SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2011
THE MEN THAT GOD CHOOSES
The way God does His things brings a lot of surprise to humanity. Sometimes it defies human reasoning and logic. Yet, God remains God. For He will always be involved in the affairs of men.
As we take a trip down the memory lane in the scriptures we surrender to the sovereignty of God. We have a score of personalities God chose.
Abraham was asked to leave his country to a place where the Lord will show him. In obedience to God, a man without child at the age of 75, although promised by God to be the Father of the nation, left Haran. We know ‘obeying God is the best prescription to spiritual health’. Gen. 11v5: ‘He took his wife Sarah, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there’.
Jacob the trick star. Thrice he cheated his twin brother Esau. First held his heels at birth Gen. 25v26, took his birth right Gen. 25v31-34, and deceitfully took his blessings from their father Isaac. Gen. 27v18-35.
When his atrocities became unbearable he ran away to his mother’s side. But on being rebranded, he came home and became Israel of God. ‘Then the man said, your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome’. Gen. 33v28.
Joseph the dreamer who later was sold into slavery and there to prison on false allegation from Portipha’s wife. Later was chosen by God to be second to Pharaoh in Egypt. ‘Then Pharaoh said Joseph, since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you’ Ex. 41v39,40.
Moses was a starmarer. But nobody was as humble as Moses on the face of the earth. God made use of him and gave him a dependable assistance in the person of Aaron. ‘Moses said to the Lord, O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue… who gave man his mouth? Who makes deaf or dumb?… what about your brother Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well… He will speak to the people for you and it will be as if he were your mouth…” Ex. 4v10-16.
King Saul was in search of a lost donkey belonging to his Father. In the process God found him and asked Samuel the prophet to confirm him. Even the protest from Saul could not dissuade Samuel from carrying out God’s instruction. Saul answered, ‘But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?… Samuel said to Saul, tell the servant to go ahead of us… but you stay here a while so that I may give you a message from God’ I Samuel 9v21, 27.
King David although an adulterer and a murderer loved God. God himself acknowledged he was ‘a man after His own heart’. Consistently David sought for forgiveness from God for he says: ‘wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know transgressions and my sin is always before me’ Psalm. 51v2, 3.
Jeremiah though feeble and fearful, the hand of the Lord was upon him. He was to be a prophet to the nations. He did complain of his young age and his inability to speak. But the one who chose him, knew better and says ‘before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’ Jer. 1v5.
The band of disciples Jesus gathered around Himself among them was the uneducated Peter and a fisherman. A man who nearly lost his faith when he denied Christ even before a poor maid. It was this not too lettered Peter that led 3000 souls to Christ in a single preaching. Having warned them to be saved from this perversed generation. ‘With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, save yourselves from this corrupt generation. Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day’ Acts 2v40, 41.
For St. Paul, a persecutor that later became persecuted. Acknowledged his unworthiness for earlier he had a wrong zeal but God made use of him and made him an apostle to the Gentiles. He argues effectively: ‘if I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness… in Damascus the governor under the King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands’ 2Cor. 11v30, 32, 33.
From the foregoing, we learn earnestly that God does not choose us for great tasks in the Kingdom because of our earthly credentials but out of grace. Grace here means ‘unmerited favour’. The men, the people He chose were out of grace and they had a specific function which they performed creditably.
God is still choosing people today even in Nigeria to serve Him in various capacities. It is timely as it coincides with the elections in Nigeria of our time. Right men, right people are to be chosen to serve God and humanity. We need to avoid those who are out to serve primordial interests and not general interests. God will use us to choose aright, let not money, or rice, or wrapper or transient gift becloud our reasoning in our choices. Let him who will serve the new Nigeria help her to soar higher in the comity of nations.
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Ibru International Ecumenical Retreat Centre,