Dancing to the right tune.

When Abraham and Lot’s (his nephew) wealth grew abundantly, wisdom dictated that the best way to solve the internal squabbles between their hirelings, due to condensed space and pasture control, was to part ways. Pasture and space emerged as the push factors. Their longtime honeymoon was amicably disillusioned. Gen 13:9 Is not all the land before you? then let us go our separate ways: if you go to the left, I will go to the right; or if you take the right, I will go to the left. It was the genesis of two different narratives.

Lot, assumably, must have learned alot from Abraham by this time. Given the choices that were available, and out of self love which I believe was not a crime, he chose the good looking area. Ge 13:10… And Lot, lifting up his eyes and looking in the valley of Jordan, saw that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord had sent destruction on Sodom and Gomorrah; it was like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, on the way to Zoar. You cannot make the wrong choices especially where the person giving you such a deal wants the best for you.

When I gave my life to Christ, I was not skyrocketed to my maker or ushered into the golden streets in the new Jerusalem. This is the state of many who’ve accepted Jesus Christ as their redeemer. We maintain it here in the fallen world. Infact, we are positioned in the midst of the very world where we are witnesses of every manner of wickedness for a purpose. How then is it expected of us in such moments? Are we still on course or have we aborted the mission? 

I am not sure at what point Sodom and Gomorrah evolved to the LG and an insinuated B (LGBT) society but it is the next thing that is told after the parting. It seems all of Lot’s road converged to the Corinths of the era. Few chapters later God’s agents are on their mission to wipe every oxygen user within Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot is the man who is extending hospitality to the angels. Since they were men, the queer community were ready to extend their unnatural ‘fellowship’ to these men. They were not few but many extending from all over that land. Fascinatingly, Lot seems to have been baptized from the state of radical to liberal minded man evidenced by his response: Gen 19:7-8… And he said, My brothers, do not do this evil. See now, I have two unmarried daughters; I will send them out to you so that you may do to them whatever seems good to you: only do nothing to these men, for this is why they have come under the shade of my roof – he wants to orient them to the B section of LGB…

Think of how our society operates and how believers, you and I, respond to some of the issues that are there. Either from the pulpit, work places, friend circles,etc. How many times have we made jokes, given options and opinions that seem less harmful in the name of making it cool? The response that I do not care about as long as it is not affecting me or everyone has their own issue to deal with has become the rhyme scheme. We give options to immorality. According to Lot, ‘sacrificing’ his daughters out for gang raping was not that evil in comparison to homesexuality. I have heard people say lesbianism is even understandable in comparison to man to man – they say so showing a disgusted face in reference to the latter. Or let us teach children safe sex to avoid pregnancy and STIs as opposed to teaching them that fornication is sin. These are solutions that have been coined by both non-believers and believers; for non-believers that is not news anyway.

Ro 12:1-2… For this reason I make request to you, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you will give your bodies as a living offering, holy, pleasing to God, which is the worship it is right for you to give him. And let not your behaviour be like that of this world, but be changed and made new in mind, so that by experience you may have knowledge of the good and pleasing and complete purpose of God. The LORD, who made it clear that sin is sin in spite of our intentions to disguise the outcome as less harmful, is still highly enthroned and has not waived his standards. Lot brings out a character who is so much absorbed by the environment around him forgetting God’s call- assuming he had learnt about worship from Abraham. This means we have enrolled to the institute of parttime Christianity instead of full time attendance. Could it be that Lot went from a hot to a lukewarm worshiper? Could it be that he had forgotten his daily walk with the master? That worship had long been overtaken by some ‘important’ things? Are we following in the footsteps of Lot or Abraham- after the parting Abraham’s story was quite the opposite?

The question of whether there would be enough evidence to convict you as a Christian were you to be arraigned in court is a call to a self-introspection. Who would stand to witness( believers and unbelievers alike) and testify that your conduct, consistency, character, etc demonstrates truly that you are a Christian? Are we walking the talk?  Or would they, witnesses, be candidates of emergency rooms from the shocker of having your name and Christianity in the same stanza? How truthful are we to the call? In the words of Ray Boltz: Let us proudly stand and boldly say,I pledge allegiance to the Lamb, With all my strength, With all I am, I will seek to honor His commands I pledge allegiance to the Lamb.


Fruit, The Mark Of The Beginning Of Growth.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness & self-control are some of the parts of the fruit of the Holy Spirit according to Galatians 5.22-23. From observation, one can only expect a fruit, whether for consumption or reproduction, from a mature plant. With this list that Paul sent to the church in Galatia, it is worth noting that the fruit is visible and identifiable by other people. In this case, the fruit becomes the litmus paper of our faith and relationship with God: Key Performance Indicators (KPI). 
In the market place, we may or will play the role of either the baptizer or the one getting baptized into the culture, norms, vision, mission, values, etc. of a certain job or organization we are getting into. One cannot realize their KPIs effectively until they have understandably soaked themselves into the organization as well as the scope of their job description. Similarly, Christianity may be a journey full of bruises, lamentation, self-pity, bitterness, etc. if one has not understood the breadth, the length, the height and the depth (Scope) of the faith. With regards to the understanding of the calling we have been called to, Paul makes FIVE prayer requests for the church in Ephesus in regards to the foundations of getting rooted in salvation according to Ephesians 3.14-19: …that He (God) would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, 1to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 2that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; 3that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height and 4to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; 5that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Practice makes perfect only if it is the correct thing or from the correct manual for that matter; otherwise, the thunder of the multiple fails will be loud enough. If we as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are to know what and how of our faith, the Bible must be the source of it. The Psalmist states…Psalms 1:2-3 … but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. With the correct script, the play will always flow well in spite of hiccups while the wrong script will be pathetic. Paul beseeches the Ephesus church in Ephesians 4:1-3 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Our faith’s KPIs are measurable. They can be tested and verified. This is possible based on how we relate with others in relation to the standards: the biblical scriptures. For how else can charity be charity if it remains unpracticed? So is goodness, love, humility, etc.
This is the call similarly to the one that Christ Jesus emphasized when he called us to clean the cup on both the inside and the outside. It is the challenge of walking the talk; the call to consistency. It the emphasis on migration from hypocrisy to authenticity. The producing of a fruit does not mark the end to the growth process but rather a mark of the beginning of growth and maturity. The Christianity call is a journey to maturity. It is a continuum till the end of time or return of the Messiah as a king. This growth is not an automatic drive but one a journey that is coupled with its own mountains to negotiate with and overcome. It translates to being in steps with the master teacher. The discipline and commitment into his school, spiritual disciplines, means the more we gain about him and the more we learn of how far we are from perfection. We must be committed to self-introspection and living the same truths thereby exhibiting the very nature of Christ Jesus to all. At no time, just as life itself is, does the master teacher expect you and me to cease growing. So Let us grow.



