BY TENDAI RUBEN MBOFANA.
If there is anything I find most detestable and repulsive than everything else on this planet, is the purposeful blaspheming of the name of our Almighty Jehovah, in the fulfilment of shallow, narrow-minded, and selfish ambitions and objectives – especially, when those making such utterances deliberately, arrogantly, and stubbornly do exactly the opposite of what that same God commands.
If ever anyone resorts to invoking the most powerful and sacred name of Jehovah, this needs to be done in a sincere and humble manner, in seeking His face – through His faithful and righteous son Jesus Christ – but, certainly not as a means of hiding one’s own sinful, wicked, and devilish deeds behind this Holy name, in an attempt to hoodwink those whose message is targeted.
No one can dispute that Zimbabwe is a majority Christian nation, and as such, can be so easy for those harboring their own nefarious agendas to bastardize and abuse the Bible and God’s name to meet these ends – yet, without the slightest intentions of ever genuinely giving their hearts to Christ Jesus, and obeying Jehovah’s commandments.
A few days ago, the Zimbabwe government declared 15 June 2020, as the Presidential National Day of Prayer and Fasting, in order for the country to be healed and protected from the ravaging effects of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which has wrecked unprecedented havoc across the entire globe – claiming the lives of over 400,000 people worldwide, and 4 in this country.
Of course, from face value, this would readily be embraced as a very noble, and much needed, solution to this menacing and devastating outbreak – as God Almighty, through His son Christ Jesus, is the great healer and protector, whose omnipotence can never be equalled by any other force, and would most surely be the only most effective route, not only for Zimbabwe, but the entire planet, as well.
Indeed, even when proclaiming this Presidential National Day of Prayer and Fasting, Zimbabwean president Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, swiftly quoted a widely known biblical scripture (2 Chronicles 7:14), which validates that our God is most able, and willing, to “Hear from heaven, and forgive (our) sin, and heal (our) land”.
What wonderful and glorious words, indeed!
With such a loving and powerful God – whom we can so easily turn to in times of need and danger, with His unwavering promises and assurances to be there for us – there is certainly no need for us to be alarmed and unsettled when confronted with such pestilences as COVID-19, or any other catastrophe, for that matter.
In fact, in another popular scriptural verse (Psalm 23:4), the writer joyously, boldly, and confidently declared, “Though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me”.
Nevertheless, there is a catch.
When we return to the verse quoted by Mnangagwa, God gives a very clear condition for His promise – that is, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”.
Herein lies the crux of the matter.
Indeed, the Presidential National Day of Prayer and Fasting on 15 June 2020 implores us to humble ourselves, pray, and seek God’s face.
However, another very crucial condition is that, we need to turn from our wicked ways.
The question then is, “Are we turning from our wicked ways? Are we humbly confessing and repenting our sin, before asking, and expecting, God to hear us from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land”?
It is impossible to answer this question on a national scale,but we can certainly look at the issue based on those hosting, and calling for, this national day of prayer and fasting.
Leaders of any nation are supposed to be God’s representatives, on His people – and, therefore, are held to very high standards, as they are expected to lead in a manner that glorifies His name, and shows His love, grace, and compassion.
In other words, leaders’ conduct, behaviour and leadership qualities should be examplary and representative of the character of God – which is why, even in the Bible, prophets were sent to them to ensure that they abided by His very high standards, and were immediately rebuked and admonished, should they disregard His commandments.
As a matter of fact, God would broken-heartedly remove from His favor any leaders who perverted His expectations and instructions – as so often occured, with kings such as Saul, Jeroboam, Ahab, and many others, easily coming to mind.
A nation’s victory, prosperity, and peace was attached to its leader’s adherence to Jehovah’s statutes and values – as those under wicked rulership, could lose battles, face pestilences, and even driven into slavery.
However, those who heeded God’s calls, or sincerely confessed and repented, in the face of sinfulness – for instance, kings David, and Hezekiah – had their nations healed, protected and prospered.
Without meeting this criterion, no nation could ever hope for Jehovah’s intervention, blessings, and protection.
This, then, takes us back home to Zimbabwe.
How has the Zimbabwean leadership fared so far – especially, the so-called ‘new dispensation’, which took over power through the barrel of the gun in November 2017, with the resultant loss of several lives?
Has the rulership in the country diligently and honestly played its expected role of being the face of God over His people? A God who embraces, protects, loves, cherishes, cares for, and provides for His people?
Has the government of Zimbabwe been faithful with the abundant natural wealth and resources, which this same God has endowed our nation with?
Has the country’s leadership protected the sanctity of life of all Zimbabweans, as they are God’s children – fearfully and wonderfully made in His image and likeliness?
Have those in power in this country ensured that each and every Zimbabwean is worthy of his or her wages, and is paid accordingly – so that, he or she may live a life of dignity and relative comfort?
