SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2012
2012: THUS FAR HAS THE LORD HELPED US
IT is most appropriate, this last Sunday of the year, to heave a sigh of relief. Looking at the year, we can appreciate great things God did for us as a nation. The year has featured fuel scarcity, senseless kidnappings, flooding, bombings (often by Boko Haram), political upheavals, economic downturn, strikes and shedding of innocent blood, among others. Yet, it pleased God to keep us till this day.
Samuel saw the faithfulness of God in all spheres of life; particularly the great deliverance Israel received from its traditional enemy – the Philistines. He called upon the children of Israel to do away with foreign gods and the images of Ashtoreth because failure to do so would not only bring pollution but defeat from the Philistines. And so at Mizpah, he made a covenant with the people and they threw away all their foreign gods and remained faithful to the Lord.
The Philistines were not aware that victory does not belong to the swift or the mighty but to the Lord -Eccl. 9v11. The Philistines sought to waste Israel in battle. Fear gripped Israel but Samuel reassured them of the mighty deliverance that would come from the Lord. The scripture says: ‘those who put their trust in Lord, will never be put to shame’. Help eventually came from the Lord. As Samuel sacrificed a young lamb to the Lord, God threw confusion into the camp of the Philistines. They were defeated.
The Lord is capable of throwing confusion into the camp of our enemies, today, as we prepare to usher in the New Year. They will not recover from His divine assault. The Lord has said: ‘no weapon fashioned against us shall prosper and any tongue that rises against us shall be condemned’ -Isa. 54v17.
The Philistines of today shall do us no harm, politically, socially, economically or even administratively. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, therefore we shall not tremble or fear.
We need to congratulate ourselves, having survived turbulent times. Our God is ever faithful, loving and caring. No wonder, Samuel looked back and said: ‘up to this point the Lord has helped us’.
People of God, we are at the threshold of a New Year and God has promised that the doors of blessings and favour shall be our portion. God is our Ebenezer –‘the stone of our help’. He will not let us down. He will be with us.
Happy New Year!Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.