“Tribal war inna Babylon”. Lyrics from the late Robert Nesta Marley O.M. a.k.a. Bob Marley.
Not sure if it’s, ‘ tribal’, alone ( at one point it was tribal politics) but there’s war going on in Jamaica. And the kind of wickedness and callousness for which ancient Babylon was once famous, in now on full display in Jamaica.
Involving gangs! Yes. Triggering reprisals! Yes. Heartless young men who fear neither God, nor man, nor the police force, the soldiers maybe, have become killing machines.
Babies. Youngsters. Women. Old people. Individuals or groups. “Quako”, or his ‘shut’…family. Doesn’t matter. Bang, bang. You’re dead. And they seem to have unlimited ammunition and a constant supply of high powered automatic weapons. Firing for up to two hours non stop, according to some reports.
These are ‘ bad niggers’. Evil! And out of control. Where do they get so much ammunition. So many guns! And the kind of weapon! Which mother grew them? How did we get here as a people? What is the ‘ end game’. Is there a godfather’? Or (s). Who is to stop them? More questions than answers.
With in excess of 1000 murders for the year so far, the Goverment has begun to implement Zones of special Operations. Popularly known as #ZOSO.
A policy which empowers the security forces to Clear an area of criminal elements, Hold the area…stabilize it, and then Build a new kind of community. Socially and Economically. Maybe even Morally!
All with the help of many different agencies of government. The goal is to have zero murders in that area within a specified time period.
This move constitutes is a societal ‘ push back’ against evil. Against mayhem. Against gang warfare. And against years of neglect, of certain communities, in some instances.
Will it work? Only God knows. Time will tell.
I hope for my country’s sake it will make a difference. For, like so many others, and much more than me, the violence has come close.
Hence this post on Facebook this week. An excerpt!
“It’s a difficult night for me, and for the nation, to be placing a focus on freedom, when a young patient, 27 years old, became another statistic last night. Probably #1007!
Brutally murdered by gunmen, this clean living young man, has left behind a totally confused and numb mother.
But democracy being the best of what mankind has constructed, we continue to probe its antecedents. Freedom!
And mourn the fact that, for far too many grieving mothers, this has become, not only an illusive dream, but a veritable nightmare.
“O Jesus, somebody, wake me up please”. Not the exact words, but the essence of the sentiments expressed by a mother tonight.
As the only Freedom she now enjoys, is the freedom to shed tears.
Personal freedom is being trampled upon, sovereignal freedom is being exercised and civic freedom paralysed.
Can #ZOSO help to restore personal freedom? Reign in sovereignal freedom, and encourage civic freedom! Only time will tell.
Thank God for Spiritual Freedom. “If the Son shall set you free, you are free indeed”…. ..”
The challenge always for a child of God, called to be His ministers of reconciliation, anywhere Babylon – a zone, a ‘ system’ of oppression and injustice, of wickedness and of downtrodden people – exists, is how do we help. How do we make a difference, in this, what Martin Luther King Jr, calls ‘ the midnight hour ‘.
A time of confusion, when the best thing the church can offer, ‘ is that no midnight lasts forever’.
The great paradox is that, as the Lord led me to reflect on deeply this week, we have to become weak, not Prime Ministerial strong, not Jamaica Defence Force strong, not ‘ muscular’, if God’s mighty Power is to become perfect in us. And so help to bring an end to the madness, the ‘ midnight’, the ‘ eclipse’, which has overtaken my country. In broad daylight!
No doubt the Lord was ‘ preparing’ this message when He inspired me to to write to my church this week:
The goal of every Christian : “ I am crucified in Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and have Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 KJV.
In my ClassicsDevotional Bible:
“It is through accepting the circumstances that come to us in life that self is crucified” – Hannah Hurnard
The journey to the goal ordained by God:
” To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given to me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
But he said to me, “ My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. 2 Corinthians 12: 7-9.
How did I arrive at this? Job last night; my song in the night. ” …..appeal for mercy.”
Job this morning. At the end when God restores his fortunes; ” .. for all the evil the that the Lord had brought on him”.
Both discovered by opening my Bible randomly. And in that manner the Lord spoke. So that we may truly become ambassadors of Christ, and ministers of God’s reconciling love in this #Clarendonbleeding country.
I believe a large part of the reason why the Church has become relatively ineffectual in waging war ‘ inna Babylon ‘, is that too many of us have become ‘ too strong’. Too wise. Too street smart! And too important. In the eyes of man! An accusation Jesus leveled against Peter in the Gospel Reading for this Sunday in my church.
” Get thee behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human beings. ( Matthew 16: 22-28).
This after Peter tried to persuade Jesus from ‘ becoming weak’, on the Cross of Calvary. So that the Mighty Power of God might be become manifest over all the Earth.
If we Christians, are ever going to assist our nation in this fight against evil, all hands have to be on deck. And the only power that we have, is the power of The Holy Spirit, which is made perfect in the ‘ crucified life’ of the Baptised.
For the Word of God declares that:
“ It is not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit”.
So, let us humble ourselves and learn to declare like St. Paul :
“ That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. “ 2 Cor. 12:10.
Maybe we are watching too much Netflix. Too many Superman, Batman, and American Army Seal Movies. Listening to too many spiritual ‘ superstars ‘ – T. D. Jakes and Joel Osteen. And declaring ourselves or accepting the ‘ accolade’ of being prayer warriors.
Forgetting the Word that says:
” I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.
It does not, therefore, depend on is not by man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy”. Romans 9: 14 – 16. A passage which haunted my soul this week.
Maybe we are hankering too much for the return of the ‘ cerebral ‘ Barack Obama. Or the ‘ visionary ‘, Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Or the lyrics of Bob Marley and #DeservesmorethananOMMissLou.
And not paying enough attention to the Word of God which inspired one of the great prayers of all time.
” Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to your Cross I cling.
Naked, look to you for dress;
Helpless, come to you for grace.
Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me Savior, lest I die.”
I pray, that as this tribal war, like a vampire, continues to ” suck the blood ” of our people, we may repent of our foolish ways, and look to Almighty God for mercy. For the same Power which raised Jesus from the dead, is avaible through those who ‘ die to self’, and
And as I conclude this very challenging passage comes into my mind:
“ For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”. 1 Cor. 1: 18
That’s why Jesus labeled Peter’s objection to Him ‘ going to Jerusalem to die on the Cross ‘, Satanic. As the only hope for mankind and our sinful and wicked ways, which has created so many Babylons across the world, is not the ‘ muscular’ operations led by the security forces. Or whomsoever! As useful, and urgently desired, as they maybe, in certain situations.
For the real and present danger is not just wicked gunmen, in and by themselves. But the ‘ system’, The Fall of Mankind, which allowed Sin to enter into the hearts of all of us.
Thus producing the kind of evil thoughts and desires which separated us from a Holy God. And from each other! Spawning murder, domestic violence, break down of family life, disobedient children, teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, political tribal warfare, gang wars, systems which promote greed and entitlement and yawning chasms between rich and poor, slavery, racism and the like. And the emergence of ‘ toilet’ language on TV (J) ….somebody is testing the waters.
None which can be solved by creating Zones of special Operations! But only by accepting the free gift of the grace of God offered by Him who became weak on Calvary. Suffered and died. Fully God and fully man. Christ our Redeemer.
So that the Mighty Power of God, Salvation, freedom from Sin and Death and Evil, in this life and the next, might become available to all. All who will humble themselves, deny self, and submit to the Lordship of Christ.
In Salem. In Farm. And in Rockfort.
In the Parliament. In the Security forces. On Twitter. On Facebook. Everywhere. Peace.