As of late, there has been much bloodshed in the Northern and middle parts of Nigeria. Villages in Plateau, Nigeria were attacked on June 23rd, 2018, as Fulani herdsmen and Nigerian farmers fought over the increasingly unusable land that both need to prosper.1
The fighting was horrific. With approximately 200 people killed, it has only worsened the state of affairs in places in the North and middle of Nigeria. If this violence was not enough, hundreds of thousands of Internally Displaced People in Nigeria have fled due to Boko Haram violence, losing one of their only sources of income: agriculture.2
As this bloodshed and loss continues on, many people have said it: only God can help their situation, now. Desperate for a change of situation and scenery, the people who have had their worlds rocked by violence and terror come to Christ, praying for it all to stop.
It reminds me of Psalm 79. In this Psalm, Asaph (the worship leader at the time) came to God, and said this:
“O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple,
they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble.
2 They have left the dead bodies of your servants
as food for the birds of the sky,
the flesh of your own people for the animals of the wild.
3 They have poured out blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there is no one to bury the dead.
4 We are objects of contempt to our neighbors,
of scorn and derision to those around us.
5 How long, Lord? Will you be angry forever?
How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out your wrath on the nations
that do not acknowledge you,
on the kingdoms
that do not call on your name;
7 for they have devoured Jacob
and devastated his homeland.”
(Psalm 79:107, NIV)
Jerusalem was completely ruined; the people who once praised the Lord in this city were now dead, and Asaph brings his lament to God.
As more and more of Nigeria is being destroyed, and the people of the land– especially Christians– are being slaughtered, something has to happen.
It is during this time that we must come before God, just as Asaph did. Asaph describes the situation and pours out his heart to God, while asking God to completely change the situation and deliver them from the pain, loss, and heartache they were going through. They were able to do this because they remembered who God was.
“9 Help us, God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name’s sake.
10 Why should the nations say,
‘Where is their God?’
(Psalm 79:9-10, NIV)
Where do you find yourself, today? What situations are you in that you can see no way out of? Friend, let me encourage you: Jesus knows you, and He is Sovereign over the hole you find yourself in. Just when you feel there is absolutely nothing that can be done to save you, let me tell you this: God is working, and if you sit still and let Him, He will fight this battle for you. You just need to remain still, like Moses told the Israelites to do in Exodus 14:14.
We have a BIG God. A Sovereign, Loving, GOOD God. As all hell is breaking loose in Nigeria– and perhaps, in your own life, I encourage you to seek Him. For, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18, NIV). One day, He will come again– and make all things right. ❤
Do you know Jesus?
Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus came to this earth as “Emmanuel”: God With Us. He is our perfect High Priest– and He knows exactly how every temptation of this life feels (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Jesus Loves and Knows you perfectly. Learn more about Jesus, and why what He did is of the utmost importance, here.
Please pray for…
- The men, women, and children currently involved in violence between Nigerian farmers and Fulani herdsmen. Pray for peace between them, but most importantly, for peace in their hearts toward God. May they be saved by Him.
- For the Chibok girls, and Leah Sharibu. You can find the names and pictures of most of the Chibok girls here.
- Those displaced by Boko Haram violence. Pray that aid would be had, and that Christ would hold those who cannot stand on their own right now.
- For those currently fighting against Boko Haram and evil in general– that they would come to know Jesus, rely on Him alone, and would be given favor.