On Sunday night, I was looking for something in the Bible, and by pure chance, I opened to the rather random book of Zephaniah.
Now, I confess, in all my life, I do not recall ever reading anything from the book of Zephaniah until Sunday, but I was rather stunned by what I found in Chapter 3. Let me share it with you.
"1 Woe to the city of oppressors, rebellious and defiled!
2 She obeys no one, she accepts no correction.
She does not trust in the LORD, she does not draw near to her God.
3 Her officials within her are roaring lions; her rulers are evening wolves, who leave nothing for the morning.
4 Her prophets are unprincipled; they are treacherous people. Her priests profane the sanctuary and do violence to the law.
5 The LORD within her is righteous; he does no wrong. Morning by morning he dispenses his justice, and every new day he does not fail, yet the unrighteous know no shame.
6 “I have destroyed nations; their strongholds are demolished. I have left their streets deserted, with no one passing through. Their cities are laid waste; they are deserted and empty.
7 Of Jerusalem I thought, ‘Surely you will fear me and accept correction!’ Then her place of refuge[a] would not be destroyed, nor all my punishments come upon[b] her. But they were still eager to act corruptly in all they did.
8 Therefore wait for me,” declares the LORD, “for the day I will stand up to testify.[c] I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them – all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger."
Ok, so this is the voice of God admonishing his chosen people – the people of Israel. Today, even though the nation of Israel exists, all Christians believe themselves to be God's chosen people. In that case, this warning is for all of us, and the events of the past week ought to remind us, the people of Accra that this applies to us too.
But don't have a heart attack yet, as I almost did on Sunday night. There's more.
9 “Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
10 From beyond the rivers of Cush[d] my worshipers, my scattered people, will bring me offerings.
11 On that day you, Jerusalem, will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to me, because I will remove from you your arrogant boasters. Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill.
12 But I will leave within you the meek and humble. The remnant of Israel will trust in the name of the LORD.
13 They will do no wrong; they will tell no lies. A deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid."
So it appears there is some benefit to being God's chosen people. Unlike what He does to other cities when He's upset and simply wipes them all of the face of the earth – men, women and children, with His chosen people, he only targets those who do wrong.
Who caused the Accra floods? The Council of State have advised Ghanaians not to play the blame game with each other. They say the finger pointing will get us nowhere. Well, I say there is no need for finger-pointing. We all caused the floods. We all caused the Goil explosion. We all caused it by doing wrong. Every one of us who ever threw a pure water sachet on the ground, built on a waterway, opened a restaurant at a filling station or patronised a restaurant at a filling station. All public officers who gave permits to people to do the wrong thing, all leaders over the past three decades who have supervised all this chaos with the mental and moral weakness that has allowed everyone – you and I – to have no fear of consequences when we do what we know is wrong – all of us have been helping to flood Accra for over 20 years.
But if we are God's chosen people, then there's hope – for some of us at least. If only we can change our ways, we might be spared the consequences. But this is an individual choice you each have to make. No need to blame someone else. Blame yourself, change yourself and save yourself.
My name is Kojo Yankson, and I blame myself for the Accra floods. But I won't be flooding Accra next year.
GOOD MORNING, GHANAFO!