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Just Thinking Aloud… (III)

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By Bola Bolawole

As the two lost-but-found friends lap up the remnants of their pepper-soup, washing it down with the last drops in their beer bottle, one of them suddenly went Afghanistan, as it were. He dipped his hand into his bag and brought out a book saying, as he did, “The word of God is forever settled. It is written: The sword shall never depart from the house of David” And he began to flip through the pages of the black book, which turned out to be a Bible. “Yes, it is in II Samuel 12:10: ‘Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from thine house…” That was God speaking to David through the prophet Nathan”

His friend was silent, wondering what the matter could be: Bible in a beer parlour and pepper-soup joint? Even if his friend was a pastor, he would have thought that was the best place to conceal it. But his friend would have none of that!

“Sheer hypocrisy; did you hear me, sheer hypocrisy! Some denominations plant churches in hotels and brothels. How about that? Jesus said he came for sinners; not the so-called holy-holy people. Jesus wined and dined with sinners”

He flipped furiously through his bible as he kept reeling out names: “Matthew, the tax collector, whom Jesus made his disciple; ‘short man’ Zacchaeus in whose home Jesus wined and dined. Did Jesus not say only he that is sick needs a doctor? Jesus came for sinners and, while leaving, he committed the gospel of going after sinners unto us. And where there is the honeycomb, there you find the bees”

Now, his friend could bear it no more: “You are not here to preach or seek lost souls but to drink and eat pepper-soup. Is that what Jesus committed unto your hands?”

“But I am not one of those who are dogmatic about wine. When occasion demands, I sip a little, not much. Too much of everything is bad. Now that we are celebrating a reunion; so I see nothing wrong in a bottle of beer”

“I would have loved that you never exposed our Christian identity here and now and in this manner”

“Sheer hypocrisy, I daresay again! The Bible is quite clear about wine and what our disposition towards it should be”

“Exactly…! The Bible specifically warns us against strong wine. It also gave us examples of the adverse effects of strong wines on Noah, Lot, King Ahazuerus, Herod, etc”

“I know as much. I can even refer you to Proverbs 31:4 which says “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights”

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“I am happy you know! Is that not what happened when Ahasuerus made rash decisions that cost Queen Vashti her crown? Similar rash decisions by Herod after he was drunk cost John the Baptist his head. Not to talk of Noah and his curse on Canaan, the son of Ham. Not to talk also of the sacrilege committed by the daughters of Lot after feeding their father strong wine”

“The Bible has opened our eyes to see what happens when a man gets drunk. If you drink and get drunk after that, that is your fault. Too much of everything is bad. If you cannot stand the heat, why go inside the kitchen? Drink responsibly! The Bible is not against little wine. After all, the father of the prodigal son threw a party when his ‘lost’ son returned”

“Bible never said wine was served! Strong wine was not served!”

“But how could they have dined without wining? At the marriage in Cana in Galilee, Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water into wine…”

“I beg your pardon! Not wine that intoxicates…”

“Whichever! Now I understand your problem, which appears the same as afflicts many in our society. They seem to think only strong wine intoxicates: That is fallacy from the pit of Hell! Money or wealth intoxicates. Position and power are very strong ‘wines’ that intoxicate. Beauty, too, intoxicates. So, why preach against one and leave out the others?”

“Now I see where you are coming from! All intoxicants are dangerous and must be treated equally. Sin is sin and everything must be done moderately. A musician said if you don’t know when to stop; ordinary water will turn your stomach and make you behave like someone who is drunk. But have we not digressed from where we started? We were talking of David and the sword that God said will never depart from his house…”

“That ‘sword’ is the conflagration you are witnessing today in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians. That region will never know peace until the second coming of Jesus”

“What if the world powers intervene?

“Have they not intervened since God knows when? A problem decreed by God can never be solved by mankind”

“Just because David slept with Bathsheba…!”

“And you call that ‘just’? He not only slept with the woman, another man’s wife, a man more honourable than himself, he also arranged and killed the man and then took the woman as his own wife!”

“Horrible and horrendous…!”

“Exactly…! What intoxicated David was not strong wine. Power! Position! Many are those who are intoxicated by power and position. And worse are the atrocities committed by those so intoxicated that the evils of wine bibbing”

“We must condemn both! None is to be preferred to the other. Every evil is evil. But can David be the root cause of the problem between Jews and Arabs? Are they not both descendants of Father Abraham?”

“There is an intoxicant stronger than strong wine! Bible records that Sarah prevailed upon Abraham to go in unto her maid, Hagar, when she (Sarah) had lost all hope of having a child despite God’s promises. Abraham consented and Ishmael was born. Soon afterwards, Sarah gave birth to Isaac. Hagar grew wings and Sarah felt slighted. Abraham was caught in-between. Eventually, Hagar and her son Ishmael had to leave when Sarah dug her feet in the sand. Ishmael is the ancestor of the Palestinians while Isaac is of the Jews”

“I see! So they are brothers! Why, then, are they fighting unto death?”

