Since the “ill-fated” prophecies by Bishop Isaac Owusu Bempah that sent irate, rampaging youth vandalising the Odorkor branch of the Glorious Word Power Ministries International, I have been musing about prophecies and the New Year.
I have been wondering why seemingly, a majority of people hinge all their lives in a coming year on the prophecies of prophets.
My musings have sent me cursorily searching dictionaries and biblical concordances for the meaning and purposes of prophecies, although the term is not totally new.
Also not new is this type of prophecy about the death of prominent people in Ghana.
Late in 2017, Prophet Nigel Gaisie of the True Word Prophetic Ministry prophesied about the death of Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng, aka Ebony Reigns, the dance hall artiste in six months.
The furore in the aftermath of her death in February 2018, when the clip about his prophecy resurfaced, also came with some clarity on the purpose of prophecies in our times in some discussions on FM stations.
In one of the discussions, a reverend minister made the point that the Spirit of prophecy was the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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The minister was also of the view that the purpose of prophecy was to draw the focus of the recipients of the prophecy to Christ.
As it is now, Prophet Owusu Bempah’s prophecy has just caused riots, unruly behaviour and a lot of insults from some people.
It has clouded the goodwill of the New Year and made some apprehensive about imminent religious clashes in Ghana, if the anger of the
Muslim youth about their leader dying in the course of the year boils over.
His prophecies have brought no goodwill to most at this time of the year when the aura should be felt and expressed.
The prophecies have also had some talking about the way and manner of delivery of such revelations.
Are all such revelations for the consumption of the public? Really? What beef is it of mine, if former President John Mahama wins the primaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)? How will all these events affect my life in 2019?
Somehow, we have a practice in the country, where prophets have the urge to portray themselves as seated with God in heaven and, from time to time, coming down to tell hapless Ghanaians what they have heard directly from God.
Thus, after a prophecy is given and the event occurs, some resort to social media to recall on their timelines the prophecies they gave and how they have come to pass, showing their prowess in hearing from God.
To pre-empt any recalls on social media, some now invite the media to their prophetic displays.
Is it not God’s job to prove before the masses by performances and miracles the words and works of those he has called as prophets to his people?
For instance, in the case of Elijah and the prophets of Baal in 1Kings 18: 20-40, where by an incontrovertible display, God showed His preference for Elijah over the prophets of Baal by sending fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice, wood, stones, dust and a drenched trench, within which the sacrifice was laid!
Or are Ghanaians so hard at hearing that our prophets find it difficult to leave that job solely in the hands of God?
The whole industry of prophecy in the country by some men of God is causing embarrassment to those of us who genuinely believe in God.
God is a God of order, mercy, grace and comfort. It is said that God reveals to redeem, not to cause anxiety.
Do our prophets have this in mind when they decide to speak?
My hope for 2019 is that our prophets will be in tune with the Spirit of Christ. I hope that prophecies will focus on all the good works of God and His graciousness to man through Christ Jesus.
I hope that 2019 will give us all fulfilled lives, health and peace.