“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.” – Deuteronomy 28:1
January 10, 1967 to January 10, 2020 marks 53 years since Majority Rule came to be in The Bahamas. There are many, after all these years, who do not realize the importance of such a date in the history of our lives as a people, descendants from Mother Africa, so it behooves us to tell the story in love and truth.
We were planted and established as a people of color – rich in culture, the arts, gold, silver, precious stones and the list of holdings goes on; but were suddenly uprooted and torn away from familiar places, family and friends by those of a fairer hue, and against our will scattered to destinations unknown.
We sang, we prayed, we died, but survived and for this, we give thanks to Almighty God. No, we did not set the date of January 10, 1967. We did not use weapons of mass destruction or create pockets of mayhem, but wisdom from God-given to astute principled men gave us victory. We transitioned from indentured tenants to landlords of national affairs. God was in the calendar, for He made time; time belongs to Him for He is time.
We salute these men, including the father of the nation, the late Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling. Yes, it is right and proper to praise famous men and women for their outstanding contributions to the uplifting of humanity. Indeed, it had to be God and God alone, for the national table of affairs was already set and agreed upon as to who was to be who and who was to get this and who was to get that. We were not in any of the plans and so here we are after 53 years, some of the original plans are being carried out.
Our text today from Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the law, is laying the platform for the success of any nation, ours being no exception. Blessings are promised for obedience, but curses for disobedience – and that is why Christ died to redeem us from the curse of the law. Currently, we have a global ban on certain plastics. If we obey that law that prohibits the use of the same, we are free from legal punishment.
Continuing with the text, “All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock – the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience with him. Then all these peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity – in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground – in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.”
Dear readers, just look what all God has in store for us as a nation if only we would be obedient to his calling. There was a time in our history when we were God-fearing, kind, honest, decent, dignified and knew how to behave ourselves and to be our brother’s keepers – but look where we are today. Where have we gone wrong in 53 short years? A song of yesterday asks, “Where have all the flowers gone?”, for now we are plagued with thistles and thorns. Bahamas, where are thou?
God said that if we are obedient to Him, we will lend and not borrow. Gracious God. Some years ago, there was a commercial using an apple to show what space was left for mankind. Rivers, mountains, lakes, seas and everything that was not habitable was sliced off the apple and only a very small piece was left for habitation. So, it is today why climate change is so important because of the small space for man’s habitation. Yes, pretty soon if we continue to borrow and slice off our dollar, there will be little left for us to survive. We will surely suffer from the law of diminishing return.
We are truly blessed to have these isles of the seas to be our new homeland, for the wealth that was taken away from us has been given to us in another form and shape. Our wealth is in the abundance of the sea and our health is in the flora and fauna of our land. Double blessing for our troubles and tribulation. Every morning I watch the birds as they flock to the buttercup tree for their morning feed – I haven’t heard them chirp that they were suffering from chronic diseases. Thank you, God, for you have been our help in ages past and you alone are our hope for years to come.