“A little while, and ye shall not see Me; and again a little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father.” (John 16:16)
The world is full of things and ways, with rising stars and falling comets, with great and small all seeking for space and say, power and glory. But none has ever left permanent standing light and glory. Soon they wither and pass away and their places others take.
In an article on the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley's death entitled “RASTAMAN VIBRATION” in THE INDEPENDENT Newspaper of London, Wednesday 6th April, 2011, Mr. Ian Burrell observed that “The flame that for most of his international audience began with the album, “Catch a fire and burning,” shining a new light on injustices and inequalities that had previously been widely ignored, blazed intensely but only briefly. Now it feels like the “candle lit in his memory is all but extinguished”.
Before I read Mr. Burrell, I reminded my son, a music enthusiast on the dangers and short lives of musicians, philosophers and folks that mount the human stage with bang, power and pomp, pride and promise as revolutionaries, redeemers and all sorts, promising hope for peoples, nations, the human race and the world.
Soon as the scriptures declare, “they wither as grass and pass away ... In the morning it flourishes and grows up; in the evening it is cut down and withers ....”(Psalm 90: 6)
Life is but a sigh, a dream lived in a small space and a short time. It ends up invariably in surrender to the design, dictates and directives of the wrath of God. Influence may spread and fame gained in space and time, yet soon and very soon everything flies away. Iniquities and secret sins ignite, activate and propel Divine judgement, the working of the law of sin and death in human existence. The Bible reveals that the soul that sins shall surely die for the wages of sin is death.
Given this dark spiritual determinate environment, men ignore God and His injunctions to their peril. It does not matter what endowments, what power, what attainments. The bar of conscience, the statutes of the law and judgment of God and the entire Divine written constitution of the word of God stand eternal and faithfully so in the determination of all issues. All appear and will appear before the judgement throne of God. ALL THINGS SHALL PASS AWAY BUT THE WORD OF GOD ABIDETH EVER.
Mr. Burrell's article reminded me of the observation the Lord Jesus Christ made once to me about Bob Marley. When pondering over the article, the LORD JESUS CHRIST simply stated – THE WORD OF GOD. Then the Holy Spirit whispered into my spirit “Yet a little while ....”
Dear reader, as we remember Bob Marley and reflect upon his music, message, life-style and others such as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and such greats as Plato and Socrates, Karl Marx and Lenin, Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Toure who seek to influence and order life and culture of generations, peoples and nations, let us remember that THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD and LORD over the human race, creation and nations. That He the Creator does not share His glory with anyone. That only His will, plans and purposes shall abide.
Thus when folks take on the standard and position of God the Creator, but DO NOT KNOW, ACKNOWLEDGE and HONOUR HIM in their vision and mission, message, objectives, life-style and influence on peoples, nations and the world, THE HAND OF GOD ALWAYS RISES AGAINST THEM. Their lives, works and influence become short.
“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting You are God.
You turn man to destruction, and say, return, o children of men.
For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past,
and like a watch in the night.
You carry them away like a flood; they are like a sleep.
In the morning they are like grass which grows up:
In the morning it flourishes and grows up:
In the evening it is cut down and withers.
For we have been consumed by Your anger,
and by Your wrath we are terrified.
You have set our iniquities before You,
our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
For all our days have passed away in Your wrath;
we finish our years like a sigh.
The days of our lives are seventy years;
and if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
yet their boast is only labour and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.” (Psalm 90:1-11 NKJV)
Thus it came to pass that Bob Marley who sought to serve his generation and world as redeemer and transformer but rejected the TRUTH, KNOWLEDGE, WAY and COUNSEL of the TRUE and LIVING GOD met the standing abiding hand and wrath of God. The truth is that; “He has set our iniquities before Him, our secret sins in the light of His countenance, who knows the power of His anger!”
Bob Marley took the world particularly the suffering and oppressed peoples by storm, offering not only avenue of expression concerning their fate but also some flickering light of hope of redemption. However, the spiritual and social mechanism he set in place was anti-truth and anti-scripture, anti-Christ and anti-God.
Besides the Bob-Marley system and life-style had begun to horde the suffering and oppressed peoples into bondage and captivity to sin and perversion. It is open secret the depths of bondage and captivity the Bob Marley system had brought upon people, particularly the gifted, aspiring and agile youth. His versatile instrument was TV.
