Category: Sunday sermon Written by Cornelius Omonokhua Hits: 1531
The community of Zamza felt really offended by Azala community. There were many options and opportunities opened to resolve their conflict. The first option was to identify the real problem and then invite the leaders of both communities to a sincere dialogue. The second option was to go to war.
Leaders of both communities were not willing to sacrifice their children in any kind of war. Azala king and elders decided that dialogue would be the best option. Zamza had a lot of slaves and foreigners who worked for them and slave for the community. Zamza decided that the slaves should be properly trained for war. The slaves were trained in the use of fire arms and drugs as their incentives. Zamza ended up using the militant slaves to conquer Azala.
As if that was not enough, some influential and ambitious men in Zamza wanted to dethrone their king, the elders and leaders of the community. They saw the militants as ready made tools to achieve their selfish goal. They got more drugs and arms for the slaves to kill the king and the incumbent leaders of Zamza.
There was confusion among the influential men as to who should become the next king. These men divided the slaves into two camps to fight one another. This struggle continued until the slaves saw the need to take over power but the capacity to rule had been destroyed by hard drugs. So they turned against “their masters”. They killed the important people in Zamza community, robbed the rich, rapped the beautiful women and committed terrible crimes and rendered Zamza desolate. The new terrorist gang did not stop at Zamza. They vowed to make the whole world uncomfortable. The military, police, kings, houses of worship, industries and farms became victims of Zamza’s terrorist outfit.
A lot of people have speculated that the proliferation of arms in the world today has a resemblance to that of the Zamza community. In some part of the globe, political tugs have been known to turn to terrorists after elections. Very often, the job of political thugs ends after elections when their minds must have been diminished by drugs. They become thorns on people’s flesh.
Some terrorists trained by “the world supper powers” to destroy smaller nations have been known to turn against them in recent times. It appears that the “evil that men do” no longer live after them but rather live with them and bear wild fruits on their watch. This seems to be a confirmation of Prophet Hosea that, “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no head; it will produce no flour. Were it to yield grain, foreigners would swallow it up” (Hosea 8, 7). Paul admonished the Galatians, “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one that sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6, 8). The sages were wise enough to teach the children that, “He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed” (Proverbs 22, 8). Isaiah described this harvest of terror as “the day of disease and incurable pain (Isaiah 17, 11).
All the efforts to use violent means to take over power could be compared to sowing the wind. Sooner or later the vaulting ambitious person will reap the whirlwind at the face of the reality that no condition and position is permanent.
Many nations that have suffered the fate of military dictatorship still live under the shadow of militarism, force and political dictatorship. In some of these nations, the retired military officers still rotate themselves as civilian democratic leaders. They have tasted power and so want to remain and die in power. Should power elude them, they vow to make the nation ungovernable.
The harvest is very often mere emptiness, disappointment and sudden irresistible destruction. A time will come when a dictator will lack the capacity to control his hired killers. All the efforts then turn out to be a similitude of sowing in the flesh to reap corruption (Galatians 6, 8) and the lion then devours its owner.
Greed in human beings is an ambition and a drive that produce irrational decisions in leadership. The outcome of this is often a whirlwind of chain reactions. The leaders of Zamza community did not train their own children for war but some of their children were equipped in other ways to be “stakeholders” in the harvest of the whirlwind.
When a family has so many children that are entrusted to the care of surrogate parents in their upbringing without proper education; when children are left to cater for themselves through begging for alms; when some leaders in communities are afraid to educate orphans and destitute for fear that giving them education might make them know their rights and demand for them and when a society creates an environment that promotes ignorance at the expense of enlightenment; what do you expect if not a jungle society that has no respect for human life, law and order.
Dialogue is relevant only to those who have the capacity to think. Those whose lives have been reduced to those of animals without intelligence have no space for dialogue. This is what happened to Zamza. They consciously destroyed the children of other parents and unconsciously destroyed their own children. In all this, they reaped the whirlwind that till today is shaking the centre of their gravity and now they have no clue or an idea of how to restore peace to the land. Zamza is in trouble while the remnant of Azala are picking up through education and obedience to the word of God.
While Zamza was burning, ministers of the word of God, Azala resolved to preach the true meaning of “sowing a seed” different from that of prosperity preachers in Zamza who only understood “seed sowing” as cash donations from their insecure leaders as a guarantee for future prosperity whereas the content and motive of giving needed to be properly examined in the light of the scriptures.
Paul told the Corinthians, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9, 6). To the Galatians, Paul said, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6, 7).
In the parable of the sower, “the seed is the word of God (Luke 8, 11). This calls for proper training at all levels without the exclusion of religious studies and moral instructions in schools.
The sages counsel the children, “do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity” (Proverbs 3, 1). Consequently, knowledge of the word of God yields abundant fruits instead of whirlwind that has become the lot of Zamza.
Father (Prof) Omonokhua is the Director of Mission and Dialogue of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja, and Consultor for the Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims (CRRM), Vatican City