[notice] A fortnightly column by Johannesburg Business Editor, Patrick Kuwana. [/notice]
In my last article 2 weeks ago I wrote about ‘Prayer for business and the economy’ and used the famous 2 Chronicles 7:13-15 as the foundational scripture.
As much as we would like to see economic prosperity for all and in fact spiritual revival in our country – I believe it will never happen until we break one of the biggest strongholds the enemy still wields over us – racial division. The healing of people always comes before the healing of the land (economy) because healed people bring about a healed economy. All people groups within the body of Yeshua (Jesus Christ) in this country need to engage and discuss the racial issue from a position of humility and servant-hood and jointly seek the Lord for a strategy to break this stronghold. If we don’t we will continue to murmur and complain as we wander for generations in the wilderness. The generation that deals with the racial stronghold will be the generation to enter into the Promiseland YAHWEH (The Almighty living God) has prepared for South Africa (SA).
The widows, orphans and poor continue to suffer
Almost 50% of the South African population lives in poverty, earning less than R500 (US$55) per month. The unemployment rate is at 25.7% and about 12 million children live below the poverty line. The gap between the rich and poor is one of the highest in the world as reported in the World Bank economic report. The top 10% of the population accounted for 58% of South Africa’s income. The bottom 10% accounted for just 0.5% of income, and the bottom half less than 8%, said the bank. Let me point out that this is not just a white versus black issue as is so commonly focused on, but the gap between the rich and poor in the black community is at its highest ever and growing rapidly – an indication of a failed system of legislative restitution that is now fuelling the interests of mammon (greed, materialism, self gratification, worship of money, etc) instead addressing the heart issue of provision for orphans, widows and creating economic cycles that can uplift the poor out of systemic poverty. The devil wants us to focus on race because that is how he keeps us from focusing on the real issue that YAHWEH wants us to address.
Legislation or the heart
Correcting injustice and unrighteousness through a legislative framework is guaranteed to fail because these are heart issues that can only be sustainably and meaningfully corrected by the heart. When dealt with from the heart, legislation like black economic empowerment, affirmative action, land redistribution, etc becomes unnecessary because people won’t have to be forced into it but they will joyously and eagerly address it to ensure all society – black, white, coloured, local, foreigner, etc can co-exist in love in an environment where there is equal opportunity to create prosperity. Trying to put government legislation to things of the heart breeds corruption and even greater injustices and unrighteousness. For as long as a country like SA that claims to be +70% Christian has believers of Yeshua that are still carrying racial wounds that render them unable to sort out things at a heart level, the government will continue to legislate things of the heart, and as we can see, this is not working too well.
We must realise that YAHWEH is actually not really interested in the state of the economy – what He is really interested in is the state of His people. The economy is just a channel that He will use to ensure that the needs of His people are taken care of so that the world can experience Him as Jehovah Jireh (God Almighty the Provider) and see the fullness of His goodness and glory. So the foundational issue that we need to pay attention to in addressing economic recovery is people. When the people who YAHWEH has placed in business and the economy commit to their personal transformation and intentionally seek to bring about racial healing we will see more of the resources at their disposal being used to address the issue that matters most to YAHWEH – people.
The Devils favourite game – racial & ethnic playoff
It is time that we realise that the enemy is playing the racial groups against each other and its time we stop falling for this trick. Satan’s method of stirring up human conflict is by getting one racial group to abuse another through the hard-headed collision of self righteous people within each group. Take some truth, polarize people with different sides of that truth, tempt them to unrighteous judgement, and then watch them wound each other with rejection, harsh words and injustice, and so it goes on until even the church (which is supposed to be the role model to demonstrate unity to the world) also ends up racially and ethnically divided. Sound familiar – could this describe what is taking place right now in South Africa, the USA and most nations of the world? The devil used this very strategy to kill millions of Jews through the holocaust, millions of Hutu and Tutsi’s in Rwanda, thousands of Kenyan’s after the 2007 elections and so the list goes on and on.
A sick economy (land) is a symptom of sick people who have broken covenants with YAHWEH and violated relationships with each other, and the path to reconciliation must begin with individual acts of confession and move to repentance. Paradoxically, the greatest wounds in human history, the greatest injustices have not happened through the acts of individual perpetrators, but principalities and powers that use institutions, systems, philosophies, cultures, religions, and governments as a channel. Due of this, we, as individuals, are tempted to absolve ourselves of all individual responsibility rather than take up the priestly ministry that is the calling of the Church.
Unless somebody chooses to identify themselves with corporate entities, such as the nation of our citizenship, or the evil that came out of the subcultures of our racial groups and our ancestors (such as slavery, apartheid, white farmer killings, forced land evictions, ethnic cleansing, colonialism, abuse of black economic empowerment legislation, etc), the act of honest confession will never take place. This leaves a world of injury and offense in which no corporate sin is ever acknowledged, reconciliation never begins and old hatreds just deepen. YAHWEH will not work in this environment. We can pray and fast as much as we want but YAHWEH will keep asking us the question ‘Are you loving those who are different to you as you love yourself and as you love Me’. When we (His people who are called by his name) can answer yes to this I believe we will see an outpouring of economic healing (and spiritual revival that will bring the largest harvest of unbelievers into the Kingdom as they see the manifestation of the unity Yeshua prayed about in John 17:23 so that the world will know that YAHWEH did indeed send Yeshua as the Messiah.
Whites or blacks at fault?
So are the whites at fault? No. Are the blacks at fault? No. We should stop pointing fingers and throwing accusations at each other and focus on the source of the problem as given in Ephesians 6:12 – “For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
It is our job as the followers of Jeshua to step into this impasse as agents of healing so that the next generation of children will not have to deal with the hatred and alienation that marked the experience of this and past generations because of Satanic strongholds rooted in the past. What will you and I do about this? Will we continue to be tricked into playing the devil’s racial game or will we rise up in humility to deal with the issue in our own lives and go out and embrace those different to us so that we can break the stronghold over our nation and economy?
The day we have a remnant of all 12 tribes of South Africa healed and standing together in unity is the day we will see the fullness of YAHWEH’s blessing being poured out on our economy and nation. Why 12? Because officially (through the 11 languages government has recognised) there is the Afrikaner, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Northern Sotho, Tswana, Sotho, Tsonga, Swati, Venda, Ndebele, but it’s time that the first people group of South Africa – the Khoisan are honoured and restored with their YAHWEH ordained position as the first tribe in this land. None of these tribes can individually ‘save or bring revival’ to this land – any group that thinks so is walking in pride and selfish ambition. It will take a remnant of all walking in Kingdom unity to bring about a true move of YAHWEH.
Be reconciled first before bringing your offering
Jeshua tells us very clearly in Matthew 5:23-24 that before we bring an offering to Him we should go and reconcile with our brother first. We are presenting the Lord with many offerings through our prayers, fasting, tears, money, time, etc and yet He says go and be reconciled with your white, black, coloured, Indian, Asian, etc brother/sister first. If we do this our offerings will then become pleasing to Him.
Without committing to intentional personal transformation there will be no revival and no healing of the land (economic transformation). Psalm 103 – Amen
*(Some of the material used in this article has been taken from commentary in the ‘Revival Study Bible’).