This blog is so difficult to write and I know that there is possibility for all kinds of venting. But I write this as one who seeks justice and freedom for all. Even for the worst of sinners.
After this weekend I have to work really hard on not getting bitter towards this man. If you do not recognise the face, that is the president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma. My voice joins thousands of others who are disappointed in his leadership. But I do not want to join several others in Zuma bashing, as gripping a pass-time as that is.
I have been meditating on repentance and forgiveness for ages now, and relish in the power of complete forgiveness and release brought by the blood of Jesus. It saddens me to see those who live under burdens of guilt, condemnation and remorse because it is not God’s intention for anybody.
I really do not believe that Zuma can live in that freedom as things are now. Here are some lessons his words can be used for to show how living with blaming others and not repenting keeps a person in chains.
Wrong does not go away when you deny it.
Zuma has denied that he is responsible for additions and changes to his personal home,Nkandla, which have cost over R240 million, which is about $23 million. That money has all come from tax payers, and none of it was paid by himself. The number of lies, cover-ups and stories that have come out of this are laughable… Comedians in SA really do not need to work too hard to come up with material.
There are several other wrongs Zuma has denied. I do not wish to list them all.
Luke 8:17 – For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all. (NLT)
A secret thing cannot be covered forever. I still remember my mother’s tone of voice each time she quoted Numbers 32:23 – “Beware! Your sins will find you out!” when I was a naughty child. And they always did. Even if I denied it, lied about it and tried to hide it, a sin is a sin and it will come out.
You do not find forgiveness when you blame others
What has me on this rant is anger at specific comments made at the 103rd birthday celebrations of SA ruling party, the ANC this weekend.
“Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival in Cape Town was the beginning of all South Africa’s problems.”
He has been blaming Apartheid for the present government’s woes.
According to Zuma, corruption is a problem of the West.
And then the specific blame shifting: After a dreadful breech of SA security so that a plane load of friends could arrive at South Africa’s top military airbase, Zuma made others take his blame. This has happened on other occasions too.
Is there anybody else who hears echoes of Adam? “This (1) woman (2) YOU gave me…” blame others, but do not accept wrong for your own faults.
Oh man, sin can not be hidden by blame! The light will shine!
John 3 : 19f 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. (NLT)
God sees. We can all be certain that although it seems like people get away with dreadful deeds now, God is far more concerned about eternity ( which, can I just mention, is REAAAAAALLLY long) and He cannot be fooled by denials or by blame.
What I really want to talk about, which is so much more exciting than Zuma, is the liberation and freedom that comes from true repentance and experiencing forgiveness in Christ..
We could all join along in Zuma-hatred, but we are all sinners in need of grace ourselves. So I pray this freedom for each one reading these words, but mostly I pray that Mr Zuma, you may find the complete, mind-blowing, body-rejoicing, liberating freedom that comes from being free.
Psalm 32:1 : Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (NIV)
WOW! That does not speak of condemnation and a huge stick-wielding judge! That is a loving, redeeming Blesser at work!
And as if the message was not enough the first time, it is repeated under new covenant mercy:
Romans 4: 7, 8 "Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight.Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin." (NLT)
That is so amazing!!! No matter how big, or how small we think they are, the LORD clears them all and removes them from sight.
Roman 2:4 points out that God’s GOODNESS leads us to repentance. He longs for all to come to find forgiveness. (2 Peter 3:9)
How do we get there? We admit our sins to him. Openly, speak them out to God. (He will not be shocked by the wrong. As mentioned before, He has seen it all anyway!) It has been suggested that we should be as specific as we can – by knowingly speaking out each sin it gives us a reminder that we have repented and we are free.
The enemy seeks to pursue people with accusations. (Do you know that is what ‘Satan’ means? Accuser? It is his name and nature to accuse us of wrong and to keep us under GUILT). Know that God’s Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, leading us to REPENTANCE, the accuser condemns us, to keep us feeling guilty. The Holy Spirit is specific, so that we can repent of a particular thing. The accuser keeps it vague, so that you can feel like a failure (you are such a liar, you are a thief, etc) See John 16:8, Rev 12:10
The value of the blood of Jesus far outweighs the bad of sin. Jesus has paid the price by dying on the cross so that we can live in His love and open relationship with Him.
I can remember very clearly praying with two dear precious ladies one evening as part of missions training. We had written a list and went through it, praying, confessing and weeping over wrong. The feeling of joy, lightness and freedom afterward is indescribable! We are created to walk in close relationship with the Spirit, quickly acknowledging wrong and knowing that God seeks to remove our sins as far as the east is from the west.
1 John 1:8,9
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (ESV)
So, those who , like Zuma do not admit wrong, there is not a prosperous future ahead. And you are missing out on the greatest liberty available to man: absolute redemption from sins.
Prov 28:13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.