Friday, May 1, 2015

Zambia's nationwide power outage

(My 16th Radio Christian Voice Commentary for 2015)

It rarely ever happens that a whole country is plunged into total darkness for over three hours. And so the fact that this happened across Zambia last Monday, except for two provinces, has caused the whole nation to pause and think. What on earth went wrong?

The Zambia Electricity Supply Company (ZESCO) has informed us that there was a system failure at its Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank power stations. How that can happen at two power stations at once is still a subject of further investigations.

The sudden loss of power is dangerous. There have been reports of vital institutions like hospitals being affected and obviously lives have since been lost. Individuals were trapped underground in the mines and in other places during this period.

The economic loss to the nation during those hours of power outage will probably remain uncalculated but it certainly goes into millions of dollars. So, everything must be done to avoid this situation ever occurring again. We must all agree about that.

The absence of electric power, and the darkness that results from this, reminds me of an even worse darkness that the Bible often warns against. It is the darkness that results from the absence of the word of God. This has far worse consequences that losing electric power.

We read in Micah 3:5 to 6, “Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who lead my people astray…. It shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without divination. The sun shall go down on the prophets, and the day shall be black over them….”

Why is the absence of the word of God likened to darkness? It is because at night you need light to see where you are going. In the same way, life is like a journey. Without knowledge you cannot tell where you are going and, in the end, you would be totally lost.

Human beings are sinners under the wrath of Almighty God. We have an eternity in hell or heaven awaiting us. Our greatest need is to know how we can be reconciled to God so that we live in a way that pleases him. This knowledge is only available in the gospel.

Sadly, we are living in a day of prophets who lead people astray. Religious cults and false prophets in thousands are peddling a false gospel all around us. In other words, we are surrounded by pitch-black religious darkness and we do not even know it!

So, we must seek solutions to ensure Zambia is never engulfed in darkness again. The church must also combat false teachings that are engulfing our nation. The lack of electricity may result in the loss of lives but the lack of the true gospel will send people into a Christ-less eternity. That is a million times worse than the power outage we recently experienced.

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