We have all heard the term “God works in mysterious ways”. Thus leaders who are unwise or elect to ignore lessons of history are destined to repeat mistakes causing suffering for those who follow them.

Example around 742 BCE the God of Abraham informed Prophet Isaiah that the nation of Israel would be crushed and the Assyrians would be “Gods instrument”. At that time King Uzziah of Judah had died and his son Ahaz was in power and allowed the worship of pagan Gods along with Yahweh.

Ahaz defiance of monotheism brought on the destruction. Since the Israelite leaders were also guilty of abusing the poor while spending lavishly on outward ceremonial expression etc. God clarified that it was he who was destroying Israel and not the Assyrians and it is this divine lesson that required attention. God wanted the Israelites to know his judgement and instructed Isaiah to spread the word.

Millennia’s later some of our political leaders requested religious leaders to pray for rain. While this seems proper, asking God for favour when defying divine instruction as chronicled in the Torah, Bible and Quran requires thought.

While we are all guilty of turpitude, God is merciful and ready to reward our “prodigal return”. This mercy is however contingent on admission of faults and repairing our ways. If we fail to repent, while his mercy is endless so is his penalty for those who take his mercy for a joke. Thus when we openly defy and reject divine advice in favour of opinion and then seek to compel others to follow our belief, we have entered perilous terrain.

Currently South Africa is suffering a severe drought that could cause lasting misery. Food prices will increase and the poor will suffer even more. While we could blame the lack of rain on various scientific details, divine penalty cannot be omitted from our reality. If we reject divine advice we need to study history to understand what happened to those before us like the Israelite case mentioned.

While local dam levels drop and water becomes more expensive this is a good time to reflect on our past years misgivings and how we as persons and as a collective can responsive in a better manner.

For some it may require paying the unpaid child support in order to punish an ex-wife. It may require paying our workers proper salaries or treating them better. Each of us has flaws that require mending.

As the local elections approach, this may also be a good time to study those who we consider electing. Are they potential thieves that will steal from the public funding? Did they honour their obligations and fulfil their promises that were made years ago?

In the words of the wise, consider how the King of Israel in the time of Prophet Isaiah doomed his nation by following his own whims. Be careful who you choose to lead you for the next 5 years.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress