Analysis: BENEDICT TEMBO
I HAVE certainly been following President Lunguâ€™s messages of peace and his solicitations for prayers ahead of August 11, especially when he attends church services.
I should confess that I didnâ€™t know much about Edgar Chagwa Lunguâ€™s spirituality before and after his ascendance to the highest office of the land, apart from having watched him play soccer in the Lusaka Management and Professional League along with Christopher Mvunga.
Mr Lungu was the legal counsel for Barclays Bank Zambia while Mr Mvunga was with Deloitte and Touche, then started his own consultancy, executive advisor to an ANC company in South Africa.
What I have heard is that his wife (First Lady Esther Lungu) has always been a very committed follower of Jesus even before she moved into Plot One.
Given this background, I would be totally wrong to doubt President Lunguâ€™s sincerity in wanting to ask for Godâ€™s guidance during or after his tenure as president because as the scripture says:
The kingâ€™s heart is in the hand of the LORD,
Like the rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes. Proverbs 21:1
Like Solomon, Mr Lungu may have realised just how difficult it would be to govern without God, so heâ€™s asking for a divine hand in everything he does:
2 Chronicles 1: 1-12
â€œNow Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him and exalted him exceedingly.
And Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to every leader in all Israel, the heads of the fathersâ€™ houses. Then Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for the tabernacle of meeting with God was there, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness. But David had brought up the ark of God from Kirjath Jearim to the place David had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem. Now the bronze altar that Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put [a] before the tabernacle of the LORD; Solomon and the assembly sought Him there. And Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.
On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, â€œAsk! What shall I give you?â€
And Solomon said to God: â€œYou have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place. Now, O LORD God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?â€
Then God said to Solomon: â€œBecause this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honour or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life – but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king – wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.â€
If examples such as this one above, let alone the Presidentâ€™s quest for a personal relationship with God, are his motivation for going round churches preaching peace, this, for me, is what God would say to politicians, not just in Zambia but in every political jurisdiction around the world:
â€œShow the fruits of repentance.â€ Matthew 3:8. And, in Isaiah 1: 15-17, God says to those who are backslidden but want to use his name:
â€œWhen you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood.
â€œWash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.â€
With President Lungu leading the crusade for peace, the attitude of the ruling party (Patriotic Front) members should be the same.
Godâ€™s word says this:
â€œHe has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?â€ Micah 6:8.
So, if the President and all the ruling party players would take some time to reflect on these solemn charges from the Lord, I can guarantee that the PF would set a political legacy in Zambia that would become a yardstick for the success or failure of those who would run for public office in the future.
Our political leaders can learn a lot from studying the spiritual lives of the leaders of the Israel of antiquity.
True godliness starts in the heart and translates into oneâ€™s dealings with fellow human beings, and above all, God. See 2 Chronicles chapters 14-16.
God is watching and He is waiting for that leader who will say to the people of Zambia:
â€œNow therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served… Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served…But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.â€ Joshua 24:14, 15.
This is what God wanted His people to hear and to do, when he established this great nation that bears His name (Nzambe, from which the name Zambia is derived). It is now time for this nation to rise up and live the true meaning of the origin of its name – GOD!
If what God has in mind for Zambia is what the President is pushing for, then a glorious day is about to dawn on this great nation.
May God bless this nation and its people.
The author is editorial editor, Zambia Daily Mail.
Analysis: BENEDICT TEMBO