Today, it is no more news but common fear in Nigeria, of an impending invasion, anytime. Of that, many prophecies and revelations have repeatedly warned; revelations from children as well as adults, from the clergy as well as the laity, from voices within and without the nation. Years ago, when we sounded the alarm about Nigeria’s present regime and a coming Armageddon, it offended some, as it occasionally happens. This evening, I hear the echoes again of the clouds of blood that for long have been hovering insistently over Nigeria, awaiting a provocation. I am forced once more to my table, to my scroll and ink, to write another epistle. I shall prophesy in the parable of the scripture by which the Lord had opened a window into the message.
19 Now there was no smith found throughout ALL the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears:
22 So it came to pass IN THE DAY OF BATTLE, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of ANY of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found (1 Samuel 13:19, 22).
The oppressive colonising heathen Philistine government of the day operated a deliberate policy that prevented a Jew from owning or ‘hand-ling’ any weapon or even a routine farm implement that could be converted into an instrument of defence or offence. A semblance of that grudged empowerment was however seen “in the hand” of Saul and Jonathan; in the hand of only a very select eminent few; just two ceremonially privileged nobles in a nation of oppressed millions. The government of the day was very interested in what ethnic or non-Philistine ‘hand’ they allowed such sensitive implements.
They had ‘Said’…
“…For the Philistines said…” The media of the day might have argued over what proper label to give that bothersome and ominous discriminatory style of administration, but the common farmers whom it touched most did not worry about those semantic rigmaroles that sought the unoffensive language of political correctness. They described it as a deliberate Philistine agenda; they saw it as a decided ethnic project to gradually weaken one group against another in that collective realm; they identified it as the eventual public implementation of a prior Philistines objective; it was the acting out of something that the Philistine decision-makers had “said” sometime somewhere at a consensus strategic policy meeting to which no Jew could have had access; “for the Philistines [plural – all] said…”
Why the Policy?
Why would the heathen Philistine powers ‘say’ and proceed so brazenly to implement such a blatantly tribalistic policy that no previous ruler had dared? Why would those people of Dagon be so careful about who was empowered and who was not, even with mere farm tools for basic economic survival? It was because they were preparing ahead of a “day of battle.” They needed to gradually weaken or degrade the capacity of the Jews to defend themselves whenever that Day would come. They had a goal, they worked a plan, and they were executing it.
A Harvest of Hunger
The long-term implication of the Philistine policy would be severe hunger especially among the Jews and in the Jewish sections of that sphere of governance. Deliberately denied the basic appropriate tools for farming under the present administration, starvation was going to be ultimately inevitable. Furthermore, the policy deliberately made every enterprising Jew dependent on Philistine favours, even in small farming matters as sharpening an axe, a hoe, or a sickle. Eminent Jews also were going to have to bow, even if reluctantly, to common uncircumcised Philistines if they had to sharpen their tools.
But ALL the Israelites [mark the word ‘all’] would GO DOWN to the Philistines to sharpen each man's plowshare, his mattock, his ax, and his sickle (1 Samuel 13:20, NKJV).
As far back as January 11, 2018, allAfrica.com observed that “The hunger and malnutrition scourge is daily assuming a monstrous dimension in Nigeria,” connecting that to “the unending string of conflicts in the middle -belt and north-eastern regions of Nigeria.” It added that “Nigeria is food deficit country” (https://allafrica.com/stories/201801120038.html. The prognosis from more recent global reports has been more alarming. The Philistine agenda.
A Policed Society
If only an ethnic Philistine could offer the strategic blacksmith service in the whole realm, it meant that the Philistines knew and probably kept a record of every Jew that had a tool or the semblance of a weapon; that they kept a record of who and who had lately sharpened what. They had a dossier on particular Jews who sharpened things more often than others did. That also meant that any Jew who was too weak or too sick to make the long trip to Philistine land, or who felt too proudly Jewish to “go down” on such missions, had chosen to suffer.
