SUNDAY, AUGUST 14, 2011
LESSONS FROM SYNOD OF THE DIOCESE OF OWO
The Diocese of Owo, Ondo State recently held its second session of the 10th synod at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Owo. Its synod theme was: ‘…The situation of this city is pleasant… 2 Kings 2v19.’ The convocation was presided over by the bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. James A. Oladunjoye.
Some of the dignitaries that graced the occasion included but are not limited to the following: Mrs. Grace Oladunjoye (bishop’s wife), Rt. Rev. E. B. Dahunsil Idoani, Rt. Rev. Sunday Samuel Olayanju (Rtd), Rt. Rev. Abraham Awosan (Rtd-first Diocesan), Barr. Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN) Diocesan Deputy Chancellor, Chief Mrs. Olomolehin – Registrar, and over 400 delegates from different Archdeaconries and parishes that make up the diocese.
It is worthy of note that there was outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God on those present at the synod.
Explaining the synod theme drawn from 2 Kings 2v19: ‘one day the leaders of the town of Jericho visited Elisha, we have a problem, my Lord, they told him, this town is located in pleasant surroundings as you can see. But the water is bad, and the land is unproductive; the bishop said:’ scholars have agreed that Jericho must be about the oldest city in the world. It used to be a city many people wanted and the date palm there was a great source of income for the city. But the city was an obstacle on the way of the Israelites under the captainship of Joshua. Eventually Joshua was mandated by God to attack the city without using any weapons and the city fell: Jos. 6v20-21. ‘In ancient tradition, the city was devoted to God to be totally destroyed and burnt as offering to God. It was a holocuast’. At the end, Joshua placed a curse on the city:
‘May the curse of the Lord fall on anyone who tries to rebuild the city of Jericho. At the cost of his youngest son he will set up its gates’ Jos. 6v26. The site remained in ruins for centuries.
Unfortunately for later generations, maybe ignorantly they took it up to rebuild the city. In 850 B.C Hiel the Bethelite took it upon himself to rebuild the ruins and he laid the foundations at the cost of his first born son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son, Segub, in accordance with the word of God spoken by Joshua son of Nun: I Kings 16v34.
From the above, curses are real and according to Abraham Chigundu (2004) ‘… once any is released, they would continue to have effect from generation to generation, unless and until they are revoked or cancelled by a higher authority’.
And so in the time of Prophet Elisha, Jericho became prominent and they needed the curse to be broken and the city delivered. The elders met Elisha, we have a problem, ‘this town is located in pleasant surroundings… but the water is bad and the land unproductive’.
The lessons we learn are as follows:
Firstly, when there is a curse on a land, community, family or individual, people should not keep quiet but take practical steps to find a solution to avoid unproductiveness in their endeavours. We have a problem the elders of Jericho said to Elisha.
Secondly, there is need to find genuine men of God to cry unto God on our behalf. Here, we need to be careful because we have charlatans in the profession who claim to be ‘Champions’ in deliverance ministry. If we fail to discern good and genuine men of God, our problems may be multiplied. Elisha said ‘bring a new bowl and put salt in it’. He went to the spring of the river and threw the salt and concluded ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land barren. And the water remained wholesome to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken’ 2 Kings 2v21-22. There are real men of God gifted in this special ministry of deliverance, ask for them and God will wipe away your years of ‘dryness’, barrenness’ and rivers of joy shall be your portion in Jesus name, Amen.
Thirdly, we need to put shame aside when we are seeking the face of God. The elders were not ashamed to ask help from a man of God. Pride can cause us God’s divine intervention and breakthrough. If you are ashamed your problem will linger. Mtt. 7v7 ‘ask, you shall receive, seek, you shall find, knock and the doors shall be opened unto you’. Do not delay, for your salvation has come.
Finally, there is a warning against shedding of innocent blood as this perpetually will bring a curse unto the land. Nigeria and Nigerians are to beware, the volume of blood shed in this country has reached a feverish pitch. Certainly sometime, someday God shall ask of them. But the danger already is, the spilled bloods are asking for vengeance. Those who love God should pray for God’s mercy upon the inhabitants of this land. The bishop of the Diocese of Owo, Rt. Rev. James Oladunjoye did well as he beckoned on God to heal and deliver our nation Nigeria in his synod.
It is my fervent belief that God certainly will hear his cry. Yes, the prayers of the saints availeth much.
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Retreat Centre,