It is now 02:04 hrs, and have been sleeplessly lying in bed since 01:00 hrs, wondering why I was so insomniac when I felt compelled to read Jeremiah 23 from the Holy Bible.
By Tendai Ruben Mbofana
As I read this 40-verse long chapter, I felt that it was speaking to the nation of Zimbabwe, and, immediately, knew what I had to do – write an article on what I believe God is saying to this country.
As always with every article that I write, I pray to Jehovah God for counsel and guidance – but, this is arguably the most challenging piece that I have had to pen down.
I will not seek to go into a theological discourse, neither will I try to reproduce the long Jeremiah 23 – but, I suggest that those with Bibles read for themselves – however, I will endeavour to interpret what it is saying to our nation.
The main theme of this chapter is how Jehovah God is very disappointed with those who profess to be pastors and prophets, yet are full of deceit, and mislead the nation – leading to widespread suffering and desolation.
This led me to think of the suffering that the nation of Zimbabwe is currently going through, and what role our own pastors and prophets have played in pushing us off the edges of a steep cliff.
As I was reading this chapter in Jeremiah, I was reminded that the writer himself was a prophet of Jehovah, and I started thinking about what role genuine men and women of God should play in a nation for it to prosper – as opposed to false prophets, whom he was reprimanding.
Throughout the Holy Bible, genuine prophets were the carriers of Jehovah’s message to His people and gave guidance and counsel to the leaders.
As was Jeremiah doing in his writings, genuine prophets boldly spoke the true message of God to His people and their leaders, without fear or favour – no matter what the consequences.
They made sure that God’s Word was followed and that leaders were held accountable for their every action to Jehovah.
They were genuine carriers of God’s messages to His people and their leaders – not fortune-tellers, who merely predict the future, as we so unashamedly witness in this country.
Genuine prophets – as we witness in the Holy Bible – were not like the soothsayers we have today in Zimbabwe, who are there to merely to predict who would be the next leader, or when the current leader would die, or some other flimsy ‘prophesy’.
The prophets that we come across in the Bible were actually sent by Jehovah to anoint a leader well before the person himself even knew that he had been chosen.
A stark example is that of the prophet Samuel, who was sent by God to anoint Saul and later David, to be kings of Israel.
Samuel was not there to be a predictor of who was to be the next king but was actually sent by Jehovah to anoint the next king.
Who has our prophets in this country anointed to be the next president – or are they busy outdoing each other in predicting who it will be – as if they were some gambling pundits!
No wonder they would rather predict World Cup scorelines than provide counsel and guidance to our nation!
In fact, when the military decided to launch its ‘Operation Restore Legacy’, which of our prophets had been sent by God to anoint this intervention and declare that Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s reign was over, and should be removed?
In the Bible, although, God had already sent Samuel to anoint David as the next king of Israel – has turned His back on Saul – he (David) did not usurp power from the king but waited for God Himself to remove him.
Furthermore, the prophets in the Bible held leaders accountable to God, and as such, would boldly point out where they had erred – without fear of what the consequences would be, as they knew that they were merely conveying Jehovah’s message.
As such, when kings such as Saul and David sinned against God, prophets Samuel and Nathan were the first to point that out, and reprimanded them according to what Jehovah would have said.
However, in this country what we witness is the complete opposite, as we have prophets who fall over each other in wanting to be seen as the leaders’ favourites – outdoing one another in praising them, even when it is clear that they (leaders) are doing some things that are contrary to God’s Word.
How many times have our leaders committed adultery, and our prophets kept quiet?
How many times have our leaders committed acts of brazen corruption, and our prophets looked the other way?
How many times have our leaders presided over heinous acts of cruelty, atrocities and human rights abuses, and our prophets never uttered a single word of reproof?
How many times have our leaders cursed and used hate language against opponents during rallies, and our prophets – who would be in attendance – were seen laughing and clapping their hands?
As a matter of fact, our prophets are known for seeking the high table with these same politicians.
Our prophets would rather have these same unrepentant leaders – with blood on their hands – to have a pride of place at their church gatherings!
Whilst, genuine prophets, such as Samuel and Nathan risked their very lives to convey the message of God to the leaders – no matter how unsavory – our own prophets would rather glorify our leaders, even to the point of blasphemy – as they shamelessly equate them to genuine men of Jehovah, such as Moses, Joshua, and even Jesus.
This is not to say that we should have prophets who are anti-government or anti-ZANU PF.
Genuine prophets of Jehovah speak the Word of God, and are neither pro-opposition, or anti-opposition, or pro-ZANU PF, or anti-ZANU PF – but, should strictly be PRO-JEHOVAH.
Everyone who purports to be a prophet of God should honestly search their hearts – with the guidance of the Holy Spirit – to establish whether they truly are guided by the Spirit of God, or by their own selfish ambitions – be they political, financial, or any other worldly desires.
The bottom line is that we do not have genuine prophets in this country, but individuals who harbour selfish ambitions that have absolutely nothing to do with carrying the message of Jehovah God.
That is why most of them would rather be busy fleecing money from the already suffering people of Zimbabwe – lining up their pockets, whilst the majority can not even afford a decent meal.
It then becomes clear why these prophets are busy glorifying leaders that they should be reprimanded – so as the curry favour with these leaders in order to continue fleecing the ordinary citizens with impunity.
They know that a true leader – who is guided by the Spirit of God – would, like Jeremiah, rebuke such prophets, and possibly put an abrupt stop to all these shenanigans.
Therefore, these prophets’ actions are a matter of: ‘you scratch my back, and I will scratch yours’, and, ‘you don’t criticise me, I don’t criticise you’, as they also assure these similarly corrupt leaders of support from their congregants.
It is, thus, clear that prophets and politicians are responsible for the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe, as they are full of corruption, and none of them is genuinely conveying the true Word of Jehovah God, so that our nation may be healed and prosper.
Zimbabwe needs a Jeremiah, Samuel, and Nathan – genuine prophets who will guide and counsel our nation, especially our leaders, on the plans of God, and reprimand where erring occurs – in that way our country can be assured of Jehovah’s abundant blessings.
° Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. He is the Programmes Director with the Zimbabwe Network for Social Justice (ZimJustice). Please feel free to call/WhatsApp: +263782283975, or (calls ONLY): +263715667700, email: email@example.com. Please also ‘Like’ the ‘ZimJustice’ page on Facebook.