By Akin Ojumu

In 705 BC, the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel had become apostates who engaged in all kinds of wickedness, wantonness and idolatry. So, God allowed the army of the Assyrians to overtake and destroy the land. Fifteen years later, in 720 BC, the people of Judah (the Southern Kingdom), who had erstwhile lived in the fear of the Almighty God, had now taken to the same evil and depravity and had gone the way of the Northern Kingdom. So, God sent Isaiah to warn them of the coming doom that will overtake them.

Repeatedly, Isaiah engaged the leaders and elders of the people in dialogue, pleading with, and cajoling, them to return to the LORD. On many occasions, he reasoned with the leaders calling them to repentance. Like a broken record, he reminded them of the goodness and mercy of God.

Isaiah 28 is a narrative of one of those dialogues. On this occasion, Isaiah confronted the leaders at one of their parties. Succumbed to debauchery, they were drunk and covered in their own vomit. In their drunken stupor, the leaders mocked, scorned, and chided Isaiah. Derisively, they replied and said, “Who are you to teach us? You must think we are babies that you feel the need to keep repeating the same elementary stuff over and over. The things you say are so mundane and your approach so amateurish. You are trying to teach us ABC like kindergartens.”

As I read, the state of the Church in Nigeria comes to mind. Isaiah 28 paints a vivid picture of the condition of the Church in Nigeria. The bearers of God’s message are ordinary people who carry no title and have no influence. They are neither pastors of megachurches nor social media influencers with millions of followings on YouTube or Twitter. In the eyes of the world, they appear inconsequential and insignificant lacking the eloquence and panache for which the men and women of God in Nigeria are known.

As a result, the Bishops and General Overseers mock and deride those whom God has sent to admonish them of their wicked ways. The leaders of God’s Church in Nigeria look down on the harbingers of God’s wrath with scorn. Puffed up in self-conceit, the big men and women of the Body of Christ in Nigeria would not accept the simplicity of God’s warning. The leaders of the people are so drunken in the power of their influence, and inebriated with their prestige, they are covered from head to toe with the vomit of their waywardness. These leaders reek of pride and arrogance as they choose to ignore the repeated rebuke from the throne of His grace.

Below is the typical exchange between the bearer of God’s rebuke and the leaders of the Church of God in Nigeria. This is Isaiah 28 adapted to the situation of the Church of God in Nigeria.

“Doom to the pretentious drunks of the Church in Nigeria. Shabby and washed out and seedy. Tipsy, sloppy-fat, beer-bellied parodies of a proud and handsome past. Watch closely: God has someone picked out, someone tough and strong to flatten you. Like a hailstorm, like a hurricane, like a flash flood, one-handed he’ll throw you to the ground. Nigeria, the party hat on the head of the leaders of the Church will be knocked off with one blow. It will disappear quicker than a piece of meat tossed to a dog.

At that time, God-of-the-Angel-Armies will be the beautiful crown on the head of what’s left of His Church. Energy and insights of justice to those who guide and decide, strength and prowess to those who guard and protect.

These also – the Apostles, Bishops, General Overseers, Prophets, Pastors, and Priests – stagger from drink, weaving, falling-down drunks. Besotted with wine and whiskey, can’t see straight, can’t talk sense. Every table is covered with vomit. They live in vomit.”

Leaders of Nigeria Church:
“Is that so? And who do you think you are to teach us? Who are you to lord it over us? We’re not babies in diapers to be talked down to by such as you – ‘Da, da, da, da, blah, blah, blah, blah. That’s a good little girl, that’s a good little boy.’”

But that’s exactly how you will be addressed. God will speak to these people in baby talk, one syllable at a time – and he’ll do it through foreign oppressors. He said before, “This is the time and place to rest, to give rest to the weary. This is the place to lay down your burden.” But they won’t listen. So, God will start over with the simple basics and address them in baby talk, one syllable at a time – “Da, da, da, da, blah, blah, blah, blah. That’s a good little girl, that’s a good little boy.” And like toddlers, they will get up and fall down, get bruised and confused and lost.

Now listen to God’s Message, you scoffers, you who rule these people in Nigeria. You say, “We’ve taken out good life insurance. We’ve hedged all our bets, covered all our bases. No disaster can touch us. We’ve thought of everything. We’re advised by the experts. We’re set.”

But the Master, God, has something to say to this:

“Watch closely. I’m laying a foundation in Nigeria, a solid granite foundation, squared and true. And this is the meaning of the stone: a trusting life won’t topple. I’ll make justice the measuring stick and righteousness the plumb line for the building. A hailstorm will knock down the shantytown of lies, and a flash flood will wash out the rubble.

“Then you’ll see that your precious life insurance policy wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. Your careful precautions against death were a pack of illusions and lies. When the disaster happens, you’ll be crushed by it.

Every time disaster comes, you’ll be in on it – disaster in the morning, disaster at night.” Every report of disaster will send you cowering in terror. There will be no place where you can rest, nothing to hide under. God will rise to full stature, raging as he did long ago on Mount Perazim and in the valley of Gibeon against the Philistines. But this time it’s against you. Hard to believe, but true. Not what you’d expect, but it’s coming.

Sober up, friends, and don’t scoff. Scoffing will just make it worse. I’ve heard the orders issued for destruction, orders from God-of-the-Angel-Armies – ending up in an international disaster.


Popular posts from this blog