TV served as a forceful tool for the spread of the virus of revolt and drugs, booze and sex and with it the Bob Marley Rastafarian cult, culture and industry. Ian Burrell's disappointment is that no artist has risen to take music and message of spiritual and social transformation on the scale and height of Bob Marley. One is tempted to ask as a result, “IS GOD AROUND TOWN?” Yes of course, HE IS. No one can reach out and destroy the human race, the heritage of talented, gifted and blessed youth and God will look on unconcerned.
The truth is that God who created man and has plans for the human race has vision and mission of LIFE and LIBERTY, PEACE and GOODWILL, and HIS KINGDOM order of PEACE, RIGHTEOUSNESS, JUSTICE and JOY on earth. This He enunciated by and through His Son JESUS CHRIST. He cannot and will not allow His will, plan and purposes to be hijacked, subverted and set aside through the subtlety of Satan and defiant, disobedient and wicked man.
The second lesson is that man condemned to death when removed from circulation and influence has no power to rise up again as SPIRIT-POWER to continue with his dark and evil works and influence. Those who attempt to follow the footsteps of the dark and dead world by definition face the anger and wrath of the Lord. Those who want to play God and establish counter system and counter culture fly away.
There is only one way THE DIVINE SET WAY for Salvation and Redemption, Life and Liberty. The angels and prophets of God and the Almighty God Himself have all testified that Christ Jesus, Son of the Living God, Messiah is THE DIVINE SET WAY. All others, are but deceivers and deceived, cheats and thieves. The serpent is the liar and deceiver from the beginning.
ONLY JESUS CHRIST, the SON, Saviour and Redeemer, Judge and Justifier has been mandated and given full authority and power to represent the God the Creator, the Triune God to preach, teach, pursue and establish the Divine heavenly order of Love, Life and Liberty, Peace and Goodwill and the Kingdom of heaven on earth. No one has the vision and plan. No one knows the true nature, forces, systems and relationships that God the Creator has for true peace, righteousness, justice and joy on earth. No one can create, build and establish a new world order but God. Hence, Jesus told His disciples, “A little while, and ye shall not see Me and again a little while and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father.” (John 16:16)
Jesus foretold of His death and resurrection and return in His spirit-power nature to uphold, pursue and establish His everlasting Peace, Righteousness and Kingdom and its Glory through and with His Church. Hence He has told His Church, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” Amen. (Matthew 28:20b). The church people may not fully catch the vision, understanding and wisdom. They may not prove obedient, strong and faithful enough to walk the PATH, POWER and INFLUENCE of Christ. Nevertheless, the Spirit of God raises people from place to place, from generation to generation and from age to age to uphold the banner of Christ, and the Vision and Mission of God in motion through the years. Jesus IS ALIVE
From time to time, the Lord Jesus Christ finds faithfuls to fill, equip and strengthen with His Spirit and grace, authority and power to lift His banner aloft in the nations and the world. In this connection, while the Church continues with Christ Mission of Love, Life and Liberty, Peace, Righteousness, Justice and Goodwill in the knowledge and fear of God, the Bob Marley vision and mission, music and message have not found true and effective disciples and heir(s). Concerts and festivals cannot create or re-enact the spirit and power of Bob Marley. There can be no standard bearer. Indeed, there is no Shiloh to come.
God can and does arrest spirits and men and put their works to nought. Selassie died. Bob Marley followed. Empires and kingdoms have fallen and are failing. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of God is everlasting.
Finally, we are persuaded that the Bob Marley culture and industry will pass away and die. Already, as Ian Burrell observed, the T-shirts of Bob Marley have been replaced with tops branded with Rooney or Ronaldo. Rastafarian belief and hairstyles are waning while the TRUTH, MESSAGE, WORKS and HOPE in CHRIST JESUS is rising in many nations around the globe. This is God at work. JESUS IS ALIVE! HE IS LORD! Amen!!!
Thus says the Lord, all things shall pass away. The glory of man is but a dream. Bob Marley is dead and gone. Only Christ Jesus has key to permanency and eternity.
May 24, 2011