The Bible carries stories of prophets challenging the authority of the state.
Some do it subtly, others brazenly, but ultimately, there are consequences to their actions.
As Ekoroi, perhaps this is the time appointed for me to speak about this.
Prophet Elijah and King Ahab
We begin in ancient Israel, a man of God, Elijah, leading the believers against Ahab, a wayward Israeli King that had married a vile woman, Jezebel. An abomination to God.
Ahab is persecuted by Jezebel who openly worships Satan (Baal) and is ready to vehemently defend her wicked ways. Elijah is hounded for killing Baal’s prophets numbering 400 and calling out the King’s land grab. King Ahab and Jezebel had grabbed a vineyard belonging to a citizen named Naboth.
Naboth had said ‘No’ to the king’s advances to sell him his ancestral land. King Ahab was depressed afterwards. When Jezebel asked him why he was depressed, he explained to her.
She responded,’man up’
7 Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” – New International Version (NIV) (1st Kings 21:7)
Soon, Naboth was put to death by stoning, over trumped-up charges i.e. cursing God. His land was grabbed by Jezebel.
For this God pronounced a judgement, “In the very place that dog’s licked up Naboth’s blood they will lick up your blood!”
In his calling out the power that be, Elijah is forced to escape to the desert and live in caves outside the state’s security and death machinery (DCI). He fasted and prayed; even prayed to God to take away his (Elijah’s) life, due to the high persecution by Jezebel (the first lady, if you like).
(1st Kings 21:20-21 – Good News Bible (GNB)
20When Ahab saw Elijah, he said, “Have you caught up with me, my enemy?”
“Yes, I have,” Elijah answered. “You have devoted yourself completely to doing what is wrong in the LORD’s sight. 21So the LORD says to you, ‘I will bring disaster on you. I will do away with you and get rid of every male in your family, young and old alike.
Ravens fed him, as God tells him, he still has a lot of work to do. No relenting. Push on.
Ahab and Jezebel die separately but in all accounts, dog’s licked Ahab’s blood off the chariot and Jezebel’s flesh is eaten by animals in the streets.
Verdict: State and Religion clashed, the state suffered badly.
Prophet Nathan and King David
“You are the man!” Nathan told David.
David was a favoured King of Israel.
He ruled at the same time a Prophet named Nathan walked the lands ministering.
The Lord God sent him to confront David over one grave sin he had done.
David had lusted over the then home-alone wife of his army General called Uriah. He hatched a plan and had Uriah killed in battle, then took over Uriah’s wife.
Prophet Nathan’s message was in the form of a parable.
12 So the Lord sent Nathan to David. Nathan came to him and said, “There were two men in a certain city. One was rich, and the other was poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cows, 3 but the poor man had only one little female lamb that he had bought. He raised her, and she grew up in his home with his children. She would eat his food and drink from his cup. She rested in his arms and was like a daughter. 4 “Now, a visitor came to the rich man. The rich man thought it would be a pity to take one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveller. So he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared her for the traveller.” 5 David burned with anger against the man. “I solemnly swear, as the Lord lives,” he said to Nathan, “the man who did this certainly deserves to die! 6 And he must pay back four times the price of the lamb because he did this and had no pity.”
7 “You are the man!” Nathan told David. “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: I anointed you king over Israel and rescued you from Saul. 8 I gave you your master Saul’s house and his wives. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if this weren’t enough, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise my word by doing what I considered evil? You had Uriah the Hittite killed in battle. You took his wife as your wife. You used the Ammonites to kill him. 10 So warfare will never leave your house because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.
David immediately repented.
“I have sinned against the Lord,” David said to Nathan.
Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin; you will not die.
However, no matter repentance or forgiveness of sin by the Lord God. One must suffer the consequences of their actions.
In David’s lifetime, his son by his first wife slept with his other wives in full glare of Israel. This same son, also raped his sister by another mother. The immediate child born by David’s sex with Uriah’s wife died immediately after childbirth.
Nonetheless, as a man who always confessed his sins and repented immediately over them, David is shown to have stopped the habit of taking in more wives. His later years showed him as one sober King, full of peace. Solomon, a son born from an illegal marriage takes over and is the wisest of all men, as per the bible.
He is restored as he doesn’t die an embarrassing death, his Kingdom rules forever through Solomon, etc, up to Jesus and is heavenly.
