Election 2019: And it came to pass
Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), the Mexican self portrait artist said “Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.” This classic saying is in tune with the biblical phrase “It came to pass.” “And it came to pass” occurs many times in the Old Testament. It occurs 396 times in the King James Bible. When “And” is dropped, it occurs 453 times. Few Bible readers ever bother to reflect on this simple phrase or why the Bible writers used it again and again. This recurrent phrase actually has a meaning. Simply put, it means “It happened”. “It” here, refers to an event in the life of an individual or nation. There are two key words in the phrase, namely “came” and “pass”. Put straight on, it means events come only to pass. Or put in another way, every event that occurs in the life of an individual or nation only comes to pass. It won’t remain.
No situation or event comes to stay. It is only a matter of time and the situation will be over. It will roll into the annals of history like its predecessors. The earth and all that is in it are in perpetual flux. Just as the earth is in perpetual rotation and revolution that causes day and night and seasons, events, whether natural or manmade come and go. This unending flux is clearly captured in Genesis 8:22. It says, “As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
The book God in My Corner- A Spiritual Memoir, authored by George Foreman, has a section titled, Storms Don’t Last. A story was told in the book of an elderly woman who was asked her favorite Scripture verse. She replied, “And it came to pass.” The questioner said but that doesn’t mean anything. The woman said “Yes it does”, “I know that when a trial comes, it doesn’t come to stay; it comes to pass. It’s not going to be around forever.” What the woman confessed is Bible truth, the reality of which is seen in our human existence.
There has never been a time in history that any day comes and refuses to pass. No matter the event that marks the day, no matter the celebration, once the day breaks it must pass for another day to come. When we were kids, we used to wish on Christmas Day, that the day remains, for us to continue the celebration. But before you know it, it is evening and night. The day is gone. The same goes with night. Even when we say that the night is longer than the day during winter, it still rolls over. What would happen, for instance, if winter comes and refuses to pass? Humanity and other living things will freeze to death. Similarly, if summer comes and refuses to pass, heat wave will wreck havoc on man, plants and animals alike.
Two Bible passages will help to illustrate what we are discussing. The Bible says “It came to pass after four hundred and thirty years that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12: 41. What a great deliverance of a whole nation from slavery and bondage after a very long time! All left, not one remained. Over this long period of time, many generations passed on. No one thought that the nation of Israel would ever be free. Not even the generation that was delivered ever thought that there could be freedom for the nation. But it came to pass that when the people never thought or least expected it, Israel was liberated from centuries of suffering and pain in a foreign land. And nothing could stop it, not even the Red Sea or the Egyptian army that gave a chase.
Again, “It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them others beside the Ammonite came to battle against Jehoshaphat. 2 Chronicles 20:1. At one time in their history, the enemies of Israel ganged up and waged a war against Israel under King Jehoshaphat. When the news broke that a great multitude was coming against Israel from beyond the sea, from Syria; there was great fear and trepidation over the land. The King himself was nervous and feared greatly. Many people must have thought that the end of Israel had come. But it didn’t happen the way people thought. Jehoshaphat rallied his fighting men as directed by God. The enemies were completely defeated. God put confusion in their camp and they turned around and slaughtered themselves. And the event came to pass and Israel was saved.
Over the ages, humanity has witnessed all manner of events that shaped world history. These include the World Wars in which millions of people perished, an estimated 6 million Jews were killed under the obnoxious Nazis regime of Adolf Hitler in the Holocaust. The Spanish flu of 1918, in two years killed between fifty and one hundred million people; the Bubonic plague that swept through Europe in the 14th century killed an estimated 25 million people. The expulsion of Christians from Japan in the early 1639 under Shogun Tokugawa was dramatic and historic. The Trans Atlantic slave trade in which millions of Africans were sold and shipped to the Americas ended when the time came. What about the great depression of the 1930s that saw severe economic hardship worldwide. The apartheid in South Africa came to a glorious end after forty-six years from 1948 to 1994. The list is endless of events that no one thought would ever end. One thing is common to all of these – there were victims or casualties. The Igbo call it “Uha”, meaning selective death. Everybody should be careful when such evil events occur to avoid being a victim or casualty.
At this juncture, what have all this got to do with 2019? The year 2015 was predicted to be the end of Nigeria! Back in 2005, American pundits predicted that Nigeria would disintegrate in 2015. There were two events playing out in Nigeria in 2015 – the Boko Haram war and the general elections. The renewed onslaught by Boko Haram may paint a picture of invincibility. If the Nigerian military had risen to the challenge early enough, Boko Haram would have been history by now. Nevertheless, from the successes being recorded in recent times, it is certain that the insurgency would one day come to pass.
The presidential election, which is the most crucial, is on February 16, 2019. Once the presidential election comes and goes, the second election on March 2 would be a walk over. Right now, let me ask this question: how many Nigerians would like to die because of the 2019 elections as a mark of patriotism? How many of the key political gladiators would like to die to show their love for Nigeria? I can’t see any hands being raised, meaning that nobody wants to die. If nobody wants to die, then there is no basis for violence. There is no basis for chaos. This is not the first election to be held in Nigeria. Elections have been coming and going. The election is already rolling over. Let me end with the legendary Bob Marley who said in one of his lyrics, “He who fights and runs away will live to fight again”. This election will come to pass and Nigeria will remain. Only the fools will die because of the elections.
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