I am sure many of you, at least the Christians I know, have read these verses (Matthew 25:31-41) many times and have had it preached to you in so many ways. I have read it several times too, from my Sunday School days. However, I read it very recently and it made sense to me in a very different way especially in light of the "dead goat" comment made by President Mahama, exactly a year ago.
The verses spoke to me as if they were alive and not only that, my mind raced and connected other verses in the Bible to those verses and realised that that comment, "dead goat", had very severe consequences, which I believe Christians in Ghana have ignored or talked very little about.
Permit me to share the said verses with you before I proceed (and I will try and keep it short). Matthew 25:31-34, 41 NLT states as follows:
But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.
Matthew 25:31-34, 41 NLT
Separating the sheep from the goats will be the last task of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, on this earth when He returns. He will place the sheep to His right and the goats to His left. The sheep will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven and the goats (who the Bible describes as cursed) will be put into eternal fire with the devil and all the demons.
President Mahama referring to himself as a "dead goat" should not be taken lightly at all. That irresponsible and reckless attribute of himself made it onto BBC's 2015 Best African Quotes. It was the #6 on BBC's list and President Mahama was quoted as saying:
I have seen more demonstrations and strikes in my first two years. I don’t think it can get worse. It is said that when you kill a goat and you frighten it with a knife, it doesn’t fear the knife because it is dead already. I have a dead-goat syndrome
In fact, we ought to take the President's comments very seriously because of his position and his religious affiliation. He is the President of the Republic of Ghana. He is our leader. He is meant to be our shepherd. And if our shepherd calls himself a "dead goat", we should not laugh about it at all. To top it up, he is a Christian, or at least, that is what he tells us. In fact, I am yet to read or hear the President apologise for that remark or description of himself. Beyond the apology, he must be delivered from the "dead goat" syndrome, spiritually.
No, it is not a laughing matter. He did not say he was a living goat so that we can, at least, try and change him. He called himself a "dead goat", which means that there is nothing we can do about him. He is gone! The Bible makes it clear what happens to goats. It says the goats are "cursed" and they will be cast into the fire prepared for the devil. If the leader of the nation is cursed beyond redemption, then the entire nation will suffer from the curse. Is it any wonder that nothing seems to happen right under President Mahama's leadership?
No, we cannot describe the "dead goat" comment as a joke. The President is Christian, and Christians are expected to know the word of God and live in accordance with the word of God. You cannot take somethings and leave somethings out. That is not how Christianity works. The President should know that being a "goat" means you are cursed and hell bound. It is clearly stated in the Bible. As a Christian, the President should also know that words are powerful.
Here are a few verses regarding the words we use and the things we say:
Proverbs 18:21 - "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." - NKJV
Luke 6:45 - "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth." - NKJV
Matthew 12:34 - "Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." - NKJV
Mark 7: 15, 20-23 - "There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts,
covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man." - NKJV
There are many more verses in the Bible, which speak about the things that ought to proceed from our mouths as Christians. In fact, because of how powerful the tongue is, we are admonished in James 3, to control it. Philippians 4:8-9 provides examples of the kind of words that should proceed out of the mouths of Christians. It states as follows:
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:8-9 NKJV
The "dead goat" statement was a irresponsible statement (I seriously hope it was not intentional) made by President Mahama and does not depict the religious morals he claims to live by. By declaring onto himself the words and description "dead goat", he has done nothing but brought "curses" and by extension, the people he leads. I remember the President in my prayers, however, I pray that while he still has life, he goes on his knees and cries to God to forgive him because the "curse" of being a "dead goat" may follow him even when he is no longer president.
Source: Kow Essuman, Esq - [email protected]
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