing like that. Instead, they only looked for rebuttal arguments. One such painful event is in Mark 3:5 when at church, He wanted to heal a man with a withered arm, hoping they would see that God is more interested in saving His children than in just obeying human laws. So Jesus posed a question simply asking what they considered was a better activity on Sabbath for them. Was it making someone smile or being the reason for them to cry? To avoid admitting the obvious, they just kept mute. On another occasion, in Matthew 21:23-27, they came to Jesus with a quiz. To answer them, Jesus asked them a simple question requiring honest feedback. Was John’s baptism from God or man? John had worked among them, preaching and baptizing. Many lives, including non-Jewish soldiers, had been changed for the better. Was it from God? The Pharisees said they didn’t know. Simple question, simple answer. An honest statement, honest feedback. But they were fixated on looking good, unruffled and confident. They answered that they did not know if the Holy Spirit led John so as not to commit themselves. 

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God was reaching out, but man was only interested in staying politically, socially, legally, academically, personally, and even religiously correct. Jesus gently pried into their lives, uncovering possibilities. He was already aware of all their hidden unfortunacies, but they only saw an enemy to their entrenched, self-destructive habits. Heaven had thrown its gates wide open, but men and women only busied themselves looking calm, intelligent, and unmoved. They hesitated and tried to gauge what they would lose by becoming Jesus’ disciples. These rather were their priorities!

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Today, Jesus uses His word, people, circumstances, dreams, inspired counsel, opportunities, unfortunacies, and even our mistakes to let us know He expects us to work our salvation with fear and anxiety lest we lose out. In the brief moments, we get it. Then we remember something and halt the process of change for the better.

Eternity signals at us, and her face is twisted into a puzzled frown. She still asks herself, “¿¡Can’t they realize what I’m offering them?! 

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No Eternity, they are blinded by their own parochial interests, including looking out for what they stand to gain. They are obviously oblivious to what is obvious. Eternity is beckoning. Can’t you see? Do you understand her gestures, kindness, words, and offers? Eternal life is smiling at you and extending her hand to you. Please take her hand and assess the peace of knowing that your future is sorted. I beg you.

Adding Value

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17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17

Ekume and his wife, Naima, went to the city to run errands. There, they met a radio presenter, Naanye, who runs a popular show. They got to talking and struck a friendship. He explained how his show works to the couple.

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He gets an interesting hypothetical story complete with locations and names. Sometimes they are stories of actual people with names and locations changed. He shares it with the listeners. They debate it at length. People who are interested call in and share their views. Some even share similar stories. Meanwhile, in-studio, he has panellists who help in the debate.

His panellists are usually lawyers, doctors, carpenters, builders, and other professionals with knowledge and expertise. Apart from sharing more information on the topic, they explain how to avoid it, what to do fast if they experience it, and even how to alert the authorities if they suspect something. They also reveal any laws or current goings-on in government concerning the issue, international concerns, and then some pertinent advice that will help people to act fast if they think something like that is happening. Listeners call in or connect through social media platforms. The show is usually animated while it lasts. 

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He solicited the couple’s support because they were both creative writers. They accepted the challenge and immediately sent a story when they returned home. Their story aired and was debated intensely. Their following entries all gathered a lot of patronages. This collegial collaboration continued for several weeks. Soon enough, the two families, Naanye’s and Ekume’s, were close – they even went out together when time permitted. Naanye challenged Ekume, and Ekume supported Naanye.

The Bible supports this kind of relationship in Pro 27:17, where it says, “you use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another”. Sometimes in life, we meet some people who help us increase our value and efforts towards creating a better version of ourselves. They give us bait. And since that bait looks, smells, feels, and even sounds juicy, we grab it with both hands. These are your real friends. Age cannot be a hindrance, they could even be your spouse.

Whether we are students, workers, or live-ins, we need to learn to surround ourselves with people who can help us to grow. These are people who increase us. They are not afraid to speak their minds. They share information that will help us to grow, and if something is off about us, they wisely confront us. They force us to review our motives and reorder our priorities. Otherwise, our confidantes would cause us to not grow as we should. Identifying these people can be knotty. However, every effort to find such people pays us both in cash and kind.

1 Thessalonians 5 verse 11 encourages us to engage such activities. In fact, Hebrews 10: 24,25 begins by asking us to create in each other, a desire for good works. Do you have at least one such person as a human being, son, daughter, student, worker, spouse, leader, child of God, and/or hustler? Learning to recognise such people is another story. But the presence of even one such person is of tremendous advantage to you and me. Find one for your own self.

