Tag Archives: Nineveh

CAN MAN CONQUER FEAR?

Fear has been described as “an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger (usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight)”. Fear is caused by some factors like when one is saddled with an assignment one feels one was not adequate to do well. This type of fear is not out of guilt. it is just the fear of inadequacy or of possible failure that one detests. Moses knew his end had come and needed to cede power of the anointing to Joshua. Naturally, Joshua was genuinely afraid though, he had undergone a long period of tutelage under Moses but the heavy anointing that enabled Moses to do the much he did especially confronting Pharoah in the historic “Let my people go” debacle. Not that alone, the way the children of Israel were treating him constituted a load of fear in Joshua. Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt. At the Red Sea, God used Moses to create pathway for the children of Israel by parting the Red Sea into two creating dry land for crossing over. The host of Egyptian army that was pursuing them perished in the same Red Sea because it closed in on the Egyptians and drowned them one and all. Joshua knew how great the burden of leading the children of Israel in the sense that Moses was for all initially before Jethro (Moses in-law) came to teach him how to delegate responsibility to lighten the burden of governance. There were so many problems that were frightful to Joshua BUT Moses assured him not to fear. He accepted the advice and took the children of Israel to the promised land. He led them in all the battles that were fought before being able to possess the land God had earlier given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Another brand of fear was the fear of polluting his pedigree as Abraham asked “his eldest servant of his house ” to swear to him with a view to going back to Abraham’s father’s house to bring a wife for his son Isaac. in this situation, Abraham feared going against God’s warning that his descendants must not take wife from the Canaanites. Genesis 24: 1-15 (KJV). This type of fear is as a result of ensuring doing God’s will. On the contrary, the fear that gripped David was guilt induced, following Prophet Nathan’s revelation of his covert sin; that is, adultery and consequent murder of innocent Uriah. He felt so much guilt that he penitently confessed his sin to God and begged for forgiveness. Of course, the Almighty God forgave him and did not have to die in accordance to Mosaic Law of “An eye for an eye”. Prophet Jonah treaded the path of disobedience and refused to go to Nineveh. Instead he set out for Tarshish to avoid going to preach repentance at Nineveh. After the deadly storm at sea, the mariners fished him out by lot. He requested to be thrown into the sea for the raging storm to stop and saved the ship from total wreckage. The bible told us that a mammoth fish took him to the port of Nineveh after spending three nights and days in the fish’s belly. During the stay,he reflected on his act of disobedience, repented and was pardoned. He entered Nineveh and preached repentance. Fear arising from the guilt of the people of the prosperous city made them repent by fasting and praying from the King to every citizen including children and even animals. The repentance was total and acceptable to God. this was the fear of reprisal over the guilt of the people. God forgave them and averted the looming disaster. The bible revealed that the city suffered the disaster hundred years later because of grievous sins.

Can man conquer fear? It is not just a rhetorical question. The answer is , it is possible provided man chooses to have “defensive fear” or lives his life in opposition to sinful acts by obeying and worshipping God. David and other notable figures in the bible actually rested their hope on the Lord and the Almighty God did not disappoint them. His killing Goliath with divine weapon without using traditional weapons of war, was due to his declaring that Goliath has defied (insulted) the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Only one stone from his catapult was divinely directed to pierce through Goliath’s skull through to his brain. David used Goliath’s sword to cut off the head of the dreaded enemy of Israel. It therefore behoves Christians to trust in God’s faithfully. Peter on one hand , Paul and Silas on the other hand conquered their fear to achieve great feat of carrying the gospel to the heathens as required of them. Instead of skulking in fear, the disciples were praying intensively until the angel of the Lord went and freed Peter from maximum imprisonment. So also, Paul and Silas defied fear and never succumbed, they held a night vigil in maximum prison as well that God honored resulting in all their stocks being broken, occasioned by an earthquake. It was the head of the prison guard that fear nearly made to commit suicide.. in conclusion, trusting and obeying God are both paramount to conquering fear. Interpersonal relationship should be tailored to doing unto others as you would like for others to do to you. Paul believed in Christ after his conversion so much that his life was thenceforth lived for Christ without fear. He so boldly defended himself before the Sanhedrin┬áthat they could not collectively carry out what they set out to do for him– “To kill him”. By the same divine boldness, he received enough strength to plead his case so well that he won an appeal unto Caesar. A Christian who is able to learn from past and present true men of faith, all things being equal, would be able to conquer fear convincingly.