2 Corinthians 5:18-20… But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation; namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation. We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating us. We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

During the creation story God laid clear instructions to Adam and Eve on what to do. There was just a single caution of not taking the fruit from the tree in the middle of Eden which they ended up doing. God does not just throw them out, he makes a garment to cover their nakedness – Genesis 3. 

During my young age and upbringing, I often became a victim of my mother’s whip which was not a cup of milk served at the cool of the day. With this in mind, I would regularly be in exile for a couple of days to see if the fury would decrease – most of the time this trick worked as a means to postpone, not a forgiveness. But in other cases, I would pay a visit to and look for a local elder or adult whom my mother would listen to. It worked. A truce would check in and life moved on.

Fast tracked down the years of high priest beginning with Aaron. He was a mediator who did the sacrifice to consecrate himself and his forgiveness as well as the forgiveness of others. He pleaded for their cleansing with the blood of animals. But it was not sufficient. Hebrew 9:13-15… For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify to the cleanness of the flesh: how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, since a death has occurred for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, that those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. And so Christ Jesus lands with the mediation role.

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. He has already laid the route. Just like the elder I used to go for to play the role of my attorney and my mum would listen to her, Jesus Christ is that attorney who represents us to God the father. What then has Christ Jesus done that Paul would say that we have been called to be mediators in his second letter to the corinthians? He has sent us out to go and toot the horn of mediation…Matthew 28:18 Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Therefore go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.With such an assurance, the disciples continued to execute this role faithfully and never gave up irrespective of the challenges and threats they faced including losing their own lives. The call to persevere, be proactive and committed to tooting the horn of mediation has been mandated to all that believe in Christ Jesus as the lord and savior. To whom then shall we toot the call to? It is to the lost, the spiritually blind, the spiritually lame, those that do not have a relationship with Him. Acts of Apostles 1-28 is a beautiful story of men and women who have been faithful to the course. Chapter 29 is where you and I are positioned and as mediators of men to Christ, this is the tune that they shall be getting: Romans 10.9-13 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

The Well, Water & Life

Ever heard of the statement: ‘Leave that one alone, I cannot pursue them since I’ve given up on doing it’? This is not only used by friends or family members but it’s a common statement among believers (followers of Christ). We, believers have not only said it but have gone ahead to live it. Is this the way we ought to do it?

In John 4, Jesus and his disciples are en-route to Galilee from Judea when He decided to take a break at Sychar in Samaria while his disciples went to a nearby town to fetch food. He was tired the Bible says. There was an ancient well that once belonged to Jacob which was next to where he was. What travails there demonstrates that the market was quite a distance since it was time enough for an evangelism to take occurrence.

A Samaritan woman came to fetch water and Jesus borrowed her some. She was able to detect may be from skin complexion or dress code or whatever it was that this was a Jew ASKING for assistance. This gesture by Jesus must have sounded sarcastic to the woman. I am Samaritan and a woman for that matter. ‘You Jews have nothing to do with us.’ This is different from the statement we have nothing to do with each other. It seems this trend was initialized by the Jews. Who were the Samaritans? They were a breed of individuals tracing their genesis from intermarriage between ‘BACKSLIDDEN’ Jews and pagans. They believed in Torah only hence disregarded other Jewish prophets. This called for the hatred by Jews. Pork would have been a better option to deal with than a Samaritan argues one historian. The hatred that Jews had was greater than the one they had for pagans. Jesus must have dined at the feet of the teachers of law and had them reference these people and so in having this conversation with her, he was conscious and aware of the attitude.

The conversation is worked through to a point that Jesus reveals his identity in verse 26. Suddenly, the disciples check in. Another lot of Jews who are enrolled in the school of Christ- hence they were still learning. Joh 4:27 … At that point the disciples came back, and they were surprised to see him talking to a woman; but not one of them said to him, what is your purpose? Or, why are you talking to her? Why the surprise? My guess is that she is a woman, a Samaritan woman (and may be a Samaritan woman who was popular with husband snatching). Concentration on the first two, it demonstrates how Jews detested Samaritans. No wonder when later on Jesus gives the parable of the Good Samaritan they get pissed off. What is the purpose of the conversation? One enquired. I thought to myself: could it be that she was a kind of a prostitute and may be they thought that Jesus was in need of her services? Or were they asking that to indirectly inform him of her character? Or were they reminding him of who he is (a Jew) and WHAT, not who, she is (Samaritan)?