Hassle For Sapphire Results!

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26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:

Deuteronomy 11:26-28
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Keep fighting for results that gleam like a sapphire! I trust that by God’s grace, you won’t disappoint. An exam is another opportunity to show that you are really blazing a trail! But first things first. Success is an event; so is a failure! Afterwards, life goes on! The real thing is achieving your goal and why you embark on your studies. Life is generally incremental. Our choices and actions add up to give us what we get. Actually, this semester started ending when it began. You started preparing for your exams on the first day of class. This is one of the reasons why the period before exams is called revision.

Have you noticed that there are lines everywhere? The lines on pieces of cloth trace beautiful, attractive patterns. The lines on the football fields, tennis, and basketball courts help players and referees to know whether they are in or out. The lines on the roads help drivers and pedestrians to know where they can cross. And those tiny lines on the ruler reveal units of measure. 

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Lines also force us to decide to be on one side or on another side. In Exodus 32, Moses used a line to get drunken and sober Israelites to take a stand either for God or not. They were forced to choose either to be with the golden calf or God, who brought them out of Egypt with great signs and wonders. Furthermore, in Matthew 12:30, Jesus clearly stated, “This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse (Message Bible). Try to stand in line with those striving to achieve honourable goals. In life, in school, and in eternity.

People who talk about their big dreams sometimes spend the best parts of sharp-eyed hours on social media or non-essentials. People who desire ‘A’s spend their semester preparing for ‘B’s and ‘C’s. Again, some people talk about prayer but never pray. People say the Bible is God’s Word to man and never read it.Strange people, don’t you think? 

That struggle between the forces of good and evil means that you and I have to take a stand. Actually, there is no no-man’s-land for the undecided. So, like Jesus said above, once your choice is not Him, you are with the devil by default. 

We see people who want an ‘A’ but don’t do the things that make for that ‘A’ result. There are no ‘shortcuts’ in the essential things of life, i.e. studying, character, growth, etc., except by dishonesty. If you don’t hit the ground running, you may not make it as expected. 

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Now tell me, what was that your choice again…? I mean, when you began, what did you decide? Was it for an ‘A’, a ‘B’, or a ‘D’? I pray you to find spiritual growth in your walk and sapphire results in your life walk. I pray that your memory will be sharper than a double-edged sword this period.

I pray that your life’s results will have the value of PURE GOLD!

Somebody Else’s Angel

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Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Deuteronomy 9:5-15

God keeps His promises even to people already dead. People who would not know whether he kept those promises or not (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6; Job 14:20, 21). Yet our text says He completed His self-assigned duty even though it meant moving a group of stiff-necked, hardhearted, group of ungrateful former maltreated slaves.

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O yes! He kept the promise He made to Abraham, Abraham’s son, Isaac, and Isaac’s son, Jacob. Three generations dead more than 300 years earlier. So at the end of his ministry, when Moses recounted all their evil deeds, the Israelites were quiet. God could have used their misbehaviour as an excuse to not keep His promise to give Canaan to Abraham’s descendants, but He didn’t. Ensure you keep your good promises no matter the passing of time. And that would be reasonable!

Abraham respected and obeyed God. He and God became close friends (Genesis 18:19; Isaiah 41:8; Hebrews 11:8-10). So God was with him through thick and thin. His son, Isaac, honoured the God of Abraham, his father. You would see him interceding for his own wife in Genesis 25:21. He built an altar to God (Genesis 26:25), who also appeared to him (Genesis 26:2, 24). His sons, Esau and Jacob, were raised to respect and worship God. In Genesis 28, 31, 33, we read about how God appeared to Jacob, and angels appeared to him when he fled from home and on the way back from his uncle, Laban. We even read about that fantastic wrestling match that resulted in the change of his name (verse 32:28) from Jacob (that supplants, undermines; the heel)[1] to Israel (the prince that prevails with God)[2]. My point here is that these three honoured and worshipped God. Therefore, God could work with them and bless their descendants. 

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On the other hand, their descendants did not seem to see a need for their own personal relationship with the God of their ancestors! From the get-go, even while they were still in Egypt, they refused to be helped. They betrayed Moses, who had to flee fast to the land of Midian (Exodus 2:11-15). Despite the 10 miracles/plagues God did in Egypt, along with the booty the Israelites got from their neighbours without a fight (verses 11:1-3), they still grumbled again a few weeks after leaving Egypt (Exodus 14:11; Deuteronomy 9:7). Several times, their sharp mouths opened in protest, sounding off and complaint. The book of Deuteronomy begins with Moses mentioning only the significant incidents.