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Providence of God (Part Four)

Provision of God is both at macro and micro levels. Thus, we see how God provided the Israelites means of freedom from a four hundred and thirty years in bondage in Egypt. Then, at micro level, Jonah as an individual prophet of God adamantly refused to heed God’s call to go and warn the people of Nineveh to desist from their sinful ways or else they would incur the wrath of God. He went to Tarshish instead which is in an opposite direction to where he was expected to preach repentance to the people or else they would be faced with calamity. By God’s means of enforcing his will on Jonah, there was storm at sea that threatened the safety of the Mariners, passengers and the vessel itself. The ship’s Captain found out who he was and asked him to identify himself. He did and the Captain asked him to pray to his God to calm the raging sea. Finally, he asked them to throw him into the sea perhaps in his resolve not to go to Nineveh. But at this stage, God provided His desired means of transporting Jonah to Nineveh. In Jonah 1: 17 “a great fish” became God’s vessel for carrying Jonah to God’s desired destination. Biblical record states: “Now the Lord has prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. Chapter 2-10 covered how the big fish, by God’s provision, vomited Jonah on dry land at the waterfront of Nineveh.

In line with how God treated Jonah, an African proverb says: “When you flog or reprimand a child with the right hand use the left hand to draw him closer to soothe the pain he suffered”. All is in the attempt at fostering positive development in the child. Such is regarded as making provision for future useful life, which invariably is provision of God in the right parentage. Proverb 22: 6 (NKJ). Related to the foregoing are words in Lamentation 3: 31-33 ” for the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For He does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men” (KJV)

Provision of God is tied to the result of Proverb 21: 1 “The king’s heart is in the hand of The Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever he will” (KJV) especially while seeking favor from higher authorities on earth. By the same instance one who is looking for job to be able to earn means of livelihood and continues to pray with Psalm 23. Such applicant has seen God as a good shepherd for the provision of his/her needs irrespective of level of faith, the steadfast love of the Lord will see such a person through because God knows man’s need more than man does. God possesses sovereign power to make good things happen or to avert disaster. With faith, granting prayer is made more certain than with doubts in one’s mind.

A military ruler in Nigeria some years back received the judgment of God as a result of so many prominent citizens he eliminated from a particular ethnic group for daring to oppose his draconian ruler ship from the hands of his henchmen. He tried some military top brass from the same ethnic group and found them guilty
of a phantom coup plot. They were to be executed on a Monday and he miraculously died on the Sunday before he could have signed their death warrant the following morning. God’s providence saved those that were to be executed, for no earthly power could have saved them. History tells us that President Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) had exceeding political reverses but remained prayerful until he won election that made him to become the 16th President of the United States. In short, he fitted into the group of those that pleased God and at such his erstwhile political enemies joined with others to vote him into the highest political office in the US. (Proverb 16: 7) During his Presidency: Emancipation Proclamation during the battle of Gettysburg became a reality and many more commendable legislations. He became prominently one of those
unforgettable Presidents that The US has ever had.

We know that economists talk of Arithmetic or geometric progression; researchers look for what is logical but the “THEO-METRICS” in God’s providence is not fathomable by man because of His sovereignty Isaiah 46: 10-13 (KJV); for God moves in a mysterious way, during which no man can ever encumber Him from performing his wonders. Can you imagine what brought a mail man to the door step of a house in New York when a child was falling from some floors above and fell into the out stretched hands of the mail man! Were it not for divine providence, the child could have died falling from above on to concrete floor below. Interested readers are enjoined to give testimonies of such providence of God. The testimonies or witness account will be published with the names (optional) of such contributors. In conclusion, God’s providence is real yesterday, today and for ever.