She rushes home and calls her tribes men to come and be witness to the good news. In her absentia Jesus converses with his disciples who are calling on him to have food, an offer he declines so as to bring clarity on the very intentions of his coming. I want to think that they had more questions even if they are not recorded for us. Finally he tells them: Joh 4:34 Jesus said to them, my food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work. This work is what is stated in the previous chapter: Joh 3:16-17… For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. If this be the case, he was ready to take any given opportunity to even that of waiting for the woman to resume with the crowd as well as tarrying in Samaria- the hated region and its people- for two days.

He not only liberated the Samaritans by giving them the living water but by also reminding them that the Jews were not perfect and were in dire need of redemption too. The true worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth which means the invitation was extended to them too, yes to all of us. What Jews had was half the truth. Look at it this way, Israelites from Exodus to Malachi are a clear demonstration of a people who often failed to meet the standards of God in monotheistic worship, social justices and so on. Yet at no moment did God gave up on them and never failed to pursue them. Often times he punished them but that does not translate to giving up. He followed them. What of us (Sembuse sisi)? He continued to love them. Jesus was occasionally seen with them whom the religious men of the time could not associate with yet in need of grace. He gave the tax collectors, thieves, Samaritans, prostitutes, and us all a sense of living, a purpose and an assurance of forgiveness. Mark you I am not saying we go to pubs and brothels- Jesus did not get them there but in open spaces. However, we must be deliberate in reaching out.

In his commissioning, Jesus sends us, his believers and followers, to all the world. He is quite aware that we live in fallen world and as such must be deliberate and wise in executing out the mandate. We do not leave them out. We are beneficiaries of his promise in Acts of Apostles…1:8…But you shall receive power, the Holy Spirit coming upon you. And you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth. He never failed to mention Samaria. In spite of how the church, we the believers, think that we have it right, we are not yet there till we serve in this capacity. Till we partner with God in reaching the world with his love, we are yet to be impactful. We must be the ambassador we were called to be and as such must diligently execute this role. 2Corinthians 5:17…So that if anyone is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 whereas God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and putting the word of reconciliation in us. 20 Then we are ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as God exhorting through us, we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For He has made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. It must be a personal as well as collective responsibility. She became an ambassador of the good news to which they testified that not only had they heard from her but have had the encounter. Reverse evangelism I call it. In reaching out an individual we may end up reaching out a family, clan, society, region or even continent. Samaria was on a revival due to a conversation about water. Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, are a work in progress and as such must continue to seek God in spirit and truth as well as making disciples which is a part of walk with him.

So the, if there is a worth celebration during this year’s Christmas, it is his love. It is his coming. It is his purpose. It is his grace that as many as there are need to know, embrace and surrender unto. Christmas retold is about a king who is always reminding us that he is full aware about us, identifies with us and wants a relationship with each one of us. So then, our candles and the light in us must shine to all. Not only shall we wait for them to ask us about the light but shall be proactive in explaining about that light that is shining in us- Christ’s light. It means that we have to lift the light high and draw towards them so that we can light unto them as well as light their candles. Romans 10:1415…How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!”  So have we been sent? Yes we have: John 20:21 Then Jesus said to them again, Peace to you. As My Father has sent me, even so I send you.

Sharing your faith with individuals of different faith(s).

1 Peter 3:15…Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 2 Timothy 1:7…For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. The call to present one’s faith to individuals of different faith groups is not an easy task.

There is a fear amongst Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, to present their Gospel Faith to Muslims who are the second majority in terms of religious composition in Kenya. To justify their inert state in engaging in evangelism, respect of other people’s faith is the excuse. This is grounded on the second, which is the fear that they will be quoted for some scripture(s) and will be turned into a spectacle for not answering the question put across. People will say: Waislamu wanajua Bible sana so siwezi argue na wao ( Muslims know the bible so I will not Argue matters of faith with them). In writing this, I share my two times engagement with them in a public forum even though I have shared with some at personal level.

Last Sunday, 7th November 2021, an open door to share my Faith was presented just outside of the flat I live in. There was a mhadhara (Debate), by Muslims,which in real sense doesn’t qualify to be called a debate. I was quick to get to the debate because the first person they had set on the hot seat was a drunkard who claimed to be a Christian- their definition of a christian is different from who a christian really is. Anti-Muslim in Kenya will be branded a Christian since Hindus are openly known by their skin colour.

They asked who I was And I responded that I’m Ken, a born again Christian; follower of Christ Jesus. That was their genesis of the flaws. I was rudely interrupted with a citation of Matthew 19.26 part a only… Humanly speaking this is impossible….In Swahili : Hakuna anayeweza kuokoka. In the efforts to explain that there is no need to cite scriptures halfly and without a context, I was cut short. This time round to a different angle of how they’re the ardent follower of Jesus Christ and how he is one of the best prophets they follow. I proposed that we have a one topic discussion without mixing issues and I was told the discussion is being led by them and so should I follow to which I agreed. Before time we were on the issue of marrying many women and how that  is evident in the Bible and Quran through Prophet Mohammed. 

‘Abraham, Solomon, David,Etc had many wives but your pastors tell their flock to marry one and have mipango ya kando (gigolettes)’ stated one sheikh. I stated that it is evident that the so quoted individuals had many wives but that narration or description doesn’t amount to prescription. In Christs’ own words, it was not so from the beginning since God created one woman for Adam whose name is Eve. Secondly, Abraham had one wife Sarah whose death led to the marriage of Keturah. They had cited Genesis 25.1 … Abraham married another wife whose name was Keturah. Again my effort to draw to the context drew no attention because the microphone was being swiped to their guy reading the Bible and quran in perfect swahili and Quran Surah 4: An-Nisa’: 2-3…If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess…was read. In the explanation that Adam and Eve are mentioned in the quran as two individuals without polygamy I was advised that mohammed is the last prophet and he was handed a book which led to another angle: vitabu vya mitume hupewa Manabii, Biblia ni kitabu cha nani juu hakuna nabii aliyepewa bible? ( whose book is the bible since all of God’s books are handed over to prophets?).

