If it had not been the Lord

A story is told of a tyrannical king who lived five thousand years ago, at the tip end of the Southern Hemisphere. The king’s name was Inyambeva. Inyambeva was revered and reviled in equal measure.  His acumen and inanity astounded many.  He was also known for being irrational, ruthless and hardnosed. He had a habit of punishing his subjects who happened to make him worked up, in a bizarre way. Besides he was good in rewarding obedience and loyalty. He would not let the grass grow under his feet, and ensured his backroom boys burned the midnight oil to make his kingdom tick.

This king was extraordinarily magnanimous and at the same time prized erotomania above all else. His fame was too much of a fag. Some in the far lands of the Nothern Hemisphere considered him a nerd and nuts. The inhabitants of the Midlands kingdom of Equatoria provided him with the supplies of servants and slaves. Thus they knew him like the palm of their hands. They knew his vulnerabilities and the capriciousness of his heart.

One of the king’s favourite gardener was from Equatoria. His name was Lipopo Inyangareri Papaya. He was well schooled in the art of gardening for his home village sat on the banks of the great river Limpompo. His downside was his ability to lead someone down the garden path. Of a truth, he needed to downsize on this behaviour. Nevertheless, he remained an admirable Crichton among the king’s servants. In fact, in some occasions, he could compete with the noblemen of Southern Hemisphere. His respect among the great and small was fait accompli. His undoing was his affinity to loquaciousness.

The king had an expansive orchard. It ran from north to south and the west to east. In this orchard, the king had commanded a variety of fruits to be planted. His servants and slaves had done their job with zeal and zest. The mean king was a quid pro quo honcho, and he returned the favour gracefully.

Lipopo played his role with rules and no rues.

Every afternoon Lipopo would pick the rip and succulent fruit from the various trees and collect them in a basket. The following day when the regal and legal court was in session, he would go in and give the fruits to the king Inyambeva.

One bright morning, Lipopo took cherries he had gathered the previous day to the king. Even though the morning was bright, the king appeared dull and sullen. He was obviously in a foul mood. When he picked a cherry to taste, it was vinegary. He vented out his anger on Lipopo by throwing the cherry at him. It landed on his forehead. Lipopo was not shocked, for he knew the king’s mood could swing from right to left within a microsecond.  He thus exclaimed, “God is merciful!”

The king enquired, “You must be injured and annoyed but you say God is merciful. “‘. Why?”

The gardener, Lipopo Inyangareri Papaya, said, “Your Majesty, I was going to bring coconuts for you today. But I changed my mind. If you had thrown a coconut at me, I would have been badly hurt. God was merciful for having changed my mind.”
It does not cost a thing to thank God for the evil that would have befallen us.

“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,”
Let Israel now say—
 “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
When men rose up against us,
 Then they would have swallowed us alive,
When their wrath was kindled against us;
Then the waters would have overwhelmed us,
The stream would have gone over our soul;
 Then the swollen waters
Would have gone over our soul.”

Blessed be the Lord,
Who has not given us as prey to their teeth.
Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers;
The snare is broken, and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

PSALM 124

All Scripture quotations taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.

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