Psalm 126:1 states, “It seemed like a dream, too good to be true, when GOD returned Zion’s exiles.” Their joy echoed Balaam’s prophecy, the faint glow of the Star of Bethlehem’s light, which transported them back into the Plains of Moab, as a 40-year wilderness-disciplined and invincible force ready for another cross-through experience at the Jordan, under Joshua’s leadership. How is this possible? What has Balaam, a false prophet got to do with the future of God’s chosen people and the world to come. What has the ‘political theologians, philosophers and prophets’ of the world systems have to do with the future of people of African descent especially the Elect?
Balaam’s was the only prophecy recorded in the Torah apart from Moses’, not only because of its profound scope, but the sheer display of God’s power to override and transform curses into blessings for his Elect. When a time to command a blessing arrives and the righteous perceive it not, God will command it from the ambitious mouths of the world’s false prophets who would have been attempting otherwise. Because in the nations of the world there arise prophets gifted with spiritual power, who attempt to reorder future events and erase the past. Given the ability to see far into the future and to perceive what is hidden, they degenerate into arrogant fools, addressing donkeys in their despair, as they fail to turn the tide, because the Almighty stops their madness — “The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.” (Psalm 2:4).
There was nothing special about a people only delivered from slavery a generation earlier; a people with no land to call their own yet, a people who had never known the glories of kingship, halls of power, or owned technology innovations. As Balaam saw them, spread in the plains of Moab, with King Balak urging him to curse them, he saw what he did not want to see, he heard what he did not want to hear. Moreover, he understood nothing of their trajectory. Balaam was not aware that Israel had only arrived in the plains of Moab because God had destroyed the disobedient generation among them as Deuteronomy 2:14–16 states: “the generation of the men of war perished,” “until they all perished,” and “when all the men of war had finally perished.” God’s merciful judgment on the rebellious segments “represented a crucial moment in the journey toward the conquest of Canaan,” (thebiblesays.com). “Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers,” (Deuteronomy 1:35; Numbers 14:30). Until the evil generation among people of African descent are no more, that is, those who refuse to acquire the courage of faith to possess the PROMISED LAND, our journey to ‘Canaan’ continues.
As great, numerous, and tall as the Anakim were, the Lord destroyed them, and gave their land to the Ammonites and Moabites and warned the Israelites, enroute to Canaan, not to take any of their lands. But King Balak of Moab was not satisfied with their lot. Unhinged jealousy is never satisfied with its inheritance. So, King Balak was terrified of Israel, this great company, he shuddered at the thought, would “lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.” (Numbers 22:4). He would not believe God’s Word concerning their inheritance. But this was exactly what Israel would not do because God would not permit them to touch any land that belonged to the descendants of Lot. However, King Balak was determined to see Israel become an underdog in the region, a people to be deprived of divine favor. Afterall, they had given God many reasons to unleash his wrath against them many times by their disobedience. They had provoked the Lord to wrath in the wilderness many times.
Many, like the underdog status of Africa and its diaspora. An underdog status is a threat to the powers that be. Because the underdog is always God’s special project! The ‘Balaks’ have seen the spread of Africa in the plains of the world. They have no king yet; they do not own the technology of the world nor the halls of power. But the Balaks are not comfortable. They have gone and hired the Balaams to pronounce a curse on them. And like Israel, who was subjected to slavery for so long, followed much later by an exile that saw most of their lineages lost to the surrounding nations, then the dispersal that lasted over 1900 years, one steep in unbelief would wonder, ‘where is the shout of the KING’ among them. It is the misfortune of humans to consign to and identify a people with their trajectory instead of their purpose.
King Cyrus’ agenda, a most awkward ambition to let subjugated peoples in his empire worship their own gods, was an opportunity God used to accomplish his plan long laid out for the restoration of the Israelites to the Promised Land, to prepare them for the first coming of the Messiah. However, not all Israelites in Babylon returned to Israel in response to King Cyrus’s decree, but those whose spirits the Lord stirred up to give up Babylon to rebuild the temple, and to restore worship. Are you among them? This remnant among exiled Israel had learned something from the wilderness experience of their ancestors. That evil generation who refused to enter to fight to possess Canaan perished (Numbers 14). And God raised a new generation who believed, fought, and took the land promised. Are you part of this new generation who have been stirred to reject your ‘exile in Babylon’ to build the Lord’s temple in the Promised Land?
“God dispenses justice through other peoples, even though it is unlikely their motives are righteous,” (thebiblesays.com). So, by God’s calculation, the UN declared the INTERNATIONAL DECADE FOR PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT to end in 2024, a declaration tied to our trajectory rather than to our purpose. Nonetheless, where are the lineages among people of African descent from whom the SHOUT OF THE KING will burst forth? Where is King’s David’s line from which the shout of the Lion would be heard? Did they survive the Babylonian exile? The earthly line ended with Zedekiah, the last king at the beginning of the exile. It was eliminated by the crude massacre of his sons and everyone who belonged to his household. Are there lineages among Africans preserved to sound out the SHOUT OF THE KING, or have they all been eliminated through slavery and colonialism?
But there is always a surprise twist to God’s marvellous ways. While the focus of the enemy is on the obvious, God preserves the line from whom the Messiah will be born. While hopes were dashed by the elimination of the royal line through Zedekiah, Jehoiachin whom Zedekiah his uncle replaced as king, and who had long remained in Babylonian prison, was suddenly released to sit, and dine as a royal in the Babylonian palace. And Zerubbabel, his descendant, continued King’s David line, as governor after the exile. And God promised him, the glory of this house (the second temple) shall be greater than the first. “‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place, I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” (Haggai 2:9). What?
As good and helpful as the declaration of the International Decade for people of African is, its principles are only temporary. It was designed to point forward to something better: the identification of the SHOUT OF THE KING among people of African Descent, which is RECONCILIATION AND HEALING, between Africa and the African Diaspora and among African tribes, the bedrock of our future. But the chiefs and mighty warriors must step forward to execute extraordinary victories to move the prophetic fulfillment closer. “These were the chiefs of David’s mighty warriors — they, together with all Israel, gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the LORD had promised —
Every tribe and community of African people must understand the times the DECADE is pointing beyond to identify what needs to be done. “All these were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks. They came to Hebron fully determined to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of the Israelites were also of one mind to make David king.” (1 Chronicles 12:38). And then we can all with the returning exiles from Babylon sing: “Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’ The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:2–6)
Let God’s covenant people of African Descent SHOUT for the KING OF GLORY is among us. Hallelujah!