People of faith are confident in their reliance on the Lord’s promises to Abraham of peace, provision, prosperity and protection. Those very promises were claimed by King David in the twenty-third Psalm where he asserted that “goodness and mercy” shall follow him all the days of his life. He was describing the covenant of Grace!
So the promises are irreversible, though man’s conduct is often underserving of the blessings. Here in Grenada, the people are reliant on the very promises because of forty years of disobedience.
Some people say that Grenada is ‘the Israel of the Caribbean’, meaning that God treats Grenadians as a ‘chosen’ people. I am not persuaded by that apparent blasphemy, even though it is a tantalising thought and that I have myself published, without scriptural authority, that the Caribbean is the black man’s Promised Land! Whatever the position, ‘goodness and mercy’, both spiritual and material, are fixed requirements surrounding the Grenadian civilisation. Otherwise, we perish!
Take a look at the high points of our existence as a Nation. Independence, which for many nationalities symbolises a new and hopeful light, was for Grenadians a gift shrouded in darkness.
On March 13, 1979, the presumed ‘goodness’ surrounding Parliament and the ballot were replaced by the unsuspecting ‘bad’ in Central Committee and guns. Wherever there is bad, mercy is required. While Brathwaite and Brizan held out the prospect of leadership for ‘good’, Tillman’s ‘good’ leadership was destroyed by division requiring a special grant of ‘mercy’ towards the assailants henceforth.
Consider the products of political leadership in the last twenty years. While material ‘goodness’ has reached a few; and while ‘goodness’ has been delivered in HRD and public infrastructure, the weight and curse of poverty, unemployment, unreasonable taxation and two Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP) call for ‘mercy’ upon our leaders. Cricket World Cup, England vs. West Indies, Caribbean Premier League (and the Grenada Invitational) may have promised ‘goodness’, but hit the Treasury without ‘mercy’!
Today we celebrate excellent results in fixing the ‘fiscal algebra’ under the SAP and think that ‘goodness’ has come at last! But, as soon as that celebration began, came the ‘GRENLEC Blow-Out’, either ‘Repeal or Re-purchase’! Recalling past experiences, many have already begun to pray for ‘mercy’ should the authorities be able to re-purchase the shares or have to face the judgment of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. They say it’s a ‘good’ thing that they will now be spared the sustained political rhetoric surrounding the sale of GRENLEC. Some pray for ‘mercy’ if, somehow, the cash to pay WRB is obtained from ‘Economic Citizens’ of Chinese or Ukrainian or Middle-Eastern or American descent.
But there was a strange dose of ‘goodness and mercy’ last week. Gregory Bowen, MP and Minister of Government, delivered an inquiry into financial corruption surrounding the ‘De-bushing Program’.
However, as he announced that act of ‘goodness’, some folks cried out for ‘mercy’ when he confessed that he had for many years received reports of abuse of public funds, but had done nothing about it as informants were not prepared to be witnesses!
Imagine that a Minister would get such reports and instead of acting in the public interest by informing the Police so that they could follow up, he decides that nothing could be done! Woiii! Here might be a case deserving of ‘mercy’ all the days of his life!
Lent is almost over and Easter, the ‘Season of Life and Grace’, is virtually upon us. God’s ‘goodness and mercy’ are available every day to His people. The more we are dogged by the conflict man wages between cause and character, good and bad, the more He pours out His Grace upon us.
Now then, since we are fortified by His promises of ‘goodness and mercy’, we ought not to be afraid to dispose of barren fig trees or to be content with chasing donkeys. Both of these define failure, lack of economic production and social decadence. Our God never promised that curse would follow us all the days of our lives!