“You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country; the fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock… Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.”
I have lately been involved in community work: meeting men and women, visiting homes, talking to the youth and so forth. I have learnt a lot by just visiting people’s homes, seeing how they live and work. One thing struck me though; the sheer number of people who live in extreme poverty. People who wake up each day and wonder why they are alive because they have no hope of anything; they don’t know when they will get their next meal or money to take a sick child to hospital. They are always playing hide and seek with the landlord, the shopkeeper and the water vendor, for they do not know when they will next get money. And it is not because of January, no. This is their every day state.
On the other end of the spectrum, is another group of especially men from the same community who are seemingly doing well. They are in business and have a lot of time in their hands. They have an informal group that meets at a local joint every day to drink beer among other things. There are those who make it to the joint daily and those who visit three or more times a week. But on every sitting, they don’t spend less than Ksh1000 each. The better off buy meat and rounds of alcohol for others. It’s one jolly party.
The most striking thing about the first group – mostly comprising single mothers – is that many of them are born-again Christians.
They pray for God’s intervention every day, they fast and pray without ceasing, but nothing good seems to come out of their supplications. And while they are praying and attending church service, the second group of men is “eating the fruit of their labour” with abandon. And even as they are eating, their businesses are creating more money and wealth for them. They don’t go to church unless there is a harambee or a friend’s wedding or funeral service. They can’t remember when last they prayed out of their own free will. They usually come across prayers when they are at a function and the master of ceremony asks the members to “begin with a word or prayer.”
And the question that bogs me down is; why are God’s children living in squalor while those who do not even keep the “Sabbath holy” are living in plenty? Where are the blessings of God that come upon those who call upon Him, those who deny themselves for the sake of the kingdom? Where is their portion?
Hear this from Deuteronomy 28:1: “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all His commands… the Lord your God will set you high above the nations on earth.”
Could it be that these people give God lip service? That they do not obey Him? For the promises of God are clear if you obey him. Deuteronomy 28:3-6 says; “You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country; the fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock… Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.”
In the same chapter, consequences of not obeying the Lord have been spelt out. Deuteronomy 28:15 says; “However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.”
Are Christians disobeying God to the point where the fruits of their wombs are cursed? Until their basket and kneading trough are cursed? For it is one thing to go to church and fast for forty days and another thing to truly live as God intends us to live.
And God intends us to obey him by working on the earth, not sitting in the house the whole day gossiping about the pastor, the church choir, and so on and so forth. If you find pleasure begging, complaining how things are hard for you instead of solving them, God can never be pleased with you no matter how hard you worship him. Many people (I have concluded from my interactions with the said community) are poor not because they cannot make it, but because they find pleasure in displaying their poverty; they will spend 30 minutes telling you how bad things are and ask you for help, but not a single minute to ask you for a job.
Isn’t it any wonder then that a lot of Christians are living like children of a poor God? Unlike the children of the Father who made the universe – the sea and sea creatures, the dry earth and its creatures, the gold and copper and diamonds – by his word. It is because too many Christians are praying and not working; they are seeking for pity and not employment.
Hope you resolve this year to truly obey God “…through painful toil…” (Gen 3: 17). For that is the only way man, after the fall of Adam and Eve, can regain his stewardship of the universe.
Published in February 2016