The Prince of God is a critique into the life and times of certain Bible characters who had lived for all ages. The book centres on civics, religion and politics. It is a must read book for those who do not see the ancient book, The Bible, as having relevance to their national life.
The volume is divided into six parts with 15 chapters.
In Part 1, Abraham is viewed as a sojourner and a carrier of God’s blessing. God’s seven interrelated blessings were examined. It was noted that nations of the Earth are still being blessed in respect to their affinity with the nations of biblical Israel. The essence of captivity is examined. I posited, from Scripture, that learning the way of doing things from the developed nations of the world is God’s revealed way of developing a nation-state. Nigeria and Africa are later considered in respect to their dispositions to the nation of Israel. The place of Ishmael is also looked at. Ishmael is investigated in reference to the prophecy given concerning him by the angel. The benefit of hospitality is also touched.
Chapter 2 considers Abraham as God’s friend, a father and an intercessor. The ability of Abraham in leading the way of the Lord is prioritized. I wrote essentially about sacrifice; that Abraham’s obedience in attempting to sacrifice his son upon the altar at Mt. Moriah was one distinguishing act that established God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants. This was a replica of God sacrificing His ‘one and only son’ for humanity. A life of sacrifice is devoid of corruption and covetousness: a lifestyle synonymous with Abraham’s descendants; a life that always seeks the opinions of God, and ensures that they are performed in human affairs; a life and creed associated with would-be Prince of God.
Chapter 3 talks of Sarah as being the truest woman that ever lived. I considered the woman with the most remarkable beauty who chose to live in a tent with a man with no flag, whose thoughts and actions were unpredictable. She made this choice other than living as Pharaoh’s concubine in Egyptian palace. Her role as an economist in Abraham’s household is also clarified. The chapter ends with the actualization of God’s blessing on Abraham. But the gap left by Sarah was felt in the latter days of the sojourner.
Part 2 is about Jacob, later called Israel, or The Prince of God. It means someone that prevails with God in the affairs of men. I opened this part with Two Nations: the developed and the developing nations; the North and the South. Jacob is seen as representing the North, while Esau represented the South. Implications of Isaac’s contrasting blessings, including his prophecy for the liberation of the South, or the developing world, were investigated from Scripture extensively. The place of ‘the Environment and the People’ in question, that is, “Regionalism” is reiterated in this chapter. Isaac’s pronouncement was used to investigate Nigeria’s System of Government and the degree of strictures that should be allowed in our government. Our developmental efforts must be geared towards environmentally dependent variables.
Chapter 5 is about a supplanter in Syria who met God when all his human efforts failed him. Jacob learnt to depend on God after an encounter he had with Him. The place of virginity was identified at the aftermath of Dinah’s sexual abuse. Emphasis is also on Bethel, the place of Jacob’s first encounter with God. God’s call to return to Bethel is used as a clarion call for Nigeria’s Sovereign National Conference. The place of delayed gratification is considered in the early emergence of Esau compared to Jacob. Jacob is also seen as a true father who never gave up on his children.
Chapter 6 is about Jacob’s reunion with Joseph and the royal burial given to him. He died as the father of the Egyptians’ sustenance and prime minister.
Judah, the chief ruler of Israel, is considered in this part and chapter 7. It commenced with the review of the twelve patriarchs, especially those that were displaced by Judah. Emphasis here is on Reuben who despite his pedigree lost his place with the influence of mandrakes (a narcotic plant that induced uncontrollable sexual urges) over his life. Mandrake is deduced to be anything that would propel or push a man to do what he would naturally have avoided, such that could bring reproach to him. Reuben lost out as he defiled his father’s bed. Mandrake is likened to proliferation of pornography in our culture. Tamar’s place is also recognised. The impact of Judah in binding the heart of Joseph with the rest of the brothers was also narrated. Judah resolved to bring Benjamin back to their father, a daunting task to perform. The chapter ends with “the metaphoric description of Judah as a young and old lion.” Here it was maintained that the ability of true leaders to keep to their words (promises or manifestos) make them to be great. A true leader plans like a young lion and uses the audacity of an old lion to execute the same.