Can we confidently assert that, those in the ruling establishment have been honest and above board in all their dealings, and have remained true to the tenets laid down by Jehovah?
Of course, I would be lying – and sinning to God – if I said, “Yes”, to any of the above, as the answer is known to all, and it is an unequivocal, “NO”.
This Zimbabwean government – which, is calling for a Presidential National Day of Prayer and Fasting – has, apparently, done everything in its powers to defy, ridicule, and attack anything that the same God they are mobilizing the nation for, has demanded of them.
This is a regime that has never left its chosen path of stealing, killing, and destroying – the very description given by our Lord Jesus Christ, of Satan the Devil – as, surely these people in power in Zimbabwe know not love, compassion, care, and protection for the long-suffering citizenry, but would rather burden, brutalize, and bludgeon them on an ever-increasing frequency.
This is a regime that has proven not to be interested in turning away – repenting – from its wicked ways, but would rather use its security forces to cold-bloodedly shoot dead dozens of unarmed protestors on the streets in August 2018 and January 2019.
Is this not the same unrepentant junta that would rather savagely beat up to a pulp, and humiliate all those deemed to have defied the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) inspired lockdown – that has already led to the death of two people (one having actually been shot in his car)?
Is this not the same government that ridicules, and stubbornly fails to properly launch independent investigations into over 50 cases of alleged abductions of political and labour activists, reported just in the past one year – that have resulted in the atrocious beating up, torture, and sexual abuse of the abductees?
These are the same people, who led a campaign of terror in the Matebeleland and Midlands provinces in the 1980s – where I hail from, and personally witnessed some of these atrocities – which led to the genocidal massacre of over 20,000 innocent men, women, and children (including unborn babies gouged from their pregnant mothers’ wombs by security forces using bayonets), as well the merciless mass raping of women, hacking off body parts of males (with wives and children being forced to eat them), and torching homes of all perceived ‘enemies’.
Such satanic acts continued in the 2000s, when hundreds of opposition supporters met a similar fate, at the hands of the same regime.
To make matters even worse, none of the perpetrators of all the innumerable acts of banditry and barbarousness of the Zimbabwe government have ever been held accountable, as these never-repentant power-hungry butchers have hardly shown any remorse, and never acknowledged the full extent of their demonic and diabolical deeds – but, instead choosing to whitewash, trivialize, and even ridicule such.
Furthermore, these are the same authorities who have presided over the massive and disgusting looting of the country’s national resources, thereby destroying the country to the point that ordinary Zimbabweans now live in abject poverty – with over 7 million (more than half the population) requiring food aid, can not afford to send their children to school, university graduates can barely find a decent job, and have to resort to street vending and illegal alluvial gold panning, or those forced (or, have chosen) to go into self-employment can not make ends meet, as the economy is in a freefall.
Therefore, if Zimbabweans have to pray and fast for anything, it would be for Jehovah to remove this evil from amongst us – and as a truly listening God, He will most certainly hear us.
Christ Jesus assured us that, whatever we ask for, in His name, the Father will do – and according to the prayer He taught His disciples, we can freely pray for God to “deliver us from the evil one”, and is exactly the prayer we need to unite together behind.
Such a prayer should not trouble anyone, as we would not be praying for anyone’s death, but merely for this wicked regime to be removed from burdening us – as God Himself guarantees us that such evildoers and workers of iniquity “shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb” (Psalm 37:2).
As a matter of fact, Jehovah uses such united fasts and prayers to unshackle his people from the bonds of wicked oppressors, as He declared, “Is not the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the throngs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6).
As such, let every man, woman, and child – who has been burdened by this Zimbabwe regime (and all those progressive people across the globe, who empathize with us), use this National Day of Prayer and Fasting to boldly come before God’s throne of grace, in united prayer and fasting, to finally call upon our listening, loving, caring, providing, and protecting Jehovah – in the name of His holy son Christ Jesus – to remove this burden from us, that has choked, starved, and brutalized us for as long as they have been in power since the country gained its political independence from Britain in 1980.
Let us all trust in the promises of our God – for He knows no lies, and always hears the cries of his children.
The people of Zimbabwe have had more than enough of this blasphemous, heartless, vindictive, and sadistic regime – which has proven beyond doubt, that it is unrepentant, and is unwilling to turn away from its wicked ways, but would rather do anything in its disproportionate power, no matter how gruesome and murderous, to stay in office, and continue looting the nation of its resources, for self-aggrandizement…whilst, the rest of the population becomes poorer and more desperate by the day.
Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker who can be contacted on WhatsApp/Calls: +263733399640 / +263715667700, or Calls Only: +263782283975 / +263788897936, or email: [email protected] He writes here in his personal capacity.