Considering their behaviour on the way, God could have carried out his threat – of wiping them out entirely and starting afresh to raise His people out of Moses’ own descendants. But He didn’t because Moses pleaded while engaged in a personal 40-day fast (Deuteronomy 9:18, 25) for the people. He bore with them because of His love and promise to their forbears.

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In spite of your bad habits, your good fortune may result from the life and worship of your forebears who have pleaded on your behalf. Nicole C. Mullen’s beautiful and instructive song, “Granny’s Angel”, suggests that God doesn’t have any grandchildren. “Cause you can’t keep livin’ on granny’s Angel”, she sings, “Cos it’s time to get one o’ your own!”[3] Get to know and love Jesus for yourself. The time to stop depending on other people’s relationship with God IS NOW! Make that decision to know God for yourself now and bless your posterity!

Enjoy a quote from the song…

But granny cried, “Lord Jesus, help my baby boy
‘Cause he ain’t doin’ the things that he’s supposed to, ” yeah, yeah
Then she cried, “Lord Jesus, it would bring me joy
To see him live to be someone who loves you”

‘Cause you can’t keep livin’ on granny’s Angel
See it’s about time you get one of your own
I’m telling you can’t keep livin’ on granny’s Angel
‘Cause whatcha gonna do when granny’s gone[4]


[1] Topical Bible: Jacob (biblehub.com)

[2] Topical Bible: Israel (biblehub.com)

[3] Nicole C. Mullen – Granny’s Angel Lyrics | AZLyrics.com; Nicole C. Mullen Granny’s Angel Lyrics – Bing video

[4] Nicole C. Mullen – Granny’s Angel Lyrics | AZLyrics.com

Don’t Ask For Whom The Bell Tolls

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6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 12 Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7, 12, 15
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A short video on social media shows a pretty young girl, a pastor’s daughter, in an extra-tight and short pair of shorts and a sleeveless show-it-all top. A couple of young men meet and engage her in a chit-chat. Then one enquires about her choice of clothes, being a pastor’s daughter. Quickly, she fires back, “God called my father o! He didn’t call me. So don’t bother me!”

Well, she is right, isn’t she? Unlike her father, she never had a vision or anything like that from God. She was just born into that family. That’s all, right? Think again. Our key text above ties in with Isa 54:13, which reads, And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Living right has to spill over and continue in subsequent generations in your family. In his most famous poem, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions and Seuerall Steps in my Sicknes (Meditation XVII, 1624), the metaphysical poet John Donne wrote, “No man is an island entire of itself”[1]. In other words, we become complete with the support we receive from each other[2]. We were created gregarious beings who thrive on the fellowship of others. Read the ending of Donne’s lines…

…any man’s death diminishes me, 

because I am involved in mankind.

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls {meaning funeral procession}; 

it tolls for thee.

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In effect, all are connected socially and spiritually. We all are affected by each other’s demise. No plant lives to itself; no river flows into itself; even animals pollinate plants as they move along foraging. While each person will be rewarded according to his/her actions, each person’s good (or bad) influence and deeds rub off on those close. And technology can increase that influence more. Social media, for instance, can quickly spread anything like wildfire across the globe. Leaders must live right lives. But followers must live right too. Integrity is everything with God. All the people in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews11) were people of integrity. God gave them second, third, fourth, and fifth chances to show integrity when they failed. He preserves the way of His saints (Proverbs 2:6-9).

The family bears the brunt when a parent is arrested as a criminal. It is the same with an irresponsible child’s irresponsible choices. Therefore, each must choose to the right thing. Clearly, our good deeds benefit even our community. The consequences of growing up in a godly family but choosing the opposite way of life can be grave. Think again! No person is an island. The human was created gregarious.

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Here is the poem:

No Man Is an Island

1.

No man is an island,

Entire of itself;

Every man is a piece of the continent,

A part of the main.

2.

If a clod be washed away by the sea,

Europe is the less,

Donne’s bronz bust in London
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As well as if a promontory were:

As well as if a manor of thy friend’s

Or of thine own were.

3.

Any man’s death diminishes me,

Because I am involved in mankind.

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;

It tolls for thee.