My argument was that the Bible is God’s word, authored by over 40 authors under inspiration of the holy spirit over a period of 1500 years with unity in the contained message. Before the grabbing of the mike I was told the bible is corrupted with torah, psalms, injeel not being as they were and I demanded from them the original copies- which I’m sure they will not hand over any soon. I reminded them that the Quran has amended the verse which their prophet kept on changing at his will. And I asked whether he composed it or it was handed and from where did he learn about allah before the quran and whether he practised it. Before the question was handled satisfactorily the discussion was headed for the doctrine of trinity. Not mentioned earlier is that before taking the so-called hot seat, a guy had just taken shahada which is what I asked about its location in the Quran and the rounds were many. 

So much was discussed and I decided to change the course by introducing the deity of Christ. ‘The bottomline is that the whole bone of contention we have today is built and revolving around the person of Christ Jesus who you refer to as prophet while we Chrsitian refer to as God,’ ‘I said. The obvious question was posed: where in the bible does Jesus say that he is God and that we should worship him? “Show me and I’ll never speak about Islam?” The obvious answer is Nowhere. You should have seen the confusion because he thought I would gamble through the question. I asked him if he was married, had children, takes care of the family and so fourth to which he replied yes.’If a third individual heard me ask these questions and reported to a fourth individual that you, the sheikh, are a husband and a father, will he be wrong?’ he said no. I said that there is evidence about the deity of Christ in the Bible. The quranic verses do not depend on each other, majority, for meaning unless in the bible where you have read within a context to grasp the meaning. Text without context is a pretext I said. 

In John 8.58 is a verse within a context where Jesus is presenting nhis case as one from God and being one with the father and that he was not of the devil…John 8:56-59… Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.” The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!” At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple. Why would they seek to stone him? It was out of the reason for citing Exodus 3:14 … God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.” Jesus said ‘I AM’ not ‘I was’. Their counter argument was the original bible says ‘i am’ in small letters but our edited versions say I AM in caps. The question I posed was: did they want to stone Jesus for editorial reasons really? Can’t you grasp the concept. Which is your original version? I said that John 3.16, John 14.6, are within a context and the argument flew to grammar (lugha) as opposed to the concept. In explaining the context, the guys became hostile and they asked so many questions without time to answer and with a lot of mockery. In Matthew 26 during the mock trial, Jesus in verse 64 made Caiphas tore his holy garments because he cited Daniel 7.13-14. That was blasphemous as per the law. Jews understood monotheism, Jesus did it too yet he did cite these words being aware of the punishment. Was he mad? I asked. Before long the sheikh was doing some recitation and it, open forum, was over. One individual approached me and told me: read in Swahili Jeremiah 8.8 and I said that there is a context too that’s far from what you intend to mean: that the bible is corrupt. So was 1 Corinthians 1.25 too which they said makes the bible unbelievable. All these are texts that will shake a non-believer or a christian who does not read their bibles. 

Lessons learnt: Read and study the bible. This is one way of being sure and certain of that which you believe in. This calls into place the use of mind too. The bible says we love God with everything which means reasoning through scriptures ain’t no sin. Read commentaries and gain perspectives of individuals points of view. Listen to religious discussions and debates. Depend on God for guidance. The spirit of the Most High is a teacher, guide,etc. He leadeth us. He gives us utterances, what to and how to say. Live and practice godliness. Visible evangelism goes beyond the theoretical format. We are able to change many if we live out the faith . The call to reach the non-believers is a fundamental call as Christ ordered us in Matthew 28.18-20, John 20.21. It is also of essence, if one has the stability and capacity, to read other people’s belief system. Understanding other individuals’ faith is key and lays a foundation of comparative discussions and being in a position to identify points of discussion.

How Shall I Deal With My Neighbour?

Imagine the hatred that manifests during the election season in our beloved country Kenya. Net effect of property destruction, loss of lives, displacements, etc. You have some idea of the feeling and its causes between Jews and Samaritans in the time of Jesus. Both politics and religion were involved.

I was raised in rural areas of central Kenya and that meant exposure to people of different cultures was equivalent to milking sheep- at least for myself. There was indoctrination of hatred which we gladly absorbed unconsciously. If you behaved in a manner that demonstrated decimal or no hygiene we were told by our mothers: Tiga mitugo ya Jaluo aria mathambagiria mwana karai ga kurugira ngima (Don’t behave like Luos who bath their children in the metallic basin which will later be used to cook ugali) or Tiga guikara ta Turukana haha (Don’t stay here like turkana- nakedness) or tiga gutuhenia ta maathai (Don’t cheat us like maasai). Imagine now of an individual who never left the locality of the people of his culture and how their perspective is shaped with reference to the mentioning of these tribes. They will think that Luos are dirty, maasais are fools, naked like Turkana and dark-skinned like Nubians amongst others. This reminds me of a roommate in college who told me of a similar experience where being called a Dinka (a tribe) was an insult by their parents- he is from South Sudan. Funny enough he had never known that such a tribe exists.

Such warping of minds by our parents and old folks of our cultures are meant to cut short any link of friendship, association and so on with other communities. They tried to establish utopias which are hard based on the idea that we have at some point stretched ourselves beyond the horizon in search of better lives. Unfortunately, many have remained captives of such ideologies and whenever they see individuals from other tribes especially from western Kenya they will describe them as Nyamu (animals). This is not a problem with Kikuyus only but with other tribes too referring to others as wachawi (witches), wezi (thieves), night runners, etc. Talk of deep rooted stereotyping. There is a saying amongst the kikuyus: mari kuraihu matininaga nyota (the water that is far away will not quench your thirst) which means that your brother who was willing to assist you yet he is far is no good. The one near you is far more important. Imagine insulting others by the mention of other tribes: wewe jaluo, wewe maasai, wewe this, wewe that. Jews called the Samaritans a ‘herd’, not a nation. A widely used Jewish proverb stated that “a piece of bread given by a Samaritan is more unclean than swine’s flesh.”  The worst insult that a Jew could use was to call someone a Samaritan, such as in John 8:48 when the hostile Pharisees answered Jesus by saying, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and are possessed?”