Talk about the apple of God’s eyes.
Verdict: State and religion clashed, the state repented and was restored with a long peaceful time.
Prophet Daniel and King Nebuchadnezzar
Prophet Daniel and King Nebuchadnezzar’s story is one in which the state and religion respected, then clashed, and then went separate ways.
Daniel begins by telling the great Emperor, who ruled over the whole earth that, he is the greatest but his empire will still collapse. The prophet has revealed the meaning of a disturbing dream the king had had. Its interpretation was beyond Nebuchadnezzar’s time by far.
The King Promoted the slave from Israel (Daniel) to a Governor, the third in command in his empire, due to his wisdom.
A few years later, the King having enjoyed peace and wise counsel decided that it was all boring and decreed that people must worship him, the head of Gold. He created a statue and commanded all to worship it. The Israeli slaves, Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego (whose names were Hananiah to Shadrach, Mishael to Meshach, and Azariah to Abednego.” -Daniel 1:7), who were friends with Daniel (changed from Belteshazzar) refused to follow this law.
They were thrown into a furnace to burn to death but that did not happen as a fourth person appeared. The King was afraid and commanded that nothing is done to hurt them anymore.
The three are removed from the furnace and promoted in rank in the province of Babylon. The four (Daniel included) collectively provide the King with wise counsel and still wouldn’t partake of any of his wicked foods.
For me, this is separating church and state, where the state gives bribes, but the church refuses indulgence. The church is only there to provide wise counsel.
For punishing the prophets, King Nebuchadnezzar was thrown into madness and lived with animals for 7 years. He was restored after 7 years and the bible says he praised God.
His pride was humbled.
Prophet Daniel and King Belshazzar
Prophet Daniel also served King Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s son.
Well, Belshazzar was a party animal and once organized a great party where he run out of cups and utensils for serving his guests. He raided the church and took cups and other utensils for merry marking, an abomination.
His judgment came swiftly, during the party, a hand from nowhere, wrote on the walls. MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN (Aramaic. numbered, numbered, weighed, divided).
Simply put, the Kingdon (Babylon empire) is fallen and given away.
Daniel was the interpreter of these strange words and phenomena. He was rewarded with a title, honoured and promoted, even though he had rejected the King’s bribes.
King Belshazzar was killed that night and a new empire came into power under Darius.
Prophet Daniel and King Darius
As soon as he assumed power, Darius the mede was lied to by his other UNWISE counsellors to decree that all must worship no other God but his.
Daniel was caught praying to the God of Israel and was frog-marched to the King who threw him, albeit hesitantly into a Lion’s den. He survived for not compromising and all his accusers were thrown into the lion’s pit and eaten.
Pastor Ezekiel and President Ruto
William Samoei the son of Ruto came into power riding on the back of religion.
Under him, religion is suffering and one particular pastor with prophetic abilities is having a hard time.
This might be because of his prophecy of Kenya’s next president before the August 2022 election.
Prophet Ezekiel had prophesied that immediately after the elections, Kenyans would be forced onto the streets due to hard economic times and this would even lead to the removal of the president.
“Someone comes, whether it is Azimio or UDA, and Kenyans vote you in; remember, they are looking for something; they are not looking for someone. You give them good words, and they vote you in. Once they vote you in and you don’t do what they want they will come for you. Whoever is voted to power must realise this, that they will vote peacefully, but after voting and you don’t know what they want, they will come for you, the leader,” Ezekiel warned.
Apart from Ezekiel, some non-broadcasting prophets had warned about hunger.
The running thread in their message was ‘Kenyans are going to face deadly lack of food and whoever has a land to till is the one who will be saved’.
Ezekiel was persecuted and without evidence, linked to Shakahola Cult. The charges have refused to hold, his TV station was switched back on and there’s no relenting from the govt, no repentance and asking for forgiveness.
The founding fathers of modern states knew too well why the separation of state and church must be.
It is all well documented how the son of Samoei the son of Ruto, riding on the back of the church, captured the Presidency.
All politicians lie, but Samoei’s lie was the most appealing, minus the alleged interference with IEBC.
Elijah, Naaman etc, never bent.
In our modern times, all the clergy bend to the whims of the state. They abandon God for money and fame.
Ruto just needed to make one who stood up to him, Pastor Ezekiel, bend.
We shall see in his messages post-state persecution.
We need prophets who fight to the end like Elijah.