John Donne [1572-1631][3]


[1] No Man Is an Island by John Donne – Famous poems, famous poets. – All Poetry

[2] ‘No man is an island’ – what does it mean? (phrases.org.uk)

[3] No Man Is an Island by John Donne – Famous poems, famous poets. – All Poetry

What Our Complaint Meter Reveals

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And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.

Numbers 17:8
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People love to complain about their families, the economy, school, jobs, the government … even God and His divine decisions. That these things don’t meet their expectations! And most of their issues are legit! 

Parents teach their children to complain. The children turn these complaints on each other and eventually on their parents. Imagine a family sitting at dinner ‘eating’ complaints before the real food? Hmmm. Daddy will complain, mummy will share a grumble, and the children will also kvetch. After that, they eat the actual food. 

The main difference between people who have many complaints and those who don’t is perspective. Your complaining behaviour – call it ‘Complaint Meter’ – reveals your perspective. During my sixth form years, a colleague, Rosemary prayed, “….O Loving Father, Your goodness and mercy are now tormenting me!” Imagine complaining to God about His own goodness!

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Now back to our story. Israel was always complaining. It had started with Aaron and Miriam. This time, Kohath, Dathan, and Abiram (Numbers 16) felt that Moses and Aaron had taken too much responsibility upon themselves. And Israel supported them against Moses and Aaron. God, as usual, provided a solution – He revealed whom He wanted to do His work. He asked all the leaders to bring rods representing their families. Commentators say that rods were symbols of authority and used to guide the sheep[1]. Among the rods/staffs brought to the tabernacle representing the leaders of the families, only Aaron’s staff “sprouted–buds, blossoms, and even ripe almonds!” (Message Bible). Yet they were not satisfied. They complained until God made the ground open instantly and swallow them. The following day, more people had to die before calm was restored. Creating a questionnaire to help us discover more about complaining would be nice. Consider the scale below as a complaint meter. It reveals whether we want to help with the solution or, instead, with the problem, whether we wish for God’s resolutions or our own solutions. It shows us if we expect God’s answers, whether we trust Him, whether we’ll accept His response, and whether we are submitted to Him or not! What reads your complaint meter? Place a check on your current number of complaints in life: 

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  • 0 – 5 o             – Want To Help With God’s Solution
  • 6 – 10 o           – Want God’s Solution
  • 11 – 15 o           – Want Any Solution Anyhow
  • 16 – 20 o          – Want To Always Find Problems
  • 21 – 25 o          – Want To Help Enlarge The Problem

A heart in love with God complains too. However, this is controlled/constrained by a perspective of submission, just like Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:42). That heart unites with God in finding and implementing solutions. It reviews and says, not my wish but Yours, dear Father. The other view is informed by defiance. This defiant view manifests in different forms. A constantly grumbling mouth usually is close to a heart not fully submitted to God. A Christian grumbler went on until one day, the pastor thought he had found something at last that she could not complain about – her potatoes. “Ah, for once, you must be pleased,” he said, beaming with smiles when they met in the street. “Everyone is saying you got splendid potatoes this year.” The lady glared at him as she answered, “Quite right. But what about the bad ones I need for my poultry?” She had wanted God to give her rotten potatoes for her poultry business!! Remember what my friend, Rosemary said above? Grumbling mouths may not emanate from hearts fully submitted to God. Are you entirely surrendered to God? What does your meter say?


[1] Difference Between Rod and Staff – Ask Any Difference; Staff vs. Rod – What’s the difference? | Ask Difference

The Rigour of Post Mortis

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Inspired by Esther Jallah on Feb17, 2022

1.

Death deals the body,

God keeps the soul,

Mind holds the memories,

Heart hides the love,

Eye eyes the dream left behind,

Hand heaves the despondent coal of former effort,

Mouth mumbles the worn mantra,

Tenderly tacked behind the bleating of the heart.

2.

Life goes placidly on.

Experiences pick life’s pieces.

Our dreams may die in order to

Germinate.

Never give up.

Though they cannot see,

Their Maker does.

If we meet someday, we will share

What we walked in

After the life was done beyond revoke.

3.

Pick up the pieces

Life keeps running on with those who are ready

Life keeps dragging on with those who aren’t

Work up the dreaming

Hustle your way forward towards what may not be clear yet

Wriggle your way in the direction of what you saw

Keep up your form

The doldrums have nothing but pain, misery

You may have fallen, don’t we all?