“They are carrying forward the war of the mothers! What Mother planted in each of their hearts will take the heavens to uproot! English playwright and poet, William Congreve (1670 – 1729) was right when he said: ‘Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned’. The jealousy, hatred, and love of a woman intoxicates more than the strongest wine on earth”

“That is a very serious matter. Jews and Palestinians may fight and kill one another till Armageddon. But will the Jews always prevail?”

“Israel! Small nation, powerful arsenal! They are touted as the fourth most powerful nation in the world – militarily. The Palestinians remind me of what Grandma used to call me – Amu kekere gba lila”

“And what does that mean?”

“As small as I was then, I would retaliate no matter how big the assailant was. So I would throw my own feeble punches and receive in return killer punches from the opponent!”

“But that is akin to committing suicide. It makes little sense to me”

“That ‘little sense’ was what urged me on. I always banked on passers-by not only intervening and rescuing me but also scolding the big-for-nothing assailant for not fighting with his equals. That way, I retained my bragging rights but with bloodied nose, mouth and eyes to the bargain”

“I see! That is happening right now between the Jews and Palestinians. The Palestinian rockets are no match for the torrential ‘rainfall’ of bombs by the Israeli air force. I think the Palestinians need help”

“Of course, help will come but not before they have been battered”

“Turkey has solicited for Nigeria’s help for the Palestinians. What do you think?”

“I laughed! My people have a saying: ‘Osabiya saa re, o sa biya e’ It means someone who is running helter-skelter in need of help comes across someone else who says ‘please, help me’”

“That is a serious matter. No one gives what he does not have. Someone whose own house is on fire cannot be directing fire-fighters to another man whose house is bellowing with smokes!”

“Don’t be too sure. A fool can do that! But commonsense-wise, our national interests should determine our response. What, for instance, is the disposition of either of the Jews or Palestinians to the Black person? Which one treats us with dignity and respect?”

“But religion or racial affinity may determine our leaders’ response in this matter. They may not care a hoot what public opinion says or where national interest lies in this matter”

“That will be power intoxication. And like Lord Acton said: ‘Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely…”

At that moment “NEPA” struck, throwing the whole place into utter darkness!

Just thinking aloud… (III)

By Bola Bolawole

turnpot@gmail.com 0807 552 5533

As the two lost-but-found friends lap up the remnants of their pepper-soup, washing it down with the last drops in their beer bottle, one of them suddenly went Afghanistan, as it were. He dipped his hand into his bag and brought out a black book saying, as he did, “The word of God is forever settled. It is written: The sword shall never depart from the house of David” And he began to flip through the pages of the black book, which turned out to be a Bible. “Yes, it is in II Samuel 12:10: ‘Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from thine house…” That was God speaking to David through the prophet Nathan”

His friend was silent, wondering what the matter could be: Bible in a beer parlour and pepper-soup joint? Even if his friend was a pastor, he would have thought that was the best place to conceal it. But his friend would have none of that!

“Sheer hypocrisy; did you hear me, sheer hypocrisy! Some denominations plant churches in hotels and brothels. How about that? Jesus said he came for sinners; not the so-called holy-holy people. Jesus wined and dined with sinners”

He flipped furiously through his bible as he kept reeling out names: “Matthew, the tax collector, whom Jesus made his disciple; ‘short man’ Zacchaeus in whose home Jesus wined and dined. Did Jesus not say only he that is sick needs a doctor? Jesus came for sinners and, while leaving, he committed the gospel of going after sinners unto us. And where there is the honeycomb, there you find the bees”

Now, his friend could bear it no more: “You are not here to preach or seek lost souls but to drink and eat pepper-soup. Is that what Jesus committed unto your hands?”

“But I am not one of those who are dogmatic about wine. When occasion demands, I sip a little, not much. Too much of everything is bad. Now that we are celebrating a reunion; so I see nothing wrong in a bottle of beer”

“I would have loved that you never exposed our Christian identity here and now and in this manner”

“Sheer hypocrisy, I daresay again! The Bible is quite clear about wine and what our disposition towards it should be”

“Exactly…! The Bible specifically warns us against strong wine. It also gave us examples of the adverse effects of strong wines on Noah, Lot, King Ahazuerus, Herod, etc”

“I know as much. I can even refer you to Proverbs 31:4 which says “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights”

“I am happy you know! Is that not what happened when Ahasuerus made rash decisions that cost Queen Vashti her crown? Similar rash decisions by Herod after he was drunk cost John the Baptist his head. Not to talk of Noah and his curse on Canaan, the son of Ham. Not to talk also of the sacrilege committed by the daughters of Lot after feeding their father strong wine”

“The Bible has opened our eyes to see what happens when a man gets drunk. If you drink and get drunk after that, that is your fault. Too much of everything is bad. If you cannot stand the heat, why go inside the kitchen? Drink responsibly! The Bible is not against little wine. After all, the father of the prodigal son threw a party when his ‘lost’ son returned”

“Bible never said wine was served! Strong wine was not served!”

