The wise men in the Bible were men who came from somewhere in the east and brought gifts to Mary the mother of Jesus, and to Jesus Christ Himself. This is what is written in the Bible:

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.” – Matthew chapter 2

These wise men brought gifts to Jesus because they said they wanted to worship the one who was born King. Jesus was born as a King; Jesus was the King and Jesus was to be worshipped. Only God is to be worshipped and only God is the King so this tells us who Jesus is.

These wise men brought the following gifts: gold, frankincense (an wonderful smelling incense also used as perfume), and myrrh (another fragrant beautiful smelling item used as incense and perfume). The greatest producer of frankincense is Somalia. In Somali you say frankincense “Fooxa”. And you say Myrrh in Somali as “Malmal.” Malmal and Fooxa are the gifts that the wise men brought to the one who was born King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Were the wise men Somalis? Did the Malmal and Fooxa that were brought to Jesus when He was born come from Somalia? Were there any Somalis travelling with the wise men to see Jesus?

A man who helped Jesus carry the cross was a man from Northern Africa; this man’s name was Simon from Cyrene and Cyrene is in Libya – it is now called Shahhat. In fact there were many Africans who belonged to the church in the New Testament times.

We read in Acts 13:1 “Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.”

The disciples of Jesus were sent out over all the world – and one place they went was Somalia.

There have always been Somali Christians

No matter what anyone says Christians have been a part of Somalia and will always be a part of Somalia. The Bible says out of every tongue and tribe and nation God will have a people for Himself. And that includes Somalis.

Many Somalis are wonderfully generous people who share what they have with friends, family, neighbours and strangers. Many Somalis are kind and gentle people who have a real heart for God and other people. And this is what God says we must to live a life for Him:

“You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Luke 10:27

God is the one who has put these teachings in our hearts; we were born with a sense of doing what is right and what is good; but we can be easily influenced by those things going on around us and sometimes start to act the way others act, even if it is not good behavior.

We get caught up acting in a way that is not righteous or good, the bad company around us and bad behavior around us influences us in a negative way. Somalis need to come back to God and start living for Him once again. Somalis have turned far away from the Lord and from serving Him but there is still hope. There is still time to turn away from your sins and to start serving the Lord once again.

Come back to God

So if you are a Somali and you feel lost then you need to return to the Lord. I believe there is a very rich heritage of Christianity in Somalia that somehow got lost over the centuries; I believe Somalis to be people who really want to follow the Lord and believe in Jesus Christ but are held back by traditions and the fear of how others will treat them if they convert to Christ. So there are two things holding Somalis back from accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour and following him: traditions and fear.

Just because something has always been done in one way doesn’t make it right. Look at female circumcision – gudniinka dumarka – we all know that is a very wrong practice but somehow it has become a traditional part of Somali culture and it must go. This practice must stop because it is evil and hurtful to women.

But to stand up against it means trouble and persecution for those who stand up against it. Well I believe Somalis are just the people to be able to stand up against what is wrong and evil; I believe with God’s help Somalis can and will make a stand against this evil practice and will also make a stand for Christ. Yes, Amen and Praise the Lord.

Don’t be a chicken

There are many sayings in Africa that can teach us a lot about life: and we can learn from these and apply them to our Christian lives. For example,

When spider webs unite they can tie up a lion; so if you are a Somali Christian join other Christians and become a stronger force for the Lord.

A stream coming down won’t let you swim up; so get out of the stream and walk along the shore.

In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams; so join with Christ and others to save Somalis from hell and to transform their country for the Lord.

And there is a saying in the West that says: Don’t be a chicken. To chicken out means to be afraid and leave; to chicken out means not to stand up for what you believe in; to chicken out means to live in fear and not what you know in your heart is the right things to do.

With God all things are possible

Jesus said “With God all things are possible.” We are only human beings made of flesh and blood. We feel pain and we feel fear. We need God to give us that power to be able to stand up against our own fears and the strength and courage to be able to stand up for what we believe in.

Listen to how Jesus encourages His followers:

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.” – Revelation 3:8-11

Be faithful Jesus says; be strong in your faith; and we need God to help us to do that.

Paul says in the New Testament:

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”

Amen.

 

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© Somali Christian Ministries, 2014
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