When I was relocated beyond my region to RifValley, I was deposited in the midst of individuals of different cultures and had to subscribe to a different school of reasoning. Experience and exposure opened my mind to the running of the actual individuals and the errors we had been baptized into. Our parents had not also had that much experience and so this was a narrative that was long instilled into them by the political elites and their parents too. Theirs has been the commitment to pass these ‘oracles and knowledge’ (of course it is foolishness) to the next generation. Intermarriages were and are still avoided due to the myths and misconceptions that have been deeply inculcated into them/us. I hear there are curses in some of our clans where the great grandpas left statements of how noone in their families shall marry from certain tribes and parents forbidding their children from marrying from other tribes or else be excommunicated. At one point I went home and I was asked by one of the elders: Nyamu iramutwara atia (how are those animals taking you)? I knew he was referring to the demonstrators during the 2017/2018 election period and I told him  God has distinguished animals and people and he should not confuse the two. Those are human beings, not animals.

How ought we to treat our neighbours irrespective of them being different from us? Should we still hold on unto the myths whose origin is not our doings? It is the generalization concept that has made temperatures and tensions to be held unto all along. Have we allowed ourselves to be  overtaken by bigotry and prejudices?

The fact that there was such dislike and hostility between Jews and Samaritans is what gives the use of the Samaritan in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) such force! The Samaritan is the one who is able to rise above the bigotry and prejudices of centuries and show mercy and compassion for the injured Jew after the Jew’s own countrymen pass him by! It is with those centuries of opposition and incidents behind their peoples that we can understand the surprise of the Samaritan woman (John 4:9) when Jesus rises above the social and religious restrictions not just of a man talking to a woman, but also of a Jew talking to a Samaritan. At times the Samaritans were known to lie in wait for Jews traveling from Galilee to Jerusalem for the feast days. Sometimes these attacks escalated into death. As a result, Galileans (except for Jesus) used the longer route on the other side of the Jordan. Keeping this long-running feud in mind, Jesus’ contact with the Samaritan woman at the well was not only surprising, it was shocking. And his parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’ was not a gentle story, but a stinging insult to the Pharisees.

This is no different than what we experience in our times. When you introduce your fiance, business partner, best friend, close allies, etc from a different tribe other than your own where everyone else from your locals are left with their mouths wide open. I must confess that my best friends are not from my tribes and my locals find that hard nut to crack. That you support individuals from different tribes other than yours is such a surprise.

Just like the old day rabbis, our politicians have made use of these mistrusts and stereotypes to hold captive the electorate by lighting their emotions. It is in this season that the so-called kingpins will converge and plot schemes to manipulate the electorate in the name of tribes. On one hand it will be about us and our people and on the other hard it will be about how the other tribes are not worth. That is when massacre and wars burst forth. And what for? Mtu wetu/ our tribe. Soon we will paste our minds with the old mindset replacing the help, assistance, friendship, brotherhood, goodness, etc we have received from other individuals. Just like the Jews of old, we dehumanize others and that makes it easy to perform any other animosity unto them. We overlook the neighbours we were having as family friends, fellowship members, clients and customers, etc. They will trigger on the emotional parts like land, positions in government, livelihood and so on. At the end of the day everyone will rise against the other but their safety is guaranteed. 

The jews looked for an opportunity to trap Jesus in the bid to discredit his teaching as well as vindicate their ground. In Matthew 22.34-39 Jesus gave a very compelling answer contrary to their expectations that the whole law is pegged on two commands: Love God with everything and secondly love your neighbor as yourselves. He did not speak of tribe, kins, etc but anyone who is your neighbour. The samaritan woman and the good samaritan display the truthfulness of this script. Jesus has loved the whole world and since no one holds the monopoly of choosing the tribe to be born into, the best we can do is to treat everyone with love. Do away with stereotyping and prejudice and avoid generalising. Worth noting is the fact that no matter the evils we find in individuals belonging to certain tribes, the truth will always be that the guilt is on the individual and not the tribe and the reason for them being so is not pegged on the tribe but individual decision. So then, how shall I treat my neighbor? I will do so by love.

He made the first move.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, 

Let me hide myself in Thee;

Not the labour of my hands

Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;

Could my zeal no respite know,

Could my tears forever flow,

All for sin could not atone;

Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to Thy cross I cling;

Naked, come to Thee for dress;

Helpless, look to Thee for grace;

Foul, I to the fountain fly;

Wash me, Saviour, or I die!

In Genesis chapter 1 after creation, man was on default setting: righteous. When he, God, looked at the creation he had established, he said that it was very good. He set one instruction for Adam and Eve: that they ought not to consume fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden. Genesis 2.16-17…But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Satan comes and implants doubt into the mind of Eve. They ate and suddenly their eyes were opened to the reality that they had just disobeyed God.

They, just as many of us do once in a while, searched for a solution that would cover up the mess they had soaked themselves into. They took some leaves and made garments for themselves. Genesis 3:7-11…At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” “Who told you that you were naked?” the LORD God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”. First, God was aware of what they did and where they were hiding. His query was an invitation for Adam to open up from within himself. Secondly, lame excuse/ blame game is what the two give as the reason for their failure to keep the command. Adam cited Eve who cited the snake. However, they had freewill.

