Rev. Reeves: ‘Wet Places of a Pro-Poor Agenda’ Catering Only to Greed of the Not-So-Poor
Monrovia – The Rev. Dr. Samuel Reeves, Senior Pastor of the Providence Baptist Church who was a running mate to former Presidential candidate Dr. J. Mills Jones in the 2017 Presidential elections says the pro-poor agenda of the Coalition for Democratic Change is concentrated with greed and division and surrounded by wet places of incompetence.
The clergyman, addressing the Baccalaureate of the African Methodist Episcopal University(AMEU) joint commencement activities for 2019, lamented to graduates that “we can walk on dry ground in wet places because God knows your future and He will show you the way.”
Speaking on the theme, “Walking on dry ground in wet places” the clergyman told the graduates that like the Israelites, they are now marching into an unknown future, but like the Israelites, they are not alone, but with God. “Listen, today, as you think about facing an unknown future, I want to leave with you two things in our call to you to walk on dry ground in wet places. God knows the way; God shows the way.”
Recalling the last speech, of Dr. Martin Luther King on April 3rd 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, Rev. Reeves said Dr. King identified minorities, the poor, and those on the fringes of society with the Israelites in their suffering. “In doing so, he does not project these groups into the past; but brought the past, the story of Israel, to bear upon the present. These words do not seek to claim greater status for these people but rather a greater understanding of their affliction and the God of liberation who sets all people free.”
He told the graduates that they too, have instructions on the way they should go. “God left them behind in Scripture, they are there to guide us in how we should act. The faculty and staff of this great institution have shown you what you need to know.”
The clergyman said when people called by the name of Christ can’t sit and worship together because there are differences in denominations; wet places – a nation where three out of every 100 individuals are infected with HIV/AIDS; Wet places – babies having babies, and fathers raping their own daughters; Wet places – 7,000 TB, Leprosy victims at risk; Wet places – An economy in free fall; Wet places – parents unfaithful to their children and children disobedient to their parents; Wet places – Churches refusing to go out on the Jericho road and open their doors to the rejected, the poor and the marginalize.”
Rev. Reeves said God has shown the new graduates the way to freedom but cautioned that the freedom should lead them to mature responsibility and holiness before God through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. “A freedom that builds mansions of hope out of dungeons of despair; A freedom that wipes the tears of rejection from the brows of the widows; A freedom that stands up for justice, equality and equal distribution of the nation’s wealth; A freedom that feeds the hungry, clothes the naked and mends the broken hearted; A freedom to turn our dark pasts into a bright future; A freedom to cheer and uplift the discouraged and depressed. With freedom Christ has set us free to stand firm and not submit to any yoke of oppression, be it political, social, economy or spiritual. It is a mark of maturity when we learn that freedom is a tool to build with, not a toy to play with.”
Like Israel, the clergyman said, God has brought Liberia out of bondage in order to bring blessing. “God liberates us and then leads us through the varied experiences of life, a day at a time so that we might get to know Him better and claim by faith all that He wants us to be. We may not always understand the way God chooses, or even agree with it, but God’s way is always the right way and we can grow in understanding God’s will and trusting God promises.”
He urged the AME graduates to walk on dry ground in wet places, because there is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel’s vein, and sinners plunged beneath its flood, lose all their guilty stain. “Graduates, we can walk on dry ground in wet places, because we’ve been freed from the burden of sin there is wonder working power in the blood of the lamb. We can walk on dry ground in wet places, because our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness, we dare not trust the sweetest fame, but wholly lane on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock we stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
The clergyman urged the graduating seniors to be aware of walking on dry ground surrounded by wet places of a free fall economy and high exchange rate, including tribal politics and mismanagement of natural resources.
Dr. Samuel Reeves further charged the 19th graduating class of the AME University to endure freedom that must lead them to a mature responsibility for a better transformation.
The Providence Baptist Prelate stated that the graduating class is moving into an unknown future, while cautioning that they pray for God’s guidance upon themselves.
Rev. Reeves said Israel’s exodus experience through the Red Sea taught them that their future success lay in fulfilling the responsibility of trusting in the Almighty. “Nothing takes God by surprise, for in God’s providence He plans the best way for His people in the most difficult, treacherous)dangerous and duplicitous circumstances. The land of Canaan was a two weeks’ journey from Egypt, 150 miles up the coastal King’s Highway, where armies and merchant traders had traveled for hundreds of years. But when God delivered two million (Nu. 1:46 records 603,550 soldiers) Jewish slaves around 1300 B.C., He did not take them there on the highway but on “His way,” through the desert.”
Rev. Reeves said, all the military tacticians and strategists in Israel that night disagreed with the evacuation route God selected because it was too long and they could not see a path through the Red Sea. “God knew what He was doing. His thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. “If we permit the Lord to direct our steps (Pro. 3:5-6), we can expect to be led occasionally on paths that may seem unnecessarily long and uncertain. Church, graduates, we must remind ourselves that God knows what He’s doing, He isn’t in a hurry, and as long as we follow Him, we’re safe and in the place of his blessings. He may close some doors and suddenly open others, and we must be alert (Acts 16:6-10; 2 Cor. 2:12-13).”
He said it dawned on Pharaoh and his officers that, by allowing the Israelites to escape, they had threatened, if not destroyed, the economy of Egypt. “Therefore, the logical thing to do was to go after the Jews and bring them back. What seemed like an easy victory to Egypt would turn out to be an ignominious defeat. Pharaoh and his army are in hot pursuit; the people are anxiously waiting. Moses stands ready; God has decided what to do. The stage is set for the divine victory over the forces of slavery, injustice, and chaos. Moses stretches out his staff over the sea and a strong east wind blows all night. Dry land appears in the midst of wet places. The Divine, creative act of God in the midst (sphere) of nature serves as the vehicle for the creation of a liberated people.”
Rev. Reeves told the graduates that those moments of feeling freedom are fast, furious and fleeting. “Over the next few days, weeks and months, all of you will discover that while there is life and freedom after graduation, the feeling of freedom is short lived. For some of you, there will be graduate and post-graduate school. For others, there is the new challenge of finding a job and taking on those responsibilities. Some of you may know where you are headed, and others will simply be trying to figure it out.”
The truth is, he implored, an ending of one thing is always a beginning of another. “And we need guidance to walk this path! The Israelites are leaving Egypt and beginning a new relationship with God. We read that God directed them the long way around so that they would be safe from the Philistines. We read that God appeared as a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night.”
He urged the graduates to venture into the future, with God to show them the way. “And as the Israelites begin their journey, things are clear and their path is certain. God’s voice and direction surround them, keeping them from danger and leading them into a new world of freedom. The Israelites don’t know where they are going, but they don’t have to. God knows the way. So, graduates, I stopped by to let you know today, that you don’t have to know where you are heading, God know the way.”