This agenda targeted a particular political camp: “the people that were WITH Saul and Jonathan.” Anyone with the Philistines or with Dagon their god was free. It also targeted an ethnic group, the Jews. The two crimes then that one could be ‘guilty’ of at that time were: 1) to be ‘with’ Saul and Jonathan, and 2) to be a Jew – a non-Philistine ethnic identify.
That Philistine-system was intended to ensure the humiliation, starvation, impoverishment, and continued subjugation of the Jewish people, so they could surrender with minimal resistance whenever that Day came. Jewish males and farmers were being specifically targeted, being forced along the “down” path as the only way to surviving that season of selective policies. “All the Israelites would GO DOWN to the Philistines to sharpen…” (NKJV).
If they went “down” to survive the times, it meant they had been ‘up,’ for nobody goes ‘down’ unless from an upper position. In other words, it was a policy that particularly targeted Jews who had been ‘up,’ to ensure that they went ‘down’ to stay alive. It was a choiceless status-suicide for some. Lately, there have been political camps and de-camps in the nation; some of them very shamefully so; somebody had to go ‘down’ to join the Philistines to be let to live.
Abram and Isaac consecutively faced the same temptation of ‘downward’ sojourns in the bid to survive seasons of acute famine. “Abram went DOWN into Egypt” when “there was a famine in the land” (Genesis 12:10). That was how he ran into Hagar the very helpful innocent-looking young woman who became the mother of Ishmael and all that has terrorised Israel from historic times. Years later, when the evil forces of distraction had almost used the same strategy of famine to get Isaac of the second generation to make the same sojourn, God stepped in and warned, “Go not DOWN into Egypt” (Genesis 26: 2). It is not for nothing then that the prophet Isaiah proclaims in the name of the Lord, “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help” (Isaiah 31:1).
The Case of Nigeria
Many Nigerians have worried why their present ruler, Mohammadu Buhari, would appoint only core Muslims like himself, generally of his Fulani ethnic extraction, to head virtually all the security and strategic agencies of the nation: the Police, the Army, the Airforce, Immigrations, National Security services, Intelligence, Customs, Education, Information, the embassies in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, etc. in a country that speaks over 500 languages with more than half as many ethnic nationalities and a majority Christian population. That Islamic ‘team’ has been unchanged in the three years since Buhari came in, which is unusual in Nigeria’s political history. Those ‘players’ have themselves ensured that they posted only their kind to all the strategic hierarchies and stations in the country. Could all that be mere consecutive coincidence or a deliberate ‘Philistine’ agenda in anticipation of a Day – the day of which several visions and revelations have warned? I only ask.
The case is too overwhelming to have been just ethnic bigotry. The recurrent revelations as well as mere natural media analysts have warned of much more than a tribal agenda looming. It is a Philistine plot. The foot soldiers of that agenda have since been spread across the nooks and crannies of the nation, in virtually every rural community and village in southern Nigeria, where they pass as hawkers, as tricycle riders, as menial labourers, whereas a good number of them, from consecutive street intelligence received, are trained fighters. These have committed not a few havocs in the communities where they have been ‘posted’: robberies, abductions, rapes, private jihads, etc. Each time it happens, and the police are called in, the culprits have been carefully covered up by the Police whose bosses are their kinsmen in uniform, planted ahead of them to give official cover to the coming Day.
A few days ago one evening in Port Harcourt, a Muslim went out of the mosque after their prayers and began to attack passers-by. One pastor got knocked down into unconsciousness with a slashed palm, bleeding to death, before help arrived. The Joint Task Force (JTF) patrol team was called in. It turned out they were people of the same religion and ethnicity as the lone jihadist. They made a semblance of an arrest overnight, and by morning, they had ‘disappeared’ him out of town, claiming that he had been mad and it was better to not make a case with a mad man. Strangely, as the pastor queried, that sudden madness had not led him to attack any of his fellow Muslims in the mosque from which he had come out. The Philistines have scattered their kith and kin across the land, awaiting the Day. Some of them are the ‘herdsmen’ of whom we hear. Somebody has said however that those terrorists are no herdsmen but West Africa ISIS fighters being recruited into the nation – awaiting “the day of battle.”
