Where Is The God Of Elijah As Herdsmen Continue To Destroy Farmlands?
As narrated in the book of 2 King chapter 21, Jezebel had Naboth killed over his vineyard in Jezreel near King Ahab’s palace. The story has it that on a particular day, Ahab said, “Naboth, your vineyard is near my palace. Give it to me so I can turn it into a vegetable garden. I will give you a better vineyard or pay whatever you want for yours.”
In his reply, Naboth said, “This vineyard has always been in my family. I won’t let you have it.” On account of not receiving a favorable reply from him, Ahab angrily went home, and became depressed because of what Naboth told him. While brooding over Naboth’s reply, he laid on his bed, just staring at the wall and refused to eat anything.
In the face of his depressed mood, Jezebel his wife came in and asked, “What’s wrong? Why won’t you eat?” In response to his wife’s grilling, he explained, “I asked Naboth to sell me his vineyard or to let me give him a better one, and he told me I couldn’t have it.” Relating this biblical story to the skirmishes that have been brewing between Herdsmen of Fulani extraction and Nigerian Farmers, it will not be an exaggeration to say that like Ahab and Jezebel that the Herdsmen have not been happy with the farmers for refusing to give them their lands for grazing purpose.
Ostensibly infuriated by her husband question, Jezebel asked, “Aren’t you the king of Israel?” “Get out of bed and eat something! Don’t worry, I’ll get Naboth’s vineyard for you.” Relating the foregoing to today’s realities, it is not an exaggeration to say that they might have been hearing a voice that is asking, “Don’t worry, I’ll get all the farmlands in the Southern part of the country for you. Aren’t you the kinsmen of the man in power?”
To accomplish her mischievous mission, Jezebel wrote a letter to each of the leaders of the town where Naboth lived. In the letters she said: “Call everyone together and tell them to go without eating today. When they come together, give Naboth a seat at the front. Have two liars sit across from him and swear that Naboth has cursed God and the king. Then take Naboth outside and stone him to death!” Relating this extant realities, one can conjecture in this piece that there seems to be an understanding on the issue as despite the wanton killings, maiming, raping and destruction that have being suspiciously linked to Fulani herdsmen that no landmark legal action that would warrant imprisonment has been taken.
Against the foregoing backdrop, Jezebel signed Ahab’s name to the letters and sealed them with his seal. Then she sent them to the town leaders. After receiving her letters, they did exactly what she had asked. They told the people that it was a day to go without eating, and when they all came together, they seated Naboth at the front. The two liars came in and sat across from Naboth. Then they accused him of cursing God and the king, so the people dragged Naboth outside and stoned him to death.
To this end, the leaders of Jezreel sent a message back to Jezebel that said, “Naboth is dead.” As soon as Jezebel got their message, she told Ahab, “Now you can have the vineyard Naboth refused to sell. He’s dead.” Ahab got up and went to take over the vineyard.
God being a faithful heavenly Father, and rightly as He said in Proverbs 6:16-19 that “There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers”, God sent Elijah to condemn Ahab’s evil action against Naboth.
The Lord said to Elijah the prophet, “King Ahab of Israel is in Naboth’s vineyard right now, taking it over. Go tell him that I say, ‘Ahab, you murdered Naboth and took his property. And so, in the very spot where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, they will lick up your blood.’”
When Elijah found him, Ahab said, “So, my enemy, you found me at last.” Elijah answered:
Yes, I did! Ahab, you have managed to do everything the Lord hates. Now you will be punished. You and every man and boy in your family will die, whether slave or free. Your whole family will be wiped out, just like the families of King Jeroboam and King Baasha. You’ve made the Lord very angry by sinning and causing the Israelites to sin.
And as for Jezebel, dogs will eat her body there in Jezreel. Dogs will also eat the bodies of your relatives who die in town, and vultures will eat the bodies of those who die in the country.
When Ahab heard this, he tore his clothes and wore sackcloth day and night. He was depressed and refused to eat.
Sometime later, the Lord said, “Elijah, do you see how sorry Ahab is for what he did? I won’t punish his family while he is still alive. I’ll wait until his son is king.”
No one was more determined than Ahab to disobey the Lord. And Jezebel encouraged him. Worst of all, he had worshiped idols, just as the Amorites had done before the Lord forced them out of the land and gave it to Israel.
At this juncture, it is expedient to say that many lessons can be learned from this story which will serve as a great life lessons, particularly when related to the prevailing imbroglio between the Fulani Herdsmen and Farmers in the Southern part of the country.
One may not be mistaken to opine in this context that not few farmers have been wondering where God is amidst the destruction of their farms by Fulani herdsmen and the conspiracy of silence being maintained by Fulani elites that are in the corridors of power. I must confess that since the incessant crises between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Kogi, Benue, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Osun and the entire states in the eastern part of the country that I have been wondering where God is. Have you in the same vein ever found yourself asking, "Where are you God?" I have to admit that presently as no love has being lost between the herdsmen and farmers that I have been asking in my prayers, "Lord, I thought You would never leave us nor forsake us." "Lord, why is this happening to us in the Southern part of the country? Where are You?" "Lord, You said You would make a way of escape, but look at us now—where are You?" Without any iota of exaggeration, I must confess that it is against the backdrop that I titled this piece, Where Is “The God of Elijah as Herdsmen continue to destroy farml