Today in devotion we read through Ezekiel 34:1-16 and later on discussed the new Ugandan government (that is if you can all it new). If you have not read this chapter of the Bible, it starts by God criticising the Israelite leaders (shepherds) at the time for their selfishness and irresponsibility in fulfilling their roles as leaders – taking care of the people under their care.
As we prepared to discuss this amazing chapter, the leader for the day gave us the Ugandan setting in which to discuss this text. We all found this to be very relevant for our country because this year more than ever, Ugandans have shown their dissatisfaction with their leaders and the government. This has been seen in the voting trends where formerly well known political giants have been voted out of the parliament, and citizens have gone on to fearlessly join the now illegal defiance campaign. In multiple ways, people have shown that they are disappointed.
Disappointed with the poor service delivery; disappointed with selfish and self-preserving leadership; disappointed with misappropriated and misused public funds; disappointed with misuse of public offices; disappointed with the worsening poverty levels; disappointed with the political lies; the list is endless, but the bottom line is that Ugandans are disappointed about several things.
One would wish that the words of this chapter would come true in our country. That God would step down, condemn our leaders for their misdoings, and promise to take care of his people (flock), in a new government where righteousness and justice are upheld and leaders actually care for the welfare of the people. Our hope for such a kingdom is in heaven.
During our discussion, a number of people suggested that we take time and pray for the leaders we have. A key thing to do, as even the Bible challenges us to make petitions, prayers intercession and thanksgivig for all people – kings and all those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Someone else suggested that we speak the truth to our leaders and let them know that justice and care for the needy should be at the top of their agenda. Of which the Bible challenges us to learn to do right, seek justice, defend the oppressed, take up the cause of the fatherless and plead the case for the widow (Isaiah 1:17).
But the submission that caught my eye, was the one calling on Christians to practise this justice that they preach and call on the government to uphold. If the church is found to be hypocritical, then it has no moral ground to condemn the hypocrisy and injustice of others. If Christians today are to have a voice in restoring hope in the citizens of Uganda and justice on our beloved pearl, then they will have to live that way first.
Their homes, families and work places ought to be examples of what the church preaches. they may not be pitch perfect, but at least there should be the general environment they live in. One should be able to recognize that they are talking about something that they have experienced and are indeed experiecning in their lives. As the saying insinuates, the kettle cannot call the pot black (unless it is an electric kettle I always add).
As G Campbell Morgan has said, “The reason men do not look to the Church today is that she has destroyed her own influence by compromise”. Let us rise up and set examples for our leaders in our spheres of influence. Then people will take the Church seriously.