Dear Editor – It is interesting following up on the recent arguments for and against the reconciliation and apologies made to the nation in the past week.
Like Fr. Ngalihesi, I’d like to add that all these political wrangling and point scoring that is done at the highest level serves no one’s interest let alone the nation as a whole.
In this discussion, I’d like to bring out a biblical principle of solving wrongs or problems.
In Genesis 3: 7-10 is an account of what transpired from the conversation between the serpent and Eve in the previous verses.
The question eventually asked by God was, “Where art thou?
Now why did God do that?
When Adam and Eve sinned, separation immediately takes place between them and God.
There was a conflict between Adam and Eve and God.
When God made Eve from the rib of Adam (Genesis 2: 21,22), the bible says, “He brought her unto the man”. The man didn’t run! The woman didn’t run, they were all together.
When God brought all the animals to Adam in verse 19 of Genesis 2, and Adam named them one by one, he (Adam) didn’t run.
In Genesis 2:8, the bible says that God planted a garden in the east of the garden and there put the man whom he had formed. God brought the man to his home, yet Adam did not run.
When God put the man to tend and dress the garden (Gen. 2:15), Adam didn’t run.
Why are they running?
Because in (Gen. 3:8), tells us, there is a problem between humanity and God.
The problem is not caused by God, but caused by us.
Let’s be honest, Adam and Eve sinned against God.
But the Bible (Gen.3:9) said, “And the Lord God call unto Adam, and said unto him, where art thou?
It was God who came calling.
In the previous verse (Gen. 3:8), tells us that they heard the voice of the Lord God in the cool of the garden.
It was God who came to fix the problem. And it was God who was innocent.
The bible has a principle for human relationships. The innocent person should move first.
I know that is not the way it works here on earth.
God’s way is not our way (Isaiah 55:8) tells us that.
God is comparing our way with his way, which we are no match.
The way God functions and thinks is so different to ours that he compares it to the distance or gap between heaven and earth.
And our duty as God’s children is to try and see things through God’s eyes.
When you begin to see the world through God’s eyes then you change.
And the way we see conflicts through God’s eyes is the innocent person is the one who moves first, and God sets that example.
The one who was right, the one who was innocent, the one who had done no wrong, is the one who came to fix the problem.
We are told in Romans 5, “While we were yet enemies, Christ died for us.”
He did not wait until we were friends, he died while we were yet enemies, Christ died.
Keeping this in mind, let’s go to Genesis 13, the story recorded about Abraham and his nephew Lot.
God had blessed both men with riches in livestock and other things so much so there was not enough grazing land for both their livestock.
A row ensued between their servants and it reached Abraham’s attention.
Now watch closely verse 7, last part, “… and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled there in the land.”
Now why does the bible say that?
Because the non-believers were watching. They knew Abraham.
Verse 8 tells us that Abraham was aware of this strife. He was a godly man, so he wants to settle this for the sake of God’s name.
He said, “Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my
herdmen and thy herdmen;
…for we be brethren.”
What does he mean by that?
We are family!
Is our nation a family?
Was Abraham trying to solve the problem because he was inconvenienced?
No! Abraham saw a larger issue. And Abraham said, Lot, we are family, more than just physical. We are family of God. We have to fix this problem for the sake of God’s name. Because the Canaanites and the Perizzites are watching.
The bible tells us in 1 Cor.6: 1,2) we should not take one another to court. For we be brethren.
Verse nine to twelve tells us that Abraham came up with a solution for the sake of peace.
Abraham did something that is very noble. Abraham allowed Lot to choose first, which was Abraham’s right.
Abraham was the older person and the one called out by God from Haran. Lot only accompanied his uncle. Lot was only under his uncle’s authority. Abraham had the right to choose first.
But being right is not the same thing as being righteous.
Most people are always right, but seldom righteous.
You know how many relationships had been broken because somebody was right?
You know how many churches had split because somebody was right? And neither side was righteous?
You know how many wars had been fought because one side was right?
You how many companies had gone into bankruptcy because someone was right?
You know how many votes of no confidence had been moved and governments changed, because somebody was right?
So Abraham allowed Lot to choose first for the sake of a higher purpose than his own physical and economic benefit.
But because of greed, Lot chose the plains of the Jordan which was well-watered everywhere and left the rocky hillsides to Abraham.
But Abraham suffered that in dignity. Why? To make peace!
The bible said, “Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called children of God.” (Matt. 5:9).
There is no blessing for trouble makers in the bible.
If the bible is a book of opposites and states that there is a blessing for peacemakers, then what should it be for troublemakers?
There is no blessing for them.
But I want you to see how God responds to those who act on the basis of righteousness not rightness.
Let’s go to Genesis 13:14 and see what God told Abraham. God told him to look northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward. All the land you see, will I give you and your seed forever. God in effect was giving Abraham the whole world.
So what did Lot take? The plains of Jordan.
What did Abraham take? The whole world, including what Lot had.
Paul confirmed it in Romans 4:13, that Abraham would be heir of the world.
Because God rewards righteous behaviour. Abraham got that because of his act of self-denial and humility.
Give in and win! It’s a powerful principle, because it has its origin in heaven itself, in the very heart of God. That’s how God functions.
Our carnal nature on the other hand functions the opposite. It will only be destroyed when this immortal nature puts on immortality. Let me explain.
Love, that’s God’s nature and self, that’s ours; unconverted.
Love exists by sacrificing itself. Love is motivated by serving others (e.g. Jn 3:16).
Self exists by consuming others. What excites self is to consume others (e.g. Is. 14:14).
God’s way is “Give in and Win.”
Our Saviour gave in, took our human nature and he will have it forever. This act of giving in will be obvious to us in heaven for all eternity. Because Jesus Christ still has human flesh and scars on his head, sides, hands and feet.
Yet, we will go to heaven without even a pimple.
Now why do I have to bring in this principle?
Because as long as people (perpetrators of the ethnic tension) whom people like the leader of the independent group and others mentioned in the media do not come out and tell us, there will never be peace in our nation.
Those who are in the wrong (Big Fish) would never come out and confess or apologize as we would like them to.
It takes those who are innocent to make the move to make things right as we have seen, therefore, to claim to have known some hidden secrets and rubbished what has been done (in a sense that is what we indirectly say), is once again uncalled for.
I’d like to commend the Prime Minister and the government, NGO’s, Provinces, ex-militants, churches, victims and individuals and those peace-loving people of our nation for the great work done.
Those who sit back and criticize are only furthering the devil’s agenda as long as they live, because they only live for self by consuming others.
Give in and Win!
Blessed are the Peacemakers!
God Bless Solomon Islands.
Nadi, Fiji Islands.