One would ask, was the leave-covering they made for themselves insufficient to cover their body that the Lord made one made of skin? Genesis 3:21… And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. It is rather obvious that he saw the insufficiency of the efforts to redeem their state. They were not only naked physically but also spiritually which was as a result of breaching the set conditions. Their efforts were futile. They were escaping their fellowship with him because they had sinned, otherwise, they would not have hidden themselves since they were covered in leaves garment. They could not atone for their fall. Through this act, sin enters the world. Romans 5:12…When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

There was the dispensation of Moses and the establishment of law(s). The accomplishment of this was not a walk in the park. The lamb God slaughters to make a garment covering for Adam is a symbolic representation of the sacrifice he would make for the atonement of sin. In Genesis 22 God asks Abraham to sacrifice his own son Isaac and he goes ahead to implement the command which turns out to be a test. His son asks him about the lamb for the sacrifice since he saw the firewood and everything else minus it. Abraham replied in vs 8 “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together. He’s about to slay his son, who had not resisted to be sacrificed, when the angel of the Lord calls out and there is provision of the lamb.

Enlarging this view, years down the line God provides an ultimate lamb who carries the sin of the world unto himself upon the cross. In John 3.16-17…“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. In Romans 10:9-10…that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. This means that personal efforts to justify oneself before God without Grace and mercy will be described as filthy rags. Isaiah 64.6…We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. 

This then is to say that there is a way out of our insufficiency which is to confess to him who can enable us and capacitate us to walk righteously. The invitation, similar to the one given to Adam, has already been placed. Our confession and belief is what is waiting. If only we confess, a new garment is given to us: the lobe of righteousness. Not only does this happen that our identity is changed and we are given the right to become the children of God. John 1.12…But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 

How then are we to approach it? In self introspection,one will realize there is bankruptcy in our effort to work out our way from sin and the guilty thereof. The following hymn gives us an idea of what to do: Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee;…Not the labour of my hands Can fulfill Thy law’s demands; Could my zeal no respite know, Could my tears forever flow, All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone.  Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling; Naked, come to Thee for dress; Helpless, look to Thee for grace; Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me, Saviour, or I die!

Do Tears Have Meaning?

I am reminded of the old days during my  primary school years and some of the beliefs and things we engaged in. Of such is having the class hero. This is that individual who was thought to be the unbeatable man. How did he come to be? If two boys were fighting and the winner emerges victorious, another challenger would rise and the next evening, while going home, there was a war arena in a specific place where only the special members attended- off course the manner in which the information was passed was mole like (chini ya maji-under water). The web continued till a time when one boy would be left ‘unattended’ by any challenger. In this system, you had to weigh your skill versus what others were treated to for them to surrender. To this, I was in most cases a spectator- I know myself well. That’s the formal method. There were also informer methods and were equally recognised- provided there is an unchallenged superstar and witnesses. This latter method is where one had a chance of working properly on the standing ‘Mohammed Ali’ in the presence of witnesses. You were crowned the new superstar. Maybe you worked on him while he was unwell, unaware,etc but those factors counted not. At other times the weak, not so many, challenged the last man standing and having gathered all their strength and fear delivered unexpectedly. You were a hero. Chances are that you may stand unchallenged for a while retaining the trophy. Additionally, you were to represent your class or group in case another group or class started displaying their horns. The rubber often met the road because chances are that you are ill-equipped yet your crew expects you to exhibit the lion in you. The tail often located its coordinates effortlessly. The lion in you often looked for the next hutch having turned into a rabbit.

David of the old was a young shepherd who looked after his fathers livestock. He, in his own arena, had killed a lion and bear that had attacked his fathers flock – 1 Samuel 17.34-36. The context of this statement is from the scene where Goliath had spent days insulting the soldiers of Israel in calling them for a moment of fellowshipping over spears, shields and all manner of weapons. No man dared face the man who resembled his name: Goliath. They were aware of the call they had signed to yet to jump into fire is not a measure of hardness. None had matched fourth. They were hiding and this was such a stress to the Israelites. David is sent to visit his brothers with meals- reminds me of the visiting days in boarding schools because there were some goodies that were tagged along. Curiosity led him to enquire of what was unfolding and within time he was a man well furnished with the info. Goliath the superhero of Philistines was still waiting for the opponent’s superhero. His brothers, soldiers with experience, thought that David’s questions were just to seek an opportunity to watch the battle happening. They described him as proud and deceitful- most likely he had explained to them how he had rescued his father’s livestock as well as bringing the predators, not just any predators, to rest. In my primary school years I was among the closest to gravity and not a strong lot. I imagine how some of the gigantic guys we schooled with would respond: tiny you what do you think you’re doing? In both scenarios, manly wisdom dictates that you don’t try death. But God had guided David. I imagine if he had decided to use a spear; it would mean drawing close to the giant and that was more risky. Same with sword or dagger. With the sling and stone, he was in a position to aim and attack from a distance and that’s how the weak-inexperienced soldier delivered victory. He carries the crown. This paves his way into the military over time; and victory upon victory follows by the time he is the king. Defeat is not a part of his vocabulary. I can only imagine his fame in the eyes of everyone. No wonder at some point the women sang that Saul had killed his 1000s and David his 10000s which brought tension between them (1 Samuel 29.5). Truth is that he could not fight everyone, including those from his side in case they were to have a challenge.However, everyone held high trust and expectation for him.

