On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
Why God Can’t Bless Sinners
“WHY would a God of love have so many rules and regulations?” a colleague of the pen once asked me. I returned his question by asking one of my own. Have you ever played soccer? “Many times,” he retorted. “Were there any official rules you had to obey?
“Of course there were,” my friend answered. We explained to him that without clear regulations it would be impossible to play any game. It would be chaos. Jehovah designed the cosmos with an order that is so precise that scientists have been trying to unravel for centuries. God also gave clear directives for He expects us to live.
These do’s and don't’s of divine law are not for our chastisement, but for our safety, security and direction. Like any good father, Allah blesses us when we obey and corrects us when we stray. If our disobedience becomes unacceptable, Jehovah can take the drastic step of pronouncing a curse – either on an individual or some particular object. He has done it many times in the scriptures.
After Moses taught that Yahweh wants our seed to be sown in time of famine and not used for anything unclean, Moses said, “Neither have I given ought thereof for the dead,” Deut 26: 14. In God’s sight giving to dead idols is cursed. The Apostle Paul repeated the warning in the New Testament. He said that our tithe was not to be offered to idols to honour those who had departed. Paul warned: “If any man say unto you, this is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not,” 1 Cor 10:28.
Through the prophet Ezekiel, God gave a warning to those who would set up a stumbling block such as an idol. He declared, “I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from the midst of my people,” Ezekial 14:8. Yahweh can’t bless what He has cursed! You cannot either. Here are the lesson God taught regarding our giving. Jehovah told Moses that those who disobeyed would be cursed. There were twelve specific warnings. One, cursed is the man who carves an image or casts an idol, Deu 27:15. Two: Cursed is the man who dishonours his father or his mother, Deu 27:16. Three: Cursed is the man who moves his neighbour’s boundary stone, Deu 27:17. Four: Cursed is the man who leads the blind astray on the road, Deu 27:18. Five: Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widows, Deu 27:19. Six: Cursed is the man who sleeps with his father’s wife, Deu 27:20. Seven: Cursed is the man who has sexual relations with any animal, Deu 27:21. Eight: Cursed is the man who sleeps with his sister, Deu 27:22. Nine: Cursed is the man who sleeps with the mother of his wife, Deu 27: 23. Ten: Cursed is the man who kills his neighbour secretly, Deu 27: 24. 11: Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person, Deu 27:25. 12: Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out, Deu 27:26.
Certainly, God wasn't finished. He said, “If thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day: that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee, Deutoronomy 28:15. Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed, Deu 28:17. The fruit of your womb will be cursed, Deu 28:18. The crops of your land will be cursed, Deu 28:18. The calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks will be cursed Deu 28:19. You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out, Deu 28:19. When we live contrary to the word of God or attempt to touch what God has cursed, there is nowhere to turn. It has been said that God has no grandsons. Just because our parents and grandparents walked with God, they can’t protect us. That means we each must have a relationship with the Almighty. Judgement for using what is cursed is inescapable. Yahweh said, “Though Noah, Daniel and Job were in communion with me, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither their son nor daughter, they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness,” Ezekiel 14:20.
We can have the strongest prayer groups in history, but it is impossible to overturn a decision already made by God. If He has cursed something, we had better not attempt to change it. There is however, one thing we can do. God said, “Repent and turn yourselves from idols,” Ezekiel 14:6.
Our investment is to be in things that are vibrant and dynamic. Here are four ways to know something is alive: one, living things, have appetite. Two, living things take in and give out. Three, living things are never satisfied. As we grow older, the desire for more never stops. Striving is a sign of life. Finally, living things have growth. A greater blessing resides in being the best rather than being average. Here are the blessings of Allah if we fully obey His commandments: The fruit of your womb, the crops of your land, the young of your livestock. You will have victory over your enemies. It is the desire of our creator that if we avoid the penalty of His curse, we shall have abundance. “The Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in fruit of thy body, in fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground,” Deu 28:11. He will also give financial blessing. “The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto the land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand,” Deu 28:12.
Our champion for today is Mairead Maguire Corrigan, the Northern Irish social worker who, along with Betty Williams founded the community of Peace People, a movement of both Roman Catholic and Protestants dedicated to ending the secretarian strife in Ulster, the United Kingdom. For their work, the two women shared the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize.
Corrigan was from her youth a number of the Legion of Mary, a lay Catholic Welfare Organisation, and through it she became deeply involved in social work among children and teenagers in Catholic neighbourhoods of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
After witnessing a terrorist attack by the Irish Republican Army in 1976, she along with Betty publicly denounced violence and called for mass opposition to it. Marches of Catholic and Protestant women were organized and shortly after, the community of Peace People was founded-based on genuine reconciliation in Ulster. Although Betty Williams broke with the movement in 1980, Corrigan remained an active member of the group.