Deep Calleth Out To The Deep…




By Bola Bolawole 0807 552 5533

Last week, I asked the question which life we would love to live – biblical Abraham’s or Lazarus’s – and it drew a lot of comments. I must admit that it isn’t everyone who can connect with last week’s piece, hence today’s title of the deep calling out to the deep, which is taken from Psalm 42, written by the Sons of Korah. As the deer pants after the streams of water, so does the average Nigerian today pants after essential commodities, foodstuffs especially, for sustenance. As the Sons of Korah looked up to God for help and deliverance, so do poverty-stricken Nigerians cry unto their government and religious leaders for reprieve and succour.

I have seen on Animal world that when animals pant after water, they do not care for the danger involved in trooping into crocodile-infested waters to have a drink; or mind the pride of lions lurking around. In like manner did hungry Nigerians put their life on the line in a mad rush for Customs rice the other day. Seven persons were said to have died in the stampede that ensued before the poorly-executed exercise was hurriedly called off.

The Sons of Korah were downcast because they were in exile – and understandably so – but millions of Nigerians are downcast today right inside their own country. Call it internal exile, which is worse than external exile or “japa”. “Crestfallen and hurt” was how a bible commentator described the state of affairs of the Sons of Korah but note that they were warned but would not take heed – like us here in Nigeria, year-after-year, decade-after-decade. Like Rome’s king Nero, we fiddled while Muhammadu Buhari and his band of wanton troopers set fire on our roof, only to now wake up late in the day to disparage efforts aimed at putting out the fire!

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My intention here today is to print some of the comments sent to me on last week’s piece; when I return, I will make some closing remarks and call it a day!

“Waaaooo. I can imagine how deep your imaginations and reflections were in this article. Your mind clearly traversed the cosmos and the heavenly places and you just got hooked in the midst of the flight as you tried to reconnect with our planet – this Earth, this our world of sorrow and joy, and of joy and sadness. But what you were saying in all these ruminations is that we can make our world a heavenly place; as in, we can make our society a better place. So, we don’t really need japa if we think deeply and we stop worrying about a thing because there is a better day or a better time just around the corner if only we could see, especially because three little birds will knock at our door singing sweet songs and bringing melodies of joy and happiness. Thanks again for provoking our thoughts! I think at this point, many other writers will now agree that you are truly a man of deep insight, a genuine award winner in the real sense. As I recognize the quality of your mindset, permit me to say that we all have a duty to keep hope alive in the midst of the topsy-turvy our country is in today. –

“BB, well done on this piece, which amplifies your erudition and giftings as a writer! More grace! – Apostle Bisi Olaoye.

“One understands your message on the dichotomy of the richness of the life of Abraham and Lazarus: one could be described as ‘double face’ richness, and the other, ‘single face’ richness, going by your explanation. One way of looking at the issue is, how feasible is it in the world to attain the kind of ‘double face’ richness of Father Abraham, i.e. to be rich in this world as well as in heaven? This line of thought is in consideration of the declaration of the Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 18: 24 & 25, thus: “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God’? Although one appreciates Jesus’ response in verse 27 that ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God’. And in the light of your assertion that “whereas our own place looks more and more like hell”, one could conjecture that most of our people would get “double face” tragedy, with the current look-like-hell situation in our country and still being indisposed to the ways of the Lord. This reminds me of a happening when we went out for evangelism in a locality during my secondary school days: As we came across people in squalid conditions of poverty, a white missionary could not help voicing out that his greatest concern and pity for the people was the possibility of their missing the kingdom of God (paradise) after death, after their pitiable suffering on earth, just because of their unbelief!” – Elder Olaitan Makanjuola.

“It seems to me that the church needs to go back and re-read the Scriptures. STEP ONE: Let it understand that Covid-19 was God’s own way of reviving the church to understand the messages in John 4:23 and John 17:21, both speaking about the wall-less church, globalization and end-time worshippers who would do it in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH. STEP TWO: The church for now should suspend dancing to hymns. Rather, it would do well to read them out. Let the church find out why Muslims recite or chant the Quran (written in verses like the Psalms ) rather than dance to its recitation. Singing has lost the purpose for which God ordained it (Deuteronomy 31: 19-30). STEP THREE: Let the church go back and re-read Acts of the Apostles 6:1,2,3 and 9. Daily ministration and the need to “SERVE TABLE” portend Governance: Providing the basic necessities of life for the people. Why has the church neglected its old habit of giving seeds to its congregations any time the rainy season was approaching while members equally provided farm yields during church harvests? … What is the church preparing for its congregations in the presence of starvation now ravaging the land? Psalm 23: 5 is not speaking to the wind when it states: “THOU PREPAREST A TABLE BEFORE ME IN THE PRESENCE OF MINE ENEMY ? Can you imagine a worse enemy than starvation and hunger? It is the same thing being emphasized in The Lord’s Prayer: “GIVE US OUR DAILY BREAD while in the administration of tithes, the Bible in Malachi 3:10 stressed: “BRING YE ALL THE TITHES INTO THE STOREHOUSE THAT THERE MAY BE MEAT IN MINE HOUSE…” Unfortunately today, the church is using tithes to build structures and to purchase other luxuries, and not food for the hungry. Yet, the same church and its congregations wait for palliatives from governments! A case of the tail wagging the dog! – Olalere Fagbola.

“Hmmm. This is real food for thought! Though Abraham had his challenges when he was alive, generally, he was portrayed as a very successful man. Again, he was counted worthy in heaven according to the scriptures. This is like enjoying the best of two lives. Lazarus on the other hand suffered on earth before exiting to heaven to enjoy. I believe it is by choice but it is better to enjoy both on earth and in heaven. Your enjoyment on earth will largely depend on your decisions and ability to achieve your aims and aspirations. Your enjoyment hereafter depends on how you lived your life when you were on earth. The story of the rich man and Lazarus in the Bible teaches us to be kind and considerate to others when we have the opportunity. Lazarus’s circumstances presented an opportunity for the rich man to be kind”. – Pa E. K. Odeleye.

Those are the few comments that I can accommodate here today. Two institutions that should be of utmost help to the people in their hour of need are government and religious leaders; unfortunately, both have seemingly turned deaf ears to the cries of the people that their burden be lessened. Have they not both acted like Jeroboam, son and successor of king Solomon, who chose to whip his long-suffering people with scorpions whereas his father had whipped them with horsewhips? And are there better representatives than these two categories of the hypocrites and brood of vipers that Jesus Christ chastised in Matthew 23: 1- 39? They pile misery on the poor but neglect to touch the heavy burden even with one finger! The people get leaner but the government official/pastor/imam grows more robust!

But tell them: Revolution is loading! O Lord, send another Martin Luther to kindle a second Reformation in Your Church!

*Former Editor of PUNCH newspapers, Chairman of its Editorial Board and Deputy Editor-in-chief, BOLAWOLE was also the Managing Director/ Editor-in-chief of THE WESTERNER newsmagazine. He writes the ON THE LORD’S DAY column in the Sunday Tribune and TREASURES column in New Telegraph newspaper on Wednesdays. He is also a public affairs analyst on radio and television.


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