With the scenario of boys above, there were instances of prevailing against opponents and there were those when pain was not a necessary course to pursue – and a marathon sporadically took place. In both cases the superman determined how they engaged. Years later David is the king and victory is not lagging behind. From battle to battle he is delivering as they expected. Years ago I watched the movie: HEROES SHED NO TEARS where the starring,Eddy Ko, passes a lot of tribulation yet in all these moments he grieves not. Amidst the torture, losing of friends and family members, he shed no tears. Emotions in men, in most cases, are assumed to be for the weak, not for supermen. No wonder when boys fought, whether one is hurting as hell or broken or whatever, tears were not a part of  their buffet. While growing up we were told that men shed no tears. David has a son, Absalom, who kills his step brother Ammon who had raped his sister Tamar, went to exile, returned and this time round with a plan to overthrow the king: David- the then superwarrior. Absalom is cunning and is quite aware of how justice is such a tool of influence to the multitude. He uses this tagline of executing justice to win the support of the men of Israel. Before late, Absalom is in a conspiracy against the king David, his father and man of war. Without hesitation David calls his men to heel- they escaped (2 Samuel 15:13-14). The king whom everybody looked upto had a solution: let’s escape from the disaster. He had people with him. In 2 Samuel 15.32.. David walked up to the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went. His face was covered and his feet were bare as a sign of mourning.and the people who were with him covered their heads and wept as they climbed the hill. This, most likely, was not the expectation of his subjects. The expectation was that he would carry the honour of doing as usual: marching forward, not showing your opponent your back. Facing the mountain courageously, not weeping. The superman at this point was broken. But, was his weeping and escaping a sign of fear? With all the accolades he had earned himself, it was not expected. This was ironic. Were his tears a sign of weakness?

David, I’m convinced, was neither escaping nor crying( weeping for that matter) due to fear or weakness but was worried about losing his other son – Amnon was dead already. (And to sustain this, he later sends his men to search for him with clear instructions: let no harm be extended  upon Absalom-2 Samuel 18.5.) But I also guess that this idea was not known to the subjects including his generals like Joab. To them, Absalom was an enemy who needed to be solved by elimination method. To the rest of the people, an enemy to their king was their enemy hence the call to do anything to help in getting a solution. Where does the narrative that emotions are not a part of men originate from? That a man who cries is a weak man. Tears do not always demonstrate weakness. Escape is not always a sign of fear. There is more to that which cannot be noticed by others. John 11.35… Jesus wept. There was a reason as to why he cried. Irrespective of him being God, he shed tears. Irrespective of the many wars David had engaged in, he at this moment bent towards the unpopular turn. As a man, amidst the expectation that the society has and the traits that attached to being a man (especially in African context) and the load that has been placed on our shoulders, there comes a time when retreating, delaying, slow motion, withdrawing, making that big scream, etc is the only solution at that particular time. Of course by this I don’t mean sobbing every now and then. This is such a non-popular venture but if there is an explainer behind it, it will always make sense. To David it was parental love.

Enrolling Into The School Of Christ.

When the Israelites were about to crossover to the Promised land, and Moses was giving them the last speech in Deuteronomy, there was a caution concerning the desire to be like other nations in terms of rulership, law and governance. In chapter 17.14-20 moses said:  “When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’  Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself. “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel. 

Moses understood that the Israelites had a likelihood of imitating those other nations: heathens. This was not the only thing he cautioned them against. Intermarriages, worship, faithfulness in weights, boundaries and so on. They were faithful enough in failing to follow the admonishment of God through Moses which led to their enslavement every now and then (in Judges) and ultimately the one to Baylon. After the leading of Samuel as a judge they went to him and demanded for a king – 1Samuel8:1-22. Samuel reminds them that their demand is the rejection of God’s leading as their king – Theocracy. They wanted a king who would  lead them to war, a king whom they could interact with, a physical king. God tells Samuel in verse 7 that it is him, God, whom they have rejected. Samuel reminds them that their sons and kings will be required of the king for servanthood. He reminds them that there will be a cost to sustain this kind of leadership. The cost would include blood and resources as well as families. Mtoto akililia wembe mpe- sometime when an individual persists to do a thing with a prior warning, let them do so and learn from the consequences.

Worth noting is the fact that with Yahweh as their king, things were okay. All people were equal. Victories, success, prosperity would tag along. God had called them his people and he was their God and Father. That had come to a pause. With the reign of Rehoboam they cried foul – 1 Kings 12. Mwimba wa kujidunga hauna kilio – you can’t claim a lash is painful if you’re the one lashing yourself.

Paul in writing to the Romans, 12.1-2, says:…I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. This is exactly the call that God was calling the israelites to in Deuteronomy 17. He wanted them to set the standard under his guidance. He wanted other nations to learn from them. It is C.S. Lewis who said: There are only two kinds of people: those who say to God “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says “All right, then, have it your way.” In this case, Jehovah executed the latter. 

If there be a time when the church has been drawn to the worldly standard, it is in our generation. Prosperity gospel will often navigate throughout the sermon every time the preacher gets to the pulpit. The world’s measure for a blessed person is the person whose level of income is high, owns several vehicles-from 1, big house or living in a good estate with a lot of luxuries, having the best meals, kids going to good schools – group of schools and so on and so on. The ability to spend high is equated to being blessed. Materialism is the measure of being blessed in our generation. And that is okay if that is what the world determines. The people of God are also engaged in this rat race. No race of possessions has been set forth but many are in it by comparing themselves with others in terms of who gets what and when and such yet the other individual is not aware. And if one does not own as much as their neighbour, they will petition God asking the very question: Why me? Mind you advocating for laziness or prayer alone; it is a call to have a broader category in the standards and view of God.

