I was addressing an audience of university students the other day; and during Q & A session, one of them asked me a typical intellectual question. She started with a statement: “I am a Christian just like you…” Now, whenever a person makes such a statement before asking a question, you know there’s a “But” coming. And…it came- “But” “If God is as fair as the bible claims He is; why did He choose only one nation- Israelites- among so many of us, to be His people?” “What did they do- that my nation did not do- to deserve this favor?”
And then she started explaining how she came to that conclusion. And it made sense to me! I mean, if a small nation like Israel can:
- Invade the land that doesn’t belong to them and are justified for doing that, it must be favor!
- Influence the policy of a nation as influential as the U.S.A, favor must be upon them!
- Have 10 people being featured among the top 50 list of billionaires on planet; there is favor there!
- Have the founders of Google, Facebook, and Dell Computer belonging to them, someone must be favoring them!
And that brings us to today’s post!
From my personal study of the bible, I haven’t come across any evidence that suggests that the nation of Israel(today’s Jews) did anything special that the young lady’s Zulu nation did not do to deserve “this favor.” In fact; this has nothing to do with them as a nation. God took this decision many centuries before they were even known as a nation. He took this decision because of His relationship with his good friend- Abraham.
But let’s start from where the whole thing started… Hundreds of years before Abraham walked the earth; there was this great flood that destroyed people and animals alike. This was the greatest flood ever to be reported; and the only family that survived it was Noah’s family. Now, just over a year after the flood had swept every living thing; we meet this family in Genesis 9: 18- 27(NIV):
Verse 18- The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.)- Now, quick advise before you even jump to the next verse! Guard against reading this verse casually, lest you miss the most important part…And this part is- (Ham was a father of Canaan.) Although Canaan was not the only son of Ham, the other three are only mentioned in chapter ten(10). There must be a reason for that. But, keep your finger on this verse, and we will come back to it in the next post.
Verse 19- These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth- This flood that preceded chapter nine(9) had actually killed the entire human race; so what this verse means is simply that the earth’s population as we know it today – 7.3 Billion and counting- comes from the three sons of Noah and their wives. I know there’s a debate out there on whether this is a fact or not; but as for me and my house, we believe it is; simply because the bible says so. If you want to get a deeper understanding of what this verse means, I recommend you visit Dr Joel A. Freeman’ site.
Verse 20- 21- Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent- At this stage; God decides to bless Noah with an innovation. He is the first person ever, to plant a vineyard. No one before him has had this idea or at least carried it through. And what does he do? He experiments with alcohol. He turns the blessing into perversion. How many people do the same today? God blesses us with:
- Intelligent Minds– We use them to second guess God.
- Impressive Talents– We use them to get prostitutes, alcohol and drugs.
- Isolated Spiritual Gifts– We use them to deceive people and gain control over them.
- Insurmountable Authority– We use it to abuse people; and push corruption.
Noah is now head of the only people in the world. He is given the responsibility to influence how the next generation of humanity should conduct themselves; and yet; he fails to understand- as my Bishop Tshalo Katshunga would say- that…
Mistakes Of Leaders Are leading Mistakes!
I have two sons; and as a father; if I want these boys to grow up as men of integrity, I have to display integrity. It is the least I can do for the 2(two) I am given to influence. The reason why God is giving you the (respons / ability) to influence others is because He knows that you have the ability to respond with maturity… Got it? Read the underlined words again. Whether you are given a community of 2 or 2000 000 people to influence, you need to be careful how you conduct yourself- both in public and private.
So; before Noah can even spell “d-r-u-n-k”; alcohol hits his blood stream, and all of a sudden his clothes are ‘too heavy’ for his liking! You know that a person has lost control when you see them taking off their clothes whenever they indulge. This man’s purpose was to Infiltrate & Influence; and yet; he allowed himself to be infiltrated & influenced by wine.
He gets drunk and is compromised. Once a Leader is compromised, he loses credibility. I have seen many influential people becoming casualties. Although some still have a bit of influence left, they are slowly fading into oblivion. Some have lost credibility due to:
- Sexual immorality- A certain golfer comes to mind.
- Doping and drugs- A certain cyclist comes to mind.
- Corruption & crime- A certain politician comes to mind.
- Deception & lies- A certain Pastor comes to mind
Noah too; was compromised and lost credibility! But what’s that got to do with the concerns that the young Zulu student had? That Jews are favored over the rest of us? Good question! Well, because I know most people don’t like reading long posts; I have decided to continue this conversation in this next post.
– For now though; here are lessons to take home if you want to Infiltrate and Influence:
Don’t use God’s blessings as weapons against Him.
The Giver of gifts can’t compete with his gifts for your attention.
Use your blessings(e.g looks, education, wealth, connections, position, etc.) to advance the kingdom of God; not to harm it.
Mistakes of Leaders are leading mistakes.
Always strive to influence people positively- Lead by example.
Careful how you conduct yourself (not only in public)- You don’t know who might see you doing wrong things, and start justifying their misconduct because of that.
Once compromised, one loses credibility.
Negative publicity will always dent your image.
Guard against putting yourself in a vulnerable position- If you open yourself for the enemy to strike, you will be unable to Infiltrate and Influence optimally.
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