Africa's land: Let God be the Judge

A Christian Science perspective.

The Monitor’s article on Africa’s land wars reminded me of the conflicts over land and water that appear in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament.

One example is Abraham and Lot’s struggle over land, which was ultimately resolved through genuine brotherhood between them, particularly on Abraham’s part. He said, “Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren” (Gen. 13:8). He allowed Lot first choice of the land over which they were striving, and took the part that was left.

This willingness to take a higher path – to express love instead of contention – can do much to resolve what might seem like untenable conditions. There’s also an account in the book of Genesis about a conflict Isaac had with others over some wells. They claimed ownership even though Isaac had dug them. Here again, a brotherly approach saved the day (see Gen. 26:17–22).

It isn’t easy to achieve such willingness to yield, especially when the welfare of one’s family is at stake. Yet our prayers for those in such circumstances can help. It’s possible for us to affirm that brotherhood and sisterhood, which we all share as children of the one divine Mind, is natural
to us. This unity isn’t about being afraid to stand up for one’s rights. It lies in recognizing the presence of Mind’s government and its power to guide each individual seeking justice.

God’s creation – including each of us – is truly spiritual, and good. Anger, jealousy, and fear blind people to the good that God is already providing. They fixate instead on the threat to a particular plot of land, without realizing that perhaps there is another, more inspired solution.

Our prayer to God about the justice and comfort of those in need can be a powerful help in revealing the infinite resources that are possible through trust in divine Mind’s intelligent guidance. In spiritual reality, each individual always has access to this one, all-knowing Mind. We can claim this fact for all people and for ourselves. Mind’s wisdom can intelligently guide any endeavor to achieve justice. The solution could take form as another way to obtain a living, a new job, or even locating in another area. Mind knows no limitation of access or resources in order to care for its loved children. As the Bible declares, ”Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25).

In any land dispute there may be historical or political issues, but by trusting divine inspiration, people have been guided through even the trickiest legal and political thickets. The particular evidence of God’s care may change over the course of a lifetime, but His love is constant. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, affirmed that fact: “Spirit duly feeds and clothes every object, as it appears in the line of spiritual creation, thus tenderly expressing the fatherhood and motherhood of God” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 507).

As African nations continue to deal with land conflicts, our prayers and trust in divine intelligence will do much to reduce fear, provide strength, and remove doubt that justice can prevail.

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