Where are the Swords?
When Buhari came in, he retired many top military officers to make way for his Muslim appointees. Over 95% of those who got so dismissed were said to have been Christians from the south and north, whom the Philistines would not want to handle a ploughshare, a mattock, an axe, or a sickle, let alone sharpen them. The same thing has happened in the civil service and industry. About a month ago, Boko Haram fighters in Nigerian military colours were said to have invaded an army camp in the battle regions of the north. Over 600 troops were reported to have been missing from that attack. Information on social media was later to claim that most of those soldiers had been Christians and southerner, who are often set up for such ambush by the Boko Haram, through the conspiracy of their jihadist agents in the Nigeria military hierarchy.
Not a few southern and Christian-owned businesses have been deliberately targeted and wrecked in this season, resulting in a spiral of economic woes in that region. It is a Philistine plot to reduce the number of Christians in strategic leadership and military positions, so that it shall come to pass that “in the day of battle” there would be “neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people,” thus making them easy prey (1 Samuel 13:22).
The Inspector General of Police lately ordered the surrender of ‘illegal weapons’ from citizens (saharareporters.com/2018/02/24/inspector-general-police-orders-nationwide-mop-illegal-firearms). Several Nigerians wondered why the effort was not directed at the bloody Fulani militia christened as ‘herdsmen’ that have carried out several gruesome ethnic cleansings in the land. I saw a video some time ago of that exercise being done in a south-eastern state: hundreds of hunting guns and all kinds of rough and ready rifles were on display, having been taken from the Jews, with all the ‘good’ explanations given for the operation. There have been reports that such clean-ups in the Christian communities of the Middle Belt often got followed by jihadist invasions, with “neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people” to defend themselves, let alone fight.
The Day of the Lord
The Philistines had an agenda, but God also had an agenda for His people. Disadvantaged as the Jews had been made by the Philistine agenda, God showed up when eventually the day of battle came for which the Philistines had been in long preparation. That is what God would do for Nigeria, if the Church would but call upon Him.
20 Then Saul and all his men [without a sword] assembled and went to the battle [with only the swords in the hands of Saul and Jonathan]. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking each other with their swords. 21 Those Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines and had gone up with them to their CAMP went over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit. 23 So the Lord rescued Israel THAT DAY, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven (1 Samuel 14:20-23, NIV).
The “day of battle” eventually came, but not as the Philistines had hoped and prepared. Men without swords “assembled and went to battle” against their powerful oppressors who had colonized all the weapons. It turned out to be the day of the Lord rather than the day of battle as they had envisaged. In that Day, a strange thing was noticed: the weapons that the Philistines had assembled against the Jews they began to turn upon themselves, “striking each other with their swords.” Then, even those Jews who had done the previously popular thing by fleeing to join the camp of the ruling Philistines, began to decamp in droves back to where they had belonged, to the camp of the hitherto unpopular Saul and JONATHAN from where they had initially decamped to join the previously powerful Philistines. When that season comes in Nigeria, it shall be the sign that the time has come to deliver Israel.
O Lord, take over the Battle, make it Yours. Show Your mighty power through our feeble weapons. Give us the courage to not flee but assemble to the battle, disadvantaged though we might seem, merely with slings and stones and a sword in the hands of Saul and Jonathan. May their swords be turned against themselves. May all the weapons that they long have gathered against Your people strike themselves. Arise, O Lord, and may Your enemies be scattered, in Jesus name. Amen.
45 Then said DAVID to the PHILISTINE, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.
49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was NO SWORD in THE HAND of David (1 Samuel 17:45-50).
For the battle is the Lord’s… Amen.
From The Preacher’s diary,
August 11, 2018.