A captive is one that is taken prisoner or kept in prison by an authority, legally or illegally, held down or overcome by something but cannot get freedom or exercise its right, either spiritually or physically. Whosoever is held down by anything, habit, sin or spirit is in bondage of that which has trapped him.
Captivity is of two kinds – lawful (legal) and unlawful (illegal) captivity. Lawful captives are those who legitimately, willingly, knowingly and deliberately went into captivity. Besides, they are lawful captives because they are kept in bondage as a result of the evil they committed. In the scripture, the Bible told us how the nation Israel went into captivity – carried into slavery for so many years. The deserved captivity of Israel in the hand of the mighty (Babylonian) tells us how a person or nation can be enslaved. They became a prey and it was not likely that they should be rescued by force. They were lawful captives, by the law of God; every offence is always a legal ground for captivity. In other words, the law of nations has a part to play in the case of Israel. They were justly delivered into captivity because they have been taken in war. They were lawfully detained in captivity till they should be ransomed or be exchanged.
By way of inference, human beings can as well be taken captive by some evil spirit because of their sinful living. The powers resident in them claim legal right because those people deliberately entered into certain agreements with the spirits, whether through secret cults to search for fame, protection, prosperity and power, or through any other means. As a result, the activities of the spirits in these individuals or group becomes lawful or deserved, and the people lawful captives. Those also who deliberately dedicate themselves to the service of Satan and his purpose are among the lawful prisoners. Among the lawful captives, there are unconscious victims – people who did not deliberately become captives, but because of some problems and difficulties that defile solution, except by the possession of these spiritual beings. There are also, unwilling conscious victims – people who are free and not willing to associate themselves with diabolical spiritual powers, but got entangled because they have no choice. The last in this category are the consciously willing victims – people whose priority in life is to appear noticeable whether by hook or by crook. All these are legal or lawful captives.
In the other hand, the unlawful captives are those who are unlawfully held or kept in oppression by what another person has done – their father, ancestors, friends, relatives, etc. Every unlawful captive has a pathetic story to tell. How then did Africa go wrong, and what story has she got for us?
Well, the Bible tells us a story of a servant of God called Noah. He was told by God to build an ark through which He (God) will save a remnant of people that will serve Him on earth. This remnant must be a people of absolute obedience to His will and command. This Noah did, and God blessed him for it. Along the line, the old man took to farming as a way of life. He planted a vineyard, drank of the wine, and was drunk; as a result, he lay in his tent uncovered. His son Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, Noah and reported to his two brothers – Shem and Japheth, who took a garment, laid it upon their shoulders, went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father. And because their faces were backward, they were unable to see their father’s nakedness.
When Noah awoke and was cleared from the influence of wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him, and he cursed him: “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren”, but he blessed his two sons that covered his nakedness saying, “Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant”.
From the Bible story above, we find out that Ham was the name of one of the three sons of Noah, and of the history of Ham, nothing is related except his irreverence to his father and the curse which that patriarch pronounced on him. The sons of Ham are stated, to have been Cush, Mizraim, Phut and Canaan.
The Canaanites were descendants of Canaan. Their language was very similar to the Hebrew. They were probably given to commerce; and thus the name became probably in later times an occasional synonym for a merchant. The name Canaan later on came to denote the country west of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, and between those waters and the Mediterranean; given by God to Abraham’s posterity – the children of Israel. Apart from the Canaanites, the other settlements of the sons of Ham are always discussed and known by their respective names. Therefore, the three most illustrious Hamite nations are known today as the Cushites, the Phoenicians and the Egyptians, who were greatly mixed with foreign peoples. Their architecture has a solid grandeur that we look for in vain elsewhere.
Africa was of the stock of Ham through Canaan. History told us that Africa was once at the head of world economy. She discovered the elements of the arts and sciences, founded the study of the laws of nature, civil and religious systems, which still govern the universe today. It is a surprise that Africa after recording such breakthroughs in human history, is seen and viewed as a reject, and an insignificant addendum that managed to find a space in world map. Africa, the very continent that has given the world civilization, the very people whom the Greeks had looked with admiration, has now become the most humiliated and brutalized race – a race of slaves and outcasts. How could a race of inventors and manufacturers become traders and passive consumers of western technology? God forbid bad thing.
As a Christian and a minister of God, I know that the God of heaven and the Father of my Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, will never sit down and watch His people who are created in His image and likeness and bought with the blood of His dear Son Jesus Christ, languish in penury simply because of a father’s curse to his son. Truly, curses have effect, but there is a limit to it. When God Himself gave His people Israel to captivity, He equally delivered them when they called on Him because of His Name. Africa, for all I know has been a center for God’s activity, and God is at work in Africa using Africans. God can never be doing all these things and still hold Africa responsible to a father’s curse to his son, for such a long time – many generations behind. That’s very unfair and not the character of the God I serve. He told me that those that in Christ have become new creatures and that He will never hold them responsible for their old lifestyles. They have passed away and a new life has begun.
In the case of His people Israel, God knew very well that Israel’s captors were right and the captivity of Israel, well deserved because of their evil against the Lord. Their captors, though mighty and terrible, with legal backing, both from the law of God and the law of the nations, yet the Lord decreed that Israel (the lawful captive) shall be taken away and delivered. That is final. The captors of Israel cannot with their impudence outface the deliverance and counsel of God concerning His people. The King of kings, and Lord of lords has spoken – no one can declare otherwise.
This is the God I serve, and I am an African, why must I be under a generational curse? Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law and that is in accordance with God’s decision to redeem Africa. God’s determination is to deliver and to bring judgment upon the captors and oppressors of His people no matter who they are, and then work out salvation for the oppressed. God’s decision on this matter is final, the same way He said to Pharaoh “let m people go”. He did not go back until He saw Israel out of Egypt. Africa is a shining star and will continue to radiate till eternity.
Friend, don’t be afraid again, because all the satanic arrows of poverty, lack, decrease, financial distress the devil fired against us have been arrested, disgraced and destroyed by God himself. All the instruments of oppression of witches and wizards, all the oppressors of Africa have been scattered, and consumed by fire in Jesus’ name. As I pray for Africa, I see the rod of the wicked which has caused great discomfort in the life of Africans being removed permanently, and every power blocking the covenant blessings of God from flowing to us in Africa has been broken to pieces in Jesus’ name. Are you an African? Be bold, be courageous for the Lord God of heaven says, “Even the lawful captives shall be delivered”, and this day has deliverance come in the land of Africa.