The God we have been introduced to by Christianity is a God who chooses sides. Throughout Christian history as recorded in the Holy Ghost-inspired Bible, God has been portrayed as one who chooses sides and doesn’t flip flop. So, for no apparent reason, God is quoted to have said “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” [Romans 10:13]
Here then is the puzzle. When two teams decide to pray to God prior to or in the course of a cagy football encounter, which side will God take? Initially, one would think God will be on the side of the righteous, but in history, He, being all-knowing, has chosen the prostitute over the so-called righteous.
According to the Bible, if God decides to take a side, He will reveal it to his prophet. Amos 3:7 says: “Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing His plan to his servants the prophets.”
All over Ghanaian media, a certain Nigerian miracle working prophet, T.B. Joshua has gained so much popularity. First he is idolized by Ghana’s president John Evans Atta Mills for predicting that he will be president. The prophet is back in the news. This time, he claims he virtually dictated terms for Ghana’s Black Satellites to win the FIFA Youth Championship.
To back his claims, the prophet has gone the extra mile to put out an amazing video which chronicles the events leading to Ghana’s Youth World Cup winning victory.
The matter becomes even more interesting when Ghana’s coach Sellas Tetteh told pressmen that: “I knew several spiritual men prayed for the team but Prophet Joshua was with us on the job. He was speaking to us right on the job so we believe that he was also an inspirational factor in our winning.”
So the day God decided to be a football fan, He chose to be a Ghanaian. Being “the same yesterday, today and forever” [Hebrews 13:8], He chose not to give reasons for his preference for Ghana over Brazil. He also chose to do nothing without revealing it to the prophets first.
There is a lot of debate over these events. Some have questioned Sellas Tetteh’s technical abilities. “After all, it was not him but a prophet who did the job.” Some have questioned the authenticity of the videos as released by the church of the Prophet T.B. Joshua. Some claim, T. B. Joshua should be made the Black Stars coach, others have heaped praises on the ‘man-of-God’.
Frankly, I do not see anything wrong with anyone anywhere finding inspiration in anything – God or man-made. People have the right to decide what they will believe in and what would influence their choices. Sellas Tetteh decided to take inspiration from the prophet and it worked for him. Andre Ayew the captain of the side decided not to, and it worked for him.
However, these attempts by Prophet T.B. Joshua and his camp to take glory for the hard work of the Ghanaian team is appalling to say the least. What exactly was the purpose of that video anyway? So that we will extol the powers of the prophet? How does the video make the prophet anything special? I would have thought that the Bible he preaches from says that “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 6:1]
Ghana won the Youth Cup not because of T. B. Joshua. The boys fought hard from the beginning of the tournament to the finals. They had the right spirit and right attitude. The coach did his best and T. B. Joshua, like many other people provided the team and coach with some inspiration. That’s where it ends.
I asked my friend why God did not choose a Ghanaian prophet. He responded, like a true Ghanaian with a question: “Why did T.B Joshua not tell Samson Siasia that the only team he will beat at Egypt 2009 will be Tahiti as it could have saved Nigeria some thousands of dollars.”
Perhaps God wanted Nigeria to lose the money. Or maybe we shall hear the usual yarn: “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” [Mark 6:4]