Tweak up your giftings

This tunnel may be solid and dark

It also hosts those striving to see the light they dreamed of.

How to Avoid Leprosy II

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And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.

Numbers 12: 4-5

Last time, we shared about Miriam and Aaron gossiping about Moses. We remember God called them out of the tabernacle to deal with it. Let’s stay with the criticism of leaders and preachers for a moment. 

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If a pastor’s hair is grey, he is too old; if he is a young man, he is inexperienced. If he is married, his wife is proud; if he isn’t, he’s not setting a good example for the youth. If his wife mobilizes the women, she presumes; if she doesn’t, she isn’t interested in her husband’s work. If he has ten children, he has too many; if he has none, he doesn’t pray; if his baby cries at church, he is not training him; if the baby doesn’t, he might be sickly; if the children take part in church activities, they always want to lead; if they don’t, he’s not bringing them up well. If he reads from his notes, he is a bore; if he speaks extemporaneously, he isn’t deep enough. If he stays at home, he doesn’t mix sufficiently with his people; if he is seen on the streets, he ought to be home writing better sermons. If he visits the wealthy, he is begging for alms; if he visits low-income families, he is pretending to love. Whew! Pastors are human too. They’ve just been called to do God’s unique work. No need to keep reminding them that they almost live in a fishbowl.

Moses’ case was unfortunate – his detractors were his own siblings, who should have been loving and supportive against all the troubles, complaints and criticism from the Israelites. 

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One of the devil’s current strategies is to make family members look problematic to each other so he can effectively kill any love left in our families. And so he can convince our children that staying close to family is a drag. He has fought against these primary institutions that God established in the beginning – Sabbath and Family (Genesis chapters 1 and 2). 

We help Lucifer and hurt God’s plan when we selfishly destroy our loved ones. So that day, God spoke hard. Picture the Almighty saying, “Read my lips. When it comes to Moses, I don’t need to give him visions or revelations. No! He sees my form, and we speak plainly, Ok? My servant, Moses, is more humble than any man on earth! And I read hearts correctly, so I know what I am talking about? How come you did not fear to speak about him with such disrespect? (Numbers 12: 6-8). Wao! Prophets see visions, but this man spoke to God “mouth to mouth” (verse 8).

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The Almighty is almighty enough to leave in a huff after a gruff. That day, in front of the tabernacle, when God was finished speaking, He just left. And if He does that to you, you end up in a bad situation. When He went off from the tabernacle door, Miriam became white as snow, sickly white. Meanwhile, each of them was stunned by the sheer realization – Wow! We annoyed God so much that He left the whole universe and personally came down to warn us! Then Miriam noticed that her brothers were staring at her with fear! Her eyes followed their eyes to her own hands and feet. She had gotten leprosy!Aaron began to call his younger brother with respect, “M-my l-lord, please forgive us. Please pray for her”. Despite Moses’ pleading, God insisted that Miriam had to be quarantined out of the camp for seven painful days! 

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Leprosy is also contagious. Without knowing the full details, we support, encourage, defend, and even rationalize people’s unfortunate behaviour. You and I can avoid leprosy. Let us take John’s advice (1 John 4:1). Be sure the leader is godly before even becoming a follower. And don’t be so critical. Let us have confidence from personal persuasion that leaders are human and do the best they can under the circumstances.

Don’t get leprosy. God loves all His children so He has provided directions on how to criticize[1]. Don’t listen to people who rationalize and give excuses without checking what God’s word says (Check Matthew 7:1-5; James 4:11-12; 2 Timothy 2:24-25; 1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 25:8).


[1] Dealing with Criticism Biblically (biblereasons.com)

How To Avoid Leprosy I

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12 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2 And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it.

Numbers 12:1-2
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People gossip and joke about their preachers and leaders though they may not mean to hurt their feelings. There is a song by Kingsmen Quartet titled “Excuses”[1]. In it, their tenor chronicles interesting excuses the devil gives to Christians to keep them from attending church. It begins with personal excuses and ends with gossip about the preacher – he’s too young, and maybe he’s too old, sermons are not challenging enough, and maybe they are too bold…, he needs to have more dignity, or else he’s too proud. In the end, the tenor says, ‘we all have them (excuses), don’t we!’ 

