Tuesday, August 30, 2016


God delivered the three kings.

In response to the king’s enquiry, Elisha replied to the king and asked, “What have I to do with you? Go ask the prophets of your father and mother.”  And the king of Israel said to him, “Nay, for the Lord has called these three kings to deliver them into the hand of Moab.”  And Elisha said, “As the Lord of hosts liveth before whom I stand, of a certainty were it not for the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah with you, I would not look in your direction or even look at your face.”  “Anyhow,” Elisha said, “Bring me a minstrel.”  And it came to pass that as the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him and he said, “Thus saith the Lord, make this valley full of ditches.” For the Lord says, you shall not see wind or rain; yet the valley shall be filled with water that you may drink both yourselves and your cattle and your beasts. And this is but a simple thing in the sight of the Lord and he will deliver the Moabites into your hand; and you shall smite every fenced city, and shall fell every good tree, and mar every good piece of land with stones. And it came to pass that in the morning when the meat offering was being offered that there came water by the way of Edom and the country was filled with water.  

Monday, August 29, 2016


War with the King of Moab
During the days of Ahab Mesha king of Moab was a sheep master and he rendered unto the king of Israel a hundred thousand rams and an hundred thousand rams with the wool; but after Ahab was dead, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. And king Jehoram went out and numbered all Israel; and he sent to Jehoshaphat and told him that the king of Moab had rebelled against him and asked him whether he would join him to go against Moab.  And Jehoshaphat agreed saying, I will go up with you; my people shall be as your people, and my horses as your horses. And he asked which way they should go, and he said they should go the way of the wilderness of Edom. And the king of Israel, the king of Judah, and the king of Edom joined together and marched against Moab. And they calculated a route for a seven day march; but they found no water along the way for the men, or the cattle that followed them. And the king of Israel said, “Alas! Has the Lord called us three kings together, to deliver us into the hands of Moab?” But Jehoshaphat asked.  ”Is there not here a prophet of the Lord that we may enquire of the Lord by him?” And one of the king of Israel’s servant told him that there was Elisha the son of Shaphat who poured water on the hands of Elijah. And Jehoshaphat told the king of Israel, that the word of the Lord was with Elisha; so the three kings went to Elisha to consult with him. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Elisha Healed the Waters
And the men of the city of Jericho came to Elisha and urged him to remain in that city, as it was a good place except that the earth was barren because the water the springs were dried up. And Elijah told them to fetch him a new water bottle and put some salt in it. And they did so. And Elisha went and poured the salt in the springs, and said “Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters. There shall no more be dearth or barren land.” So the waters were healed thereafter according to the word of Elisha which he spoke. And Elisha went up from Jericho going toward Bethel. And as he was on his way, there appeared little children out of the city and mocked him saying, “Go up you ball head, go up you ball head.” And he looked back upon them and cursed them in the name of the Lord; and there came forth two she-bears out of the woods and killed forty two of them. And Elisha went from there to Mount Carmel and from there he returned to Samaria. In the meantime Jehoram the son of Ahab had begun to reign over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned twelve years. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, although not like his father and his mother; for he had put away the images of Baal; but nevertheless he adhered to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat who had made Israel to sin.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Elisha takes hold of the mantle of Elijah
As Elisha watched Elijah caught up into heaven on a chariot of fire, he shouted, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof.” And Elisha saw Elijah no more; and he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. Then he took up the mantle of Elijah which had fallen from him and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. And he took the mantle and smote the waters and said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And when he had smitten the waters they parted, and he went over the Jordan. And when the sons of the prophets which were watching from Jericho saw him they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests upon Elisha.” And they came to meet him and bowed themselves to the ground before him. And they said unto him, “Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men let them go we pray thee and seek thy master lest peradventure the Spirit of the Lord has taken him up and cast him upon some mountain or some valley.” But Elisha said no. But they insisted and would not stop urging him to do so; and eventually Elisha consented and told them to go search for Elijah. And they went and searched for Elijah; and when they did not find him, they reported back to Elisha saying they had not found him; and Elijah said to them, “Did I not tell you not to waste your time searching for him?”

Friday, August 26, 2016


Elijah taken up into Heaven.

At Bethel, Elijah again told Elisha to wait there as the Lord had sent him to Jericho; but Elisha resolved that he would continue to follow him; so they both went on to Jericho. And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha and said, “Do you know the Lord will take away your master from your head today?”  And Elisha said, “I know, hold your peace.” And Elijah said to Elisha, “Tarry here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But again Elisha refused to refrain from following after him; so the two of them went on to the Jordan. And when the two arrived at the Jordan, fifty men of the sons of the prophets stood afar off and watched as Elijah and Elisha stood by the Jordan. And Elijah took his mantle and wrapped it together, and smote the water of the Jordan; and the waters parted so that both of them went over the Jordan on dry ground. And it came to pass that when they were gone over, Elijah told Elisha to ask him what he wanted to do for him before he was taken away from him; and Elisha asked that a double portion of his spirit be cast upon him. And Elijah said, “Thou hast asked a hard thing, however if you see me when I am taken up it shall be as you ask; if not then so be it. And it happened that as the two prophets continued to walk and to talk that there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire and separated them and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 


