8th July 2012
Have we lost our sense of ownership and pride in being Kenyans? Do we know and treasure the price of freedom paid by our founding fathers? As Christ’s Ambassadors, we have a critical role to play in this nation. We are the LIGHT and the SALT of the earth. We must INFLUENCE every place we are committed to.
However, we have separated ourselves and abdicated our role as shapers of today’s society. God did not create us to be heavenly bound with no earthly good. One basic question that needs an answers is; “How well do we understand the COST of FREEDOM?” In fact, for the majority of Kenyans, this is a critical question because this is where we understand why we NEED TO GUARD OUR FREEDOM. With Kenya at 40 years old, statistics show that we now have a nation where seventy-five percent of the population is under 30 years of age. Could this be the reason why many are ignorant of the COST of defending our FREEDOM.
What does the book of Judges says about the Israelites? Judges 2:10 “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals.
They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger”. After the death of Joshua, those born after the Exodus ended up falling back into rebellion, a lack of ownership to the call of God and a waning patriotism to the God who delivered them. How can one tell that there is a lack of patriotism amongst a people?
- Our Communication: Numbers 11:1a “Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused.
- God’s Dealings with us: Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.
- Lack of Respect: Numbers 12:1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite.
- Selfish Pride: v2 “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this.
The key questions are: What made them loose heart and become so indifferent? “What is our role in remaining true to the call of nationhood? Is there anything like a Christian patriot? Who is a patriot? A Patriot is one who LOVES and DEFENDS and is WILLING to SACRIFICE for his country/nation.Some famous patriots include:
- Mahatma Gandhi – He fought for the unity of Hindus and Muslims to be one nation; killed for that unity.
- Martin Luther King – He fought for an America where both blacks and whites could live as brother and sister in one nation.
- The Kapenguria six – Jomo Kenyatta, Bildad Kaggia, Kung’u Karumba, Fred Kubai, Paul Ngei and Achieng’ Oneko, spent 7 years in confinement for Kenya’s freedom from colonial rule.
Question is, what sacrifices have you made for Kenya?
Definitions of a nation: According to an online definition, “A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history”. Ernest Renan (1823-1892) was an important French theorist who wrote about a variety of topics. On the idea of the nation, Ernest said, ”A nation is a large-scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of the sacrifices that one has made in the past and of those that one is prepared to make in the future”. A quote by George William Curtis, an American writer and public speaker states, “A man’s country is not a certain area of land, mountains, rivers, and woods. But it’s a principle; and patriotism is locality to that principle.”
Looking at what God said to Abraham, one has that conviction that God was at the heart of the creation the nations and it’s peoples. Gen 12:1 “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; ?I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing”.
The National anthem
O God of all creation,
Bless this our land and nation,
Justice be our shield and defender,
May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty,
Plenty be found within our boarders.
Let one and all arise,
With hearts both strong and true,
Service be our earnest endeavor,
And our homeland of Kenya,
Heritage of splendor,
Firm may we stand to defend.
Let all with one accord,
In common bond united,
Build this our nation together,
And the glory of Kenya,
The fruit of our labor,
Fill every heart with thanksgiving.
The Kenyan National Anthem contains different prayers: a prayer of praise and adoration – This is prayer centered declaring God’s attributes, a prayer of penitence – This is a repentance prayer, a prayer of thanksgiving – This is a prayer of appreciation for the gifts God has given us, a prayer of intercession – Joining God and the Holy Spirit in praying for others, a prayer of petition – Petition means to ask for what we need.
Our national anthem is a prayer of PETITION, SUPPLICATION or BESEECHING God for the establishment of the ideals that our founding father believed were key to the prosperity of Kenya. What are some ideals of a Great Nation we can pick from this Anthem?
- Fear of God – “O God of all creation, Bless this our land and nation” – The Declaration here was, OUR NATION WILL NOT BE AN ATHEISTIC NATION – “They prayed for the recognition of God as SOURCE of LIFE, our EXISTENCE and SOURCE of BLESSING”. Psalms 33:12 – Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.”
- Justice for all – “justice be our shield and defender”. Their prayer was for the weak, poor, economically disadvantaged and rich; that all will have equal access to justice.
- Unity – “May we dwell in Unity, Peace and Liberty” “Let all with one accord; in common bond united”. They believed in a UNITED KENYA – a need to be intentional in building oneness and at the same time celebrating our diversity.
- Peace – our ability to learn to deal with our differences amicably so as to maintain harmony. Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men”. Matt 5- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God”.
- Liberty – God hates oppression, and “No Kenyan needs to live under the same yoke of oppression they sacrificed their lives to deliver themselves from”. How long are we going to be slaves of selfish leaders? God has given us the power to CREATE our future and a future for our Children.
- Inclusivity – “Let one and ALL” – the need for every Kenyan or region to arise and feel to be an important part of the nation; the need to feel equally treated.
- Resilience – “with hearts both strong and true” they prayed for the need to confront our problems together, and to not to give up hope. The need to have a resolve to stand as one against the aggressors.
- Hard work – they prayed for a people of productivity, creativity and innovation in all they do – “service be our earnest endeavor”, “Build this our nation together”, ”Fruit of our labor”. Colossians 3:23 states that whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. In addition, an American President once said, “Don’t ask what the nation can do for you, but ask what you can do for your nation”. God calls us to take dominion.
- Prosperity – “heritage of splendor”- Prosperity is the product of a HARD WORKING PEOPLE. The ability of a people to create wealth for themselves and the future generations.
- Ownership – “stand to defend” – this is the building a sense of RESPONSIBILITY and BELONGING. This includes both the good and the bad.
- Pride – Taking pride in our country and its institutions; “and the glory of Kenya”.
- Thanksgiving – “fill every heart with thanksgiving”. Although God has blessed us with so much, we are not grateful and thankful.
The flag: Red stands for the blood that was shed for freedom; Green stands for the rich land and natural resources; Black stands for the Indigenous Kenyans; White stands for Peace; and the Shield and Spears stand for defense to threats.
The people: People united in DIVERSITY; People united in CULTURE; People united in FAITH; People COMMITTED and ready to SACRIFICE for the ideals of their land.
- Sin: Proverbs 14:34 “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him”.
- A rebellious Spirit: 1 Sam 15:23 “For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”
- Greed: Luke 12:15 “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
- Idolatry: 1 Cor 10:14 Paul said, “flee from idolatry”
- An Ungrateful spirit
- Entitlement: The ‘you owe me spirit’
What brings God’s blessings to a nation?
Leadership: In Proverbs 29 the Bible states, “When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan. A just king gives stability to his nation, but one who demands bribes destroys it. The godly care about the rights of the poor, while the wicked don’t care at all.
- Just leadership guaranties stability and satisfaction
- Bad leadership casts a spirit of opression
- Righteous people guarantee the rights of the poor
Humility: 2 Chronicles 7:12-16 “The Lord appeared to him at night and said: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there”.
- The HUMILITY of a people is an INDICATOR of a people’s brokenness.
- BROKENENESS attracts GOD to a people. God says in His word, “A broken and contrite heart God will not despise”
- SEEKING GOD must be accompanied with a GENUINE TURNING AWAY FROM SIN