Bible Society of South Africa

Cake, coffee and a chant - 4 March 2024

By Imogen Campbell

Bible text(s)

31I will make the borders of your land extend from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Mediterranean Sea and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give you power over the inhabitants of the land, and you will drive them out as you advance.

Exodus 23:31GNBOpen in Bible reader

Around the middle of last year, a friend and I were having a much anticipated coffee as we had not seen each other in ages. Over a piece of heavenly chocolate cake, unexpectedly, things got quite heated.

The topic of discussion centred on reparations, the issue of privilege, and all that it encompassed. Evil systems became the focal point. And, of course, Apartheid reared its ugly head. My stance was that trying to fix the past was really difficult – without denying grossly evident inequality.

That day, my friend revealed herself as a real warrior for justice and clearly voiced her vehement opposition to systemic inequality. Her vantage point: working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds and observing the undeniable ravages of inequality still affecting their lives on a daily basis.

For quite some time, we were unable to see eye to eye on a way forward. Finally, we agreed that man-made solutions were not the answer. We had to apply the lens of God to the situation as apart from him, there could be no lasting change – definitely not peace.

Similarly, mankind could look at situations through the lens of evil systems, yes, but only God could, ultimately, heal. I remember making a comment in passing. What if those who opposed Israel rose up? Little did I know.

In my mind, the precarious peace of the Middle East was a powder keg waiting to be ignited. It was lit on 7 October 2023, and perhaps, unsurprisingly, the refrain heard at marches in opposition since has been “from the river to the sea …”

It has become abundantly clear that, without God’s intervention in the Middle East, there will never truly be lasting peace. Fragile agreements and accords have often proved to be inadequate. God’s will for the land was laid out in Genesis as a lasting covenant and confirmed elsewhere in the Old Testament.

Jesus was a descendant of the tribe of Judah, and through the Israelites of old, we received the laws and statutes of God that we now rely on and read as the Word of God. They are the original olive trees into which we have grafted as believers, and we are co-heirs with them.

Prayer: Father God, sometimes, we run slap-bang straight into your sovereignty. As mere mortals, we cannot bring about lasting change. Please grant us tremendous wisdom. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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