“But how could they have dined without wining? At the marriage in Cana in Galilee, Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water into wine…”

“I beg your pardon! Not wine that intoxicates…”

“Whichever! Now I understand your problem, which appears the same as afflicts many in our society. They seem to think only strong wine intoxicates: That is fallacy from the pit of Hell! Money or wealth intoxicates. Position and power are very strong ‘wines’ that intoxicate. Beauty, too, intoxicates. So, why preach against one and leave out the others?”

“Now I see where you are coming from! All intoxicants are dangerous and must be treated equally. Sin is sin and everything must be done moderately. A musician said if you don’t know when to stop; ordinary water will turn your stomach and make you behave like someone who is drunk. But have we not digressed from where we started? We were talking of David and the sword that God said will never depart from his house…”

“That ‘sword’ is the conflagration you are witnessing today in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians. That region will never know peace until the second coming of Jesus”

“What if the world powers intervene?

“Have they not intervened since God knows when? A problem decreed by God can never be solved by mankind”

“Just because David slept with Bathsheba…!”

“And you call that ‘just’? He not only slept with the woman, another man’s wife, a man more honourable than himself, he also arranged and killed the man and then took the woman as his own wife!”

“Horrible and horrendous…!”

“Exactly…! What intoxicated David was not strong wine. Power! Position! Many are those who are intoxicated by power and position. And worse are the atrocities committed by those so intoxicated that the evils of wine bibbing”

“We must condemn both! None is to be preferred to the other. Every evil is evil. But can David be the root cause of the problem between Jews and Arabs? Are they not both descendants of Father Abraham?”

“There is an intoxicant stronger than strong wine! Bible records that Sarah prevailed upon Abraham to go in unto her maid, Hagar, when she (Sarah) had lost all hope of having a child despite God’s promises. Abraham consented and Ishmael was born. Soon afterwards, Sarah gave birth to Isaac. Hagar grew wings and Sarah felt slighted. Abraham was caught in-between. Eventually, Hagar and her son Ishmael had to leave when Sarah dug her feet in the sand. Ishmael is the ancestor of the Palestinians while Isaac is of the Jews”

“I see! So they are brothers! Why, then, are they fighting unto death?”

“They are carrying forward the war of the mothers! What Mother planted in each of their hearts will take the heavens to uproot! English playwright and poet, William Congreve (1670 – 1729) was right when he said: ‘Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned’. The jealousy, hatred, and love of a woman intoxicates more than the strongest wine on earth”

“That is a very serious matter. Jews and Palestinians may fight and kill one another till Armageddon. But will the Jews always prevail?”

“Israel! Small nation, powerful arsenal! They are touted as the fourth most powerful nation in the world – militarily. The Palestinians remind me of what Grandma used to call me – Amu kekere gba lila”

“And what does that mean?”

“As small as I was then, I would retaliate no matter how big the assailant was. So I would throw my own feeble punches and receive in return killer punches from the opponent!”

“But that is akin to committing suicide. It makes little sense to me”

“That ‘little sense’ was what urged me on. I always banked on passers-by not only intervening and rescuing me but also scolding the big-for-nothing assailant for not fighting with his equals. That way, I retained my bragging rights but with bloodied nose, mouth and eyes to the bargain”

“I see! That is happening right now between the Jews and Palestinians. The Palestinian rockets are no match for the torrential ‘rainfall’ of bombs by the Israeli air force. I think the Palestinians need help”

“Of course, help will come but not before they have been battered”

“Turkey has solicited for Nigeria’s help for the Palestinians. What do you think?”

“I laughed! My people have a saying: ‘Osabiya saa re, o sa biya e’ It means someone who is running helter-skelter in need of help comes across someone else who says ‘please, help me’”

“That is a serious matter. No one gives what he does not have. Someone whose own house is on fire cannot be directing fire-fighters to another man whose house is bellowing with smokes!”

“Don’t be too sure. A fool can do that! But commonsense-wise, our national interests should determine our response. What, for instance, is the disposition of either of the Jews or Palestinians to the Black person? Which one treats us with dignity and respect?”

“But religion or racial affinity may determine our leaders’ response in this matter. They may not care a hoot what public opinion says or where national interest lies in this matter”

“That will be power intoxication. And like Lord Acton said: ‘Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely…”

At that moment “NEPA” struck, throwing the whole place into utter darkness!

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