Black and Comely Me

Let us for the purpose of this discourse establish two points of reference. They are Black with all its connotations for people of African origin, and White to signify all those who are not of African descent. For starters, we all know there was a period in history when Black men were forcibly abducted from their homeland in Africa, and transported like animals or crops in very harsh circumstances from their roots and disbursed abroad. And it cannot be denied that black slavery constituted one of the darkest and most shameful pages in human history. African slavery, Black slavery was inhumane barbaric and contrary to the jus naturale, a standard which the Romans recognized as the law of nature.
                On the other hand slavery, as far as it was recognized as part of the jus gentium, the law which the nations accepted as law which applied to them to the exclusion of those in servitude, was abolished in the West Indies in 1834, almost two hundred years ago. Yet today we still hear cries of injustice and demands for reparation.
                It is averred here that every people on earth have been at some time in their history enslaved at one time and in some way of another. So why, therefore, do the scars of slavery remain with this one group of people, namely, black people more than any other? Indeed we know not only have other people been enslaved acts of genocide, for instance, have been documented throughout the ages. So the question is worth repeating and the facts are worth noting, why has slavery it seems attached exclusively to African slavery?
We find in the bible, for instance, in Jeremiah, the question, “Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard his spot?” The question is not pointing to race, or ethnicity, but rather a practical question.  Indeed it is a statement of fact that a Black person will always remain a Black person, at least in the eyes of the White person, however hard he tries to cover up or change his complexion. So if you are black, it matters not that your great grandfather was liberated two hundred years ago; you will always be looked upon as a slave, or the son of a slave. Not so a white person. Many of the people now residing in the United States for example, and who are the most fiercely racist people on earth, have ancestors who arrived there as the most menial and down trodden peasants on earth, often in conditions worse than slavery. But after a few generations, they have cast off their lot and their shackles and because the colour of their skin remains the same, today they are White Supremacists. And therein lies a significant difference. A White slave does not have to change his spot to be a White Supremacist.
There is no doubt that Racism has played and continue to play, a significant role in determining how Black people think and feel about themselves. As someone said to me recently, “It is easy for those who have managed to throw off their shackles not to understand why others can’t.” Indeed the fact is racist comments, behaviour, employment policies, and continual prejudice in every facet of society are like daggers in the wounds of the black race and have forced many to view their circumstances and their lots as hopeless; and simply slump their shoulders and give up and give in. Surely there has been lots of shallow attempts to stem if not stop the growing cancer of racism in the world; but it is well said, “You can shake a man’s hand, but you cannot shake his heart. Racism, in spite of all the official pronouncements, lip service and political posturing is as alive and well today as it has ever been. A man who is armed with a knife in his bosom is perhaps even more dangerous than one armed with a knife in his hand.
Psychological Inertia
A by-product of racism is psychological inertia. Imagine you even as a brave person is awaked in the middle of the night by someone holding a gun on you and saying, “Don’t you dare move.” Brave yes, but scared to death nonetheless, you freeze. Imagine too you are at the bottom of a mountain; you are wounded but resilient; and you use every ounce of your strength to drag yourself to the top of that mountain; and each time you are almost there, some one kicks or pushes you down. After several attempts, unless you are made of steel, not just flesh and blood, you are very likely to give up. To understand why so many Black people just give up and stop trying, is to understand these two examples of psychological inertia; a frozen of frigid state which paralyses the will and makes one impotent to act.
Inferiority Complex
Then there are those Blacks who develop inferiority complexes which manifest themselves in different ways. Many lose their natural impulse for self-importance. They do not see themselves as beautiful and comely. So they resort to many pathetic ways to try and hide their natural black and beautiful bodies, especially their faces. They bleach their shins and paint their faces, until they look like manikins and statuettes and then they overexpose their faces, stand in front of the camera and then say, “Aren’t I lovely?” There is no more pathetic complex in my view, than that when you tell yourself that because of the colour of your skin you are not worthy to look at. If you, as a Black person do not love and admire and feel proud of who you are, then why should the White man look at you and say, Oh there goes a beautiful Black person.
Recently I saw a march in London by a group of people claiming reparation from presumably the Government for again presumably African deprivation. I really have no idea, how they can in anyway prove that their present circumstances are as a direct consequence of some wrong that was done to their ancestors. If the government were to agree to make reparation, who would be the beneficiaries, I wonder. Their ancestors have been dead for over two hundred years so they can’t benefit.  Some of them, many of them, would have a hard time actually proving that they were in some way related to one of the ancestors that were taken away and enslaved. Would they, are they, demanding that the Western governments, the United States, Spain, France and Britain return to Africa and carry back with them all the gold and precious stones and minerals extracted over the centuries? As an African friend of mine used to be fond of saying when we were both students in London, “that would be an extravagant wish.”
My considered and sincere solution would be for people called Black to forget the negatives in their history and live for today and tomorrow for themselves and their children. Many of our ancestors threw off their yokes and made names for themselves by becoming self-sufficient, land and property owners, artisans, tradesmen, and so on, over a hundred years ago. So why should we today, a hundred years later, wallow in the pit of self-pity?
                “Let us be the rational, intelligent, and self-assured people God created us to be. Let us not let into our hearts the idea that there is no soundness in reason, and admit that we ourselves are not yet sound and strive like men for reason,” I remember someone saying.
                I say we have been lying on this bed of affliction for far too long. Let us take the advice that Jesus gave to the paralytic man, “Take up thy bed and walk.”  The late great Bob Marley sang, “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but yourself can free your mind.” And to that I say, Amen.  And as Colombo would say, “Just one more thing,” Listen again to Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” I am going to do so in just a minute.  

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Death of Ahaziah

So following the instructions of the angel of the Lord, Elijah appeared before the king and told him, thus saith the Lord.  “Forasmuch as you have sent messengers to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron is it not because there is no God in Israel to enquire of his word? Therefore, thou will not come down off thy bed on which you have gone up; but you will surely die.” So Ahaziah died according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah because he had no son. After that when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, “Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” And Elisha said to him, “As the Lord liveth, and as your soul liveth, I will not leave thee.  So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha and said to him, do you know that the Lord will take away your master from you today? And Elisha said, Yes, I know it hold your peace.”