Running one’s mouth about leaders is an old habit. Moses’s own siblings – Auntie Miriam and Pastor Aaron – even gossiped about him! In this episode, the subject was Mrs Moses. She was a Cushite, Ethiopian, dark-skinned. I can almost hear Miriam breathing puckishly into Aaron’s gloating ears, “They say she can’t even cook our food well…. “Goodness me! Her skin is so dark; it’s as if she doesn’t want to bathe correctly; hmmm, “I even overheard them quarrelling last night… “Did God ask our brother to marry her? “Does God speak only through Moses? “What about us? “He speaks through us too! Hahahahahaha!

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To think this was coming not just from Moses’ siblings but also from the leaders of a complicated, painful to manage, 10,000+ wandering wayfarers. They were supposed to be leaders whose lives should be the examples God could count on.

God broke through their nitpicking in anger. He called the three siblings out of His tabernacle. Then God descended in the cloud and stood at the entrance to the tabernacle, effectively blocking any chance of getting back in there even if they dared to do so. He had stopped Aaron and Miriam’s chance of entering the only place on earth where God, Himself, had said people could go to obtain mercy. That is how despicable, how repulsive gossiping was and still is to the Almighty. And when He had finished speaking, He was not finished with them – He went ahead to show how repulsive it was to Him.

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One can manage problems from his enemies. But ‘negative friendly fire‘ is a damaging betrayal. When Julius Caesar’s closest friend, Marcus Junius Brutus, also stabbed him, Caesar stuttered, “Et tu, Brute?” Even you, Brutus?[2] Who hasn’t felt the burning sensation of ‘negative friendly fire?’ And how many of us have not given our loved ones that burning sensation of gossip, betrayal, and backbiting? “We all have them, don’t we?” But it’s so execrable (deserving of a curse) that God actually places the curse on Miriam (verses 10-15).  

“When you are disposed to criticize a friend,

Just remember, the beginning’s not the end;

When within this urge you find,

These three questions bring to mind:

Is it TRUE? Is it NEEDFUL? Is it KIND?” – Anonymous 


[1] excuses song lyrics – Search (bing.com)

[2] Et tu, Brute? – Wikipedia

Boy Little Me

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22:53hrs, on July 15, 2022

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1

Months have gone by

Already.

They grabbed my peace

By the neck beads

And hauled it

Scratching, jolting

To only God knows where.

But now it’s like my birthday.

Boy, little me!

2

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The days quickened into lazy weeks.

The weeks strengthened into youthful months.

And the months? They straightened up

Into 4 mature years with tightened fists.

Tightened around the now scrawny neck

Of my fast ageing peace.

But God Almighty

Called Joshua to turn July 15

Into December 14.

And now it’s like my birthday.

Boy, little me!

3

By the time my trouble

Matured and straightened up into adulthood

The Almighty,

Merciful, faithful,

Lifted His loving finger

Angered by the cruelty of my

Healthy and matured misfortune.

The Lord lifted Isaiah 49.

He picked verse 24

Stretched out all the way to verse 26.

God kept right on.

He was defending me against

The trouble I invited, no, invented

All by myself

But now it’s like my birthday.

Boy, little me!

4

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My whole being

Magnifies God,

The Holy One of Israel.

When He spotted Boy little me,

He saw an advert for Himself.

From now all generations

Will praise God for me.

They will choose God when troubles break into their lives.

And when they see bullets

From every glance, they will

Duck in the Almighty’s covering

So now it’s like my birthday.

Boy, little me!

5

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For God alone

Over-rights the consistent competence of computers

Into foolishness.

The Almighty chooses digital natives

Who reject Him and

Metamorphoses them a little less

Than digital migrants to prove

That He is God.

He can turn the top-dog’s best

Social media campaign

In the under-dog’s best interests.

God lifts His loved

Along with their doldrums.

He floods them with heaven’s light.

Ein Kolekeinu

I will lift my only pulsing heart

In His praise.

He is not finished with me

And so far too good.

I boost up my only pounding heart and make it

Verdant in His praise.

Boy, little me.

For in His care

My trouble died at a ripe old age of 48 months.

And now it’s like my birthday

Boy, little me.

6

He can feed the unfed,

Heal the unwell,

Father the unfathered,

And love the unmothered.

He guides the unfound,

Lifts the unsound,

Prizes the unworthy, and

Dusts off the unclean.

He’s my manufacturer.

He alone keeps the human

Industry working.

He is the Hirer

Who trains the willing jobless

Till they become masters.

He can turn the “dunce” into an

Industry giant.

Now it’s like my birthday.

Boy, little me!