Part 4 is on Joseph, the prime minister of Egypt. It began with understanding the meaning of a dream. Joseph’s preparatory roles in Potiphar’s house and dungeon are also examined. A need for political will on the part of our leaders was evaluated in considering Joseph’s appeal to Pharaoh to rescue his people from the foreseeable depression or famine. An appeal was made to the Nigeria’s government of a need for macro-economic measures and government principle of democratic socialism in rescuing our nation from the grip of depression. It was posited that lack of leadership is envisaged in corruption, massive unemployment and its attendant vices, general negative to work, among others. Corruption is only envisaged in large scale embezzlement of national funds, the root of it is ingrained in insensitivity to moral and national conscience on the part of those in power. There is therefore a need to value industry (work) rather than resources (money) in order to attain the desired (lofty) height. The chapter ends with consideration of a man with the Spirit of God in leadership. Jethro’s suggestions on the qualities to look out for in a true leader were outlined.
Chapter 9 is about the meaning of the name Pharaoh gave to Joseph. Zaphnath-paaneah means “the sustenance of the land is the living one.” Joseph’s roles in achieving sustainability of Egyptian early civilization were outlined through his five programmes: Land Evaluation and Mapping; Storage and Processing Facilities; Marketing; Regional Resettlement Programmes and Taxation. These strategies are required to achieve sustainable development of the agricultural sector. Emphasis is on taxation, and why religious organisations should be exempted from paying tax. The noblest of all professionals in God’s parlance are also enunciated. Clarity is on those who are agents of change and men of influence.
The last chapter of Part 4 is hinged on learning to forgive and Joseph’s farewell. Reasons for forgiveness and prayer for our enemies, contrary to the doctrines of demons prevalent in our clime, were also evaluated. Learning to forgive is a privilege shared with God the father; thus Satan would not be able to take advantage of us.
Part 5 is on Joshua. Here, Joshua is reviewed as Moses’ successor and the deliverer of God’s children in Canaan. God’s charge to Joshua, and a choice for good success achievable by meditating on the Word, was identified. Good success is defined, not in material acquisition, but, as accomplishing God’s interests (of justice and judgement) over mankind. A brief account of Abraham Lincoln was used to unravel good success in government, and a need for a leader to use the Bible as companion in executing political office. Harlot Rahab and her acts are remotely considered as revealed in the Scripture. Achan, the accursed, was used to investigate corruption. His case was used to examine the rudimentary stage of corruption, and why falsehood should be detested in governance. Corruption is seen as a killing cankerworm here.
Chapter 12 is on the evolution of the nation-state of Israel. Detailed account was given on Joshua’s war campaigns in taking the countries of Canaan; how he altered the Earth’s orbit and executed God’s onslaught on the wicked. Note is on the sacrifice that the respective tribes made in claiming what belongs to them. United States’ emergence is also considered.
Chapter 13 is on God, the Keeper of promise. Choice-making in a family is also clarified. A quick observation was reiterated on a need for family altar, or devotion, in order to have a virile nation. Christianity is all about choice-making. We serve a God that keeps to His Word.
Part 6 is central on Gideon, the revolutionary. The children of Israel being oppressed in their homeland by Eastern invaders was narrated in chapter 14. Idolatry was found to be the main cause of the oppression. This account is pertinent to Nigeria’s situation.
A need for structures to be put in place was also reiterated in contrasting Gideon’s revolution to Washington’s American Revolutionary War of liberation from the British. While Gideon’s revolution was short-lived– barely for Gideon’s generation– the American’s revolution led to the emergence of the most powerful nation on Earth. I cautioned in chapter 15 that political revolution should only be prosecuted on two grounds: first, failure of a country’s nationals to carry out a conference or congress, the outcome of which would be binding on the constituent national groups; second, availability of viable structures or institutions that would ensure the conclusiveness of the pursuit, so that the people would not revert to their previous status that necessitated the revolution. Most Civil wars in Africa are inconclusive because the cause for the unrests in the first instance was not addressed before the populace embarked on violent means.
GBEMI OLUWAFEMI now lives in the United States, email: [email protected]
Published by Dreams Network Limited, Nigeria. Email: [email protected]