We are so much into pursuit of material blessings till we forget to pause and reflect on the journey we have come through and appreciate the faithfulness of God. When did good health cease to be a blessing? Or joy, peace, happiness, salvation, goodness, etc? Jim Carrey stated: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”

Our coming to Christ Jesus was an enrollment to a school whose ideology is against that of the world. Fame, desire to have a name and own more and be above all and so forth are the ideas that the world would like all to embrace but the call of Christ is to demonstrate forth his glory. Godliness with contentment is great gain – 1 Timothy 6.6-10…Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world,and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. It is the uncontrolled appetite that has led many to engage in vices like corruption, unfaithfulness, laundering, etc while some have fallen prey to preachers who are hyenas in sheep wolf who by all means introduce statements like ‘someone is holding your star’ or ‘panda mbegu (plant a seed of particular amount)’ or ‘you have a curse and need anointing oil or bloom or holy water’ etc. Such gymnastics will never miss on our tv screens- almost all Gimmick pastors own a station- and it will never amount to raising and nurturing believers who can have an effect on the current generation. This is false hope whose aim is to help the victims be at par with the world whereas in reality they are languishing more. Unfortunately only the ‘MAN OF GOD’ seems to ‘prosper’ – materially. 

This translates to sermons of faithfulness, worship, holiness, prayer, bible study, integrity and accountability, consistent discipleship, justice, truthfulness, godliness, etc being scarce. Speakers and preachers of such sermons are quite unpopular as well as their subscribers. They are termed as the boring pastors, boring believers, boring churches, etc. Christianity, if it is to make an impact, christians themselves must live a life that is Christ centred. That the scriptures, in totality, must become a part of our life. We must shift the bar and live our lives in accordance with Biblical standards. We must let the world copy from us, the believers, but not  vice versa. Jesus says that we are light set on the mountain top to light the world as well as salt to give flavour to the world. When the world penetrates the believers, we become corrupted and dance to their tune and so is the reverse. However, when the latter occurs, there is joy, there is prosperity for all, there is growth for all but when the former takes effect:there will be wailing and lamentation.

The Promised Land

Getting to this land was pegged to a single command: do obey the Lord God Almighty. This was the determining factor to whether they would get there or not and whether they would continue enjoying the same or not once they got there. That after you have accomplished all these, do not be proud/arrogant and think that it is by your strength that you made it the far that you will be. With obedience comes humility and worship. No wonder their allegiance is called to Yahweh alone and avoid other gods – you’d say like a plague. At Deuteronomy, the judgement that God had established on the 20+ years old had already taken place where they had all died apart from Joshua and Caleb and Moses himself – who was going to die soon- hence not getting to Canaan. These had disobeyed God (Numbers 14.29).

With the departure of Israelites from Egypt, the final destination was Canaan – The Promised Land. The land, according to Exodus 3.8, was not only spacious but also rich and fertile. This was the fulfilment to a promise made way too long to Abraham. Where they were in Egypt was a confinement zone since they were slaves and that made it easy for monitoring and control. The promised land had rivers and springs and underground streams gushing out into the valleys and hills. The land produced wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and honey (Deuteronomy 8.7-20). It had minerals like copper. They would never be hungry. in this land they would be increased in terms of population and livestock and good infrastructure. They would be rich and wealthy people. This looks like a good city to be in and raises the hope of wanting to be there soon. The land that floweth with milk and honey.

At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus told the people to repent for the kingdom of God is at hand (Mathew 3.2). He brought salvation to humanity. He brought the everlasting covenant to The Promised Land. ‘For God so loved the world,’ John 3.16, ‘that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.’ The implication here is that eternal life begins the moment we accept Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. God’s call to the Israelites was that He would be their God and father and they would be his people. A more father-son relationship. Jesus’ call to us is for us to have a similar relationship.The everlasting relationship.

This promised land, by Jesus, is similar to the one Abraham was looking for. When he Left his home country, Abram, was guided by God to the city where he would settle and his offsprings thereof. He forsakes all to the city whose architect is God (Hebrew11.9-10). Even Though Canaan was the city of promise to Abraham and his descendants, Israelites, that was just the foreshadowing of the great city which Jesus came to bring closer and increased on the dwellers. It was no longer open to Israelites only but to all the people of the world. The amplified version of this city is that it is a magnificent one. In revelation 21.10-27 it is described as one with light that was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal, great and high wall with twelve gates, The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass, The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst, etc.  The Promised land in the OT to the Israelites was a tip of the iceberg in comparison to this description.

Secondly, in Canaan they were to continue in worship and praise with all loyalty pledged to the most high. This is the same case here. However, in Canaan there was a likelihood of falling into Idolatry whereas in the new Jerusalem there will be but one thing: Worship. No temptation will be there. Canaan had mines where minerals could be mined but in Heaven, the new Jerusalem, the fitting itself is gold and all manner of precious stones. Abraham never lived to see the glory that came later on with the establishment of Jerusalem the capital of Judah but he is a candidate to the glorious city which he eagerly yearned for: Heaven.

The key and the most fundamental rule is on how to get to the promised land. In Deuteronomy 8.19 Moses reminded the Israelites about worship as a lifestyle. Which broadly would be called doing everything as though it is unto God. That all that they engaged in is worship. These were the chosen people. Jesus placed the same call to his disciples (the Chosen) who had knowledge and had accepted him as messiah in John 14.15: ‘If you love me, you will obey my commands.’ The implication then is that if they would not continue in his commands, then they would be destroyed (John 10.10). Therefore, the call is then to Not Only Accept Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour but Also Continue In His Teachings/Commands. It is the call to practical discipleship. This is also to imply that those that have rejected Christ Jesus have chosen to exclude themselves from the journey and destination to this celestial city. The Israelites were allowed to coexist with all that were with them irrespective of them being from other people groups provided they adhered to the commands of God. Meaning that other people groups were given a chance to redeem themselves. This is to mean that Christ has taken that venture and paid the cost and ours is just to accept the call and continue in his school. 

Romans 10:8-13…But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” There is no difference between Jew and Gentile. The same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’For Canaan, the Promised Land, it was by obedience to law: and unto Heaven, The Promised Land/City, it is by Grace and all are invited.