Kenya is a blessed country. We are blessed with resources – wildlife, minerals, great weather, and most importantly, the blessing of strong culture of Christian faith.
We are blessed with peace – not to have experienced any wars, and not to have experienced any form of “captivity”. Kenya is blessed.
Israel, God’s chosen people were blessed, and to date they are. They are a royal priesthood, a chosen generation called forth to show God’s praise. But in the midst of all the blessings, and all the promises that God had made to them, a time came when Israel rebelled. Time after time they rebelled against God. They disobeyed him, and made their own idols. God, who is full of mercy, pardoned them over and over again. Eventually, Israel had to face the consequences of their rebellious lifestyle. They were taken into captivity in Babylon.
The Bible in Isaiah 59, presents to us the voice of God, through prophet Isaiah, calling on Israel and warning her of her rebellious ways. While God warns them of their sin, He is also quick to let them know that He is not weak (His hand is not shortened at all) that He cannot save them, but their sins have separated them from Him.
“1 Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. 2 It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore. 3 Your hands are the hands of murderers, and your fingers are filthy with sin. Your lips are full of lies, and your mouth spews corruption. 4 No one cares about being fair and honest. The people’s lawsuits are based on lies. They conceive evil deeds and then give birth to sin. 5 They hatch deadly snakes and weave spiders’ webs. Whoever eats their eggs will die; whoever cracks them will hatch a viper. 6 Their webs can’t be made into clothing, and nothing they do is productive. All their activity is filled with sin, and violence is their trademark. 7 Their feet run to do evil, and they rush to commit murder. They think only about sinning. Misery and destruction always follow them. 8 They don’t know where to find peace or what it means to be just and good. They have mapped out crooked roads, and no one who follows them knows a moment’s peace. 9 So there is no justice among us, and we know nothing about right living. We look for light but find only darkness. We look for bright skies but walk in gloom. 10 We grope like the blind along a wall, feeling our way like people without eyes. Even at brightest noontime, we stumble as though it were dark. Among the living, we are like the dead. 11 We growl like hungry bears; we moan like mournful doves. We look for justice, but it never comes. We look for rescue, but it is far away from us. 12 For our sins are piled up before God and testify against us. Yes, we know what sinners we are. 13 We know we have rebelled and have denied the Lord. We have turned our backs on our God. We know how unfair and oppressive we have been, carefully planning our deceitful lies. 14 Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed. 15 Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked. The Lord looked and was displeased to find there was no justice. 16 He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm, and his justice sustained him. 17 He put on righteousness as his body armor and placed the helmet of salvation on his head. He clothed himself with a robe of vengeance and wrapped himself in a cloak of divine passion. 18 He will repay his enemies for their evil deeds. His fury will fall on his foes. He will pay them back even to the ends of the earth. 19 In the west, people will respect the name of the Lord; in the east, they will glorify him. For he will come like a raging flood tide driven by the breath of the Lord.[a] 20 “The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins,” says the Lord. 21 “And this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Isaiah 59:1-21)
About a month ago, I read God’s word presented above and my heart trembled with fear. My inmost being was shaken as the Lord showed me the extent to which our beloved country, Kenya, has entrenched into rebellion against God. Looking at God’s word above, I heard God speaking to Kenya today:
“Your hands are the hands of murderers, and your fingers are filthy with sin. Your lips are full of lies, and your mouth spews corruption.”
4 No one cares about being fair and honest. The people’s lawsuits are based on lies. They conceive evil deeds and then give birth to sin. 5 They hatch deadly snakes and weave spiders’ webs. Whoever eats their eggs will die; whoever cracks them will hatch a viper. 6 Their webs can’t be made into clothing, and nothing they do is productive. All their activity is filled with sin, and violence is their trademark. 7 Their feet run to do evil, and they rush to commit murder. (Isaiah 59:4-7)
Like in the case of Israel during Isaiah’s day, God has highly favoured Kenya – surrounded by nations that have experienced war time and again, Kenya, is a peace-builder, a reconciliatory army.
But have we as a nation been blinded by God’s love? Have we taken his nature of being slow to anger and trampled it on the ground? Have we toppled God’s authority and replaced it with a self-centredness attitude that ignores his sovereignty in our country and our individual lives? What has blinded Kenya to God?
From the North to the South, and from the East to the West; from the media – radio, television, print and electronic, the internet; and from families to offices – all the airwaves are filled with reports of people scheming and committing evil in all manner and form. Innocent blood shed has become the order of the day. Murder, road accidents, rape, theft, abortion and suicide among other evils raise their voices across the country.
Reports of husbands killing wives, and wives killing husbands, couples estranged in love triangles outside of their marital homes, teenagers committing suicide and fathers denying their children form part of the webs woven by the filthy-filled fingers.
Kenya! Oh! Kenya my country, my motherland, arise! Wake up from the deadly sleep of sin!
“For your sins are piled up before God and testify against you. Yes, you know what sinners you are. You know you have rebelled and have denied the Lord. You have turned you back on your God. You know how unfair and oppressive you have been, carefully planning your deceitful lies.” (Isaiah 59:12-13)
Kenya! Oh! Kenya! What, or who has blinded you that you can’t see the blessing of the Lord upon you? Lift up your eyes and see what a beautiful people you are – a people created and formed in the image of God; a people called by the Name of the Lord! A people chosen to proclaim forth the praises of God!
Kenya, unveil yourself and see God’s blessing upon you – behold the peace of God upon you; behold the infrastructural and technological milestones over the years; behold the academic and economical heights that God has lifted you to; Kenya, lift up your eyes, and behold the blessing of God upon you.
Kenya, Oh! Kenya! Why are you fighting me, God? I am the Truth – Why are you fighting the Truth, yet only the Truth will set you free?
“Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed. Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked.” (Isaiah 59:14-15a)
I, the Lord even the Lord your God; have looked at you and I am displeased. I am displeased to find that there is no justice among you. I am a God of justice.
The Lord looked and was displeased to find there was no justice. (Isaiah 59:15b)
So, I myself raise a voice to you, Kenya! I want to save you with my strong arm, and my justice. I want to save you from the captivity you have brought yourself into. The captivity of sin – the captivity of evil – of murder, immorality, injustice, corruption, lies – I want to save you! I want to save you, Kenya!
My hand is not shortened, that it cannot save you; nor is my ear heavy, that I cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from me, your God; and your sins have hidden my face from you, so that I will not hear.
I have given you Jesus as your Redeemer to buy you back from your captivity; He exchanged his glory for your sin, He exchanged His life for yours. Will you turn back from your sins and come to me?
Come now, let us reason together; consider your ways. No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as white as wool. If you will only obey me and let me help you, and deliver you from your captivity!
I will make a covenant with you; my Spirit will not leave you. My words that I have spoken to you will not leave you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the Lord have spoken! Will you hearken to me?
My Spirit will deliver the poor, and comfort the broken hearted; my spirit will free the captives; my Spirit will bring favour to those mourning. Will you hearken to my voice?
Arise Kenya! Arise, Oh! Kenya! Let your